Humboldt Foundation attracts 7 million EUR in EU funding

BMZ-sponsored fellowship programme is co-financed by the EU

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has attracted approximately 7 million EUR in European Union (EU) funding, which it will use to finance additional measures to make the Foundation’s Georg Forster Research Fellowships more attractive.

The Georg Forster Fellowship Programme is aimed at researchers from developing and transition countries, and funds research projects that contribute to transferring knowledge or methods to their respective home countries and thereby strengthen science and research in these countries. The programme is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ).

The additional EU funds will be used to add the option of a subsidy for pension provision in order to compensate for disadvantages associated with a fellowship compared to an employment contract. A bridging grant to cover periods of unemployment in Germany will be introduced for the same purpose.

The fellowship will also provide improved family benefits such as a lump sum of at least 400 EUR for fellows who bring their children to Germany with them. Moreover, a subsidy towards childcare costs will help improve the balance between research work and family life. Alternatively, fellows who care themselves for children under the age of twelve while working on their research project will have the option to extend their fellowship by up to twelve months.

The funding from the EU will run until 2018. This is the second time that the Foundation has successfully participated in a Europe-wide competition for funds from the Marie Curie Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes (COFUND): from 2009 to 2012, five million EUR from COFUND enabled the Foundation to award approximately 100 additional research fellowships.




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