Evaluation of the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship Programme (2012)

Alle Evaluationen von Förderprogrammen der Humboldt-Stiftung 

Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships allow highly-qualified scientists and scholars from Germany to spend extended periods working on research abroad. An important feature of the Lynen Programme is that fellows become members of the Humboldt Network as a result of being paired with academic hosts who are themselves Humboldtians, that is, alumni of Humboldt Foundation fellowship or award programmes. The programme thus strengthens the Humboldt Network and its internationalisation whilst promoting the careers of researchers from Germany who are received into the network.

The evaluation carried out examined to what extent the programme promotes and enlarges the Humboldt Network; it also evaluated the quality of the selection procedure and traced the careers of Lynen alumni with regard to scientific, economic and cultural development as well as internationalisation. Qualitative and quantitative methods were combined for the purpose: interviews with stakeholders and fellows, focus groups, examination of literature and documents as well as a survey of Lynen alumni and unsuccessful applicants. A bibliometric analysis of publication activity amongst successful and unsuccessful applicants was also undertaken which provided deeper insights into issues of scientific career development.

The results of the evaluation confirm that the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship Programme is successful in promoting and internationalising the academic careers of the fellows. With the support of the Humboldt Foundation, different generations of Lynen alumni are able to benefit from sharing their experiences.

The vast majority of fellows returned to Germany to continue their academic careers when their research stay came to an end. Altogether 85 percent of respondents are (still) working in research today.

The evaluation of the Lynen Programme produced these and many other results which lead to recommendations for continuing to develop and optimise the programme. The complete report as well as a summary of results and recommendations can be downloaded.