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Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship

On July 31, 2017, the application procedure for the Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme was adjusted. As of that date, identical applications have to be submitted to the Humboldt Foundation’s and Capes online systems.

The Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme is a joint fellowship programme of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Brazilian research funding organisation Capes (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).

The programme is addressed exclusively to researchers from Brazil. The selection will be made by a selection committee, which is jointly appointed by Capes and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The research fellows selected will be mentored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation during their stay in Germany. The sponsorship provisions correspond to those of the Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme.

The programme is jointly sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation and Capes.

Information for postdoctoral researchers

Submit an application if you are a scientist or scholar from Brazil with above average qualifications, at the beginning of your academic career and only completed your doctorate less than four years ago. A Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers allows you to carry out long-term research (6-24 months) in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their academic host.

Information for experienced researchers

Submit an application if you are a scientist or scholar from Brazil with above average qualifications, completed your doctorate less than twelve years ago, already have your own research profile and a record of several years of independent academic work e.g. working at least at the level of Assistant Professor or Junior Research Group Leader. A Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers allows you to carry out long-term research (6-18 months) in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their academic host. The fellowship is flexible and can be divided up into as many as three stays within three years.

For the time being, researchers from Brazil can only apply for a Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship. For the duration of the joint Capes-Humboldt Programme, it is not possible to apply for a Humboldt Research Fellowship or Georg Forster Research Fellowship, as selection criteria and sponsorship provisions are identical.

Online application

Please ensure that you submit identical documents to Capes and the Humboldt Foundation. For further information, please see Application.

Further information

  1. Doctorate in Brazil or abroad with an official revalidation in Brazil; completed less than four years prior to the date of application for postdoctoral researchers and completed less than twelve years prior to the date of application for experienced researchers. PhD diplomas and, for diplomas obtained abroad, also the revalidation in Brazil, must be submitted with the application to both organisations.
  2. Postdoctoral researchers: Academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
    Experienced researchers: The candidate's own research profile documented by a comprehensive list of academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
  3. Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a detailed expert’s report by an academic host at a research institution in Germany. Details of the research outline including information on the intended duration of the fellowship must be agreed with the intended host before applying.
  4. Language skills: Natural scientists and engineers must have a good knowledge of German or English; physicians and researchers in the humanities and social sciences must have a good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the research successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English is required.
  5. Brazilian nationality or permanent residence visa in the country. Potential applicants of German nationality are eligible to apply provided that their habitual place of work and residence has been located in Brazil on the assumption of permanence for at least five years.
  6. Eligible applicants must have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to submission of the application.
  7. Applicants must reside in Brazil at the time of application.
  8. Identical applications have to be submitted to the Humboldt Foundation’s and Capes online systems in time; Capes may request additional documents from the applicants (see Capes homepage for details). If the application is only submitted to one of the two organizations, it will be formally rejected.
  9. The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice and the legally-binding principles of scientific ethics during the application and sponsorship periods.

Identical applications for the Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme have to be submitted online to Capes and the Humboldt Foundation.

Capes and the Humboldt Foundation will confirm receipt of the online application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted identical and complete application documents to both organizations. Incomplete applications will be excluded from the selection procedure.

Applications can be submitted as follows (until 11:59 p.m. Brasília time):

Selection process Registration Result Start of fellowship
or language course
Call 12 1 Aug. 2017 -
30 Nov. 2017
until 25 May 2018 Sept. 2018 -
May 2019
Call 13 1 Dec. 2017 -
31 May 2018
until 25 Nov. 2018 March 2019 -
Nov. 2019
Call 14 1 June 2018 -
30 Nov. 2018
until 25 May 2019 Sept. 2019 -
May 2020
Call 15 3 Dec. 2018 -
31 May 2019
until 25 Nov. 2019 March 2020 -
Nov. 2020
Call 16 3 June 2019 -
29 Nov. 2019
until 25 May 2020 Sept. 2020 -
May 2021
Call 17 2 Dec. 2019 -
29 May 2020
until 25 Nov. 2020 March 2021 -
Nov. 2021

 
The application documents and further information on the application process can also be found on the Capes website.

Please note that Capes may request additional documents.

The selection decision will be made by a selection committee which is jointly appointed by Capes and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The decision will be based on the documents submitted as well as the statement by the academic host and usually two independent peer reviews requested by Capes and the Humboldt Foundation.

One of our hallmarks is the degree of support we try to provide for every single guest researcher. This is why we offer you extra benefits in addition to the monthly research fellowship: from invitations to events, via language courses to family allowances.

Further information

Once a Humboldtian, always a Humboldtian: Even after your research stay has come to an end, we shall still maintain close contact with you. Our alumni sponsorship is flexible and designed to support every Humboldtian’s particular path in life and development as well as collaborations between individuals.

Further information

This programme is financed by:

Application requirements

Do I need an English language certificate?

No, an English language certificate is not required.

What determines the date of a doctorate?

The relevant date is that of completing the final academic part of the doctoral process (e.g., defence of thesis, doctoral viva). This date will usually be included on your doctoral certificate alongside the date of issue. The key date for calculating the period following your doctorate is the date on which your application is received by the Humboldt Foundation respectively by Capes. If you already held an academic position equivalent to or higher than an Associate Professor / Senior Lecturer / Reader before completing your PhD/C.Sc. the relevant date is the one on which you assumed this position.

Which date is valid if I have several doctorates?

If you hold several doctorates, the doctorate that is closest related to the topic of your research stay is relevant. Please list both doctorate dates with the associated disciplines in your CV in the application form. We would also ask that you submit both doctorate certificates and list both theses in the complete list of publications.

My doctorate was completed less than four years ago. Can I apply for a fellowship for experienced researchers?

Yes. You should, however, already have a clearly recognisable own research profile and, as a rule, be working at the level of at least assistant professor or junior research group leader, or have a record of several years of independent scientific work.

My doctorate was completed more than four years ago. Can I apply for a fellowship for postdoctoral researchers?

We cannot consider your application for a fellowship for postdoctoral researchers if your doctorate was completed more than four years ago. In case you already have a clearly recognisable own research profile and, as a rule, working at the level of at least assistant professor or junior research group leader, or have a record of several years of independent scientific work, you can apply for a fellowship for experienced researchers. If you have passed the deadline, an exception may be made in well-founded cases (e.g. recognition of parental leave).

I obtained my doctorate more than twelve years ago. Can I still apply for a fellowship for experienced researchers?

We cannot consider your application if you obtained your doctorate more than twelve years ago. If you have missed the deadline, an exception may be made in well-founded cases (e.g. recognition of parental leave).

Will you take into consideration the time I devoted to bringing up my children?

If you have ever interrupted your academic career for child-rearing purposes, either partially or completely, please list all periods of leave on the application form. We will assess whether these periods can be taken into account in calculating your eligibility in relation to your career stage. The time limit set by the programme for the period after completing a doctorate may be extended by a maximum of two years per child if you did indeed interrupt your academic career after completing your doctorate for the periods stated and claim for these periods.

Do I need to know German in order to apply?

  1. Natural scientists and engineers: good knowledge of German or English is sufficient.
  2. Scholars in the humanities and social sciences: should have knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the research successfully. In this case, a German language certificate confirming proficiency must be submitted. Otherwise, a good knowledge of English is sufficient.
  3. Physicians: If the research involves work with patients, the candidate must have a good knowledge of German (language certificate required). Otherwise, a good knowledge of English is sufficient.

English or German is my native language. Do I have to submit a language certificate proving my proficiency?

No, a language certificate is not required.

I'm a physician (MD / Dr. med.). Are there any special admission requirements?

You are eligible to apply if you hold a research doctorate or a comparable academic degree.

In addition, please read our Admission Questionnaire for Physicians (MD / Dr. med.) for detailed information.

If you have several research doctorates, the above mentioned FAQ on the subject of "several doctorates" applies.

I already am or recently have been in Germany. Are there any formal grounds militating against my application?

Eligible applicants must have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to submission of the application.

Both employment and/or residence in Germany are considered a "stay" in this context.

In all other cases we regret that we cannot consider your application.

Academic host

Who can be my academic host?

Any researcher working at a university or research institution in Germany who offers to make research facilities available for the proposed research stay.

How can I find an academic host?

You are free to choose your own academic host. The Humboldt Foundation does not provide any direct support in finding a host.

We would like to draw your attention to the following search engines for hosts and research institutes: We would also like to draw your attention to the open access part of the Network Online. This database features a large proportion of the Foundation's more than 28,000 academics sponsored worldwide. Here you can search for names, disciplines and keywords.

Can I conduct my research stay with two academic hosts?

Yes. If the hosts work at different research institutes, they must each provide a host's statement and confirmation that research facilities can be made available.

Will my host institute receive any additional funds for the costs it incurs in connection with my research stay?

In general the host institute will receive an allowance for research costs of €800 per month for research in the field of natural sciences and engineering, and €500 for research in the field of humanities or social sciences.
Please see the respective FAQ of the Department Sponsorship and Network.

Preparation/Planning

Can I apply to several Humboldt Foundation fellowship programmes at the same time, or can I apply for a Humboldt Fellowship and the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award at the same time if I fulfil the formal requirements?

No, it is not possible to apply to several fellowship programmes or the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Programme concurrently. Should you be rejected by any of them, you may, however, apply to any other programme as long as you fulfil the formal requirements.

Can I apply for a fellowship from another institution at the same time I submit my application to the Humboldt Foundation?

On principle, it is possible to file parallel applications. You must, however, indicate this on the application form and inform us immediately of any other applications you submit and any other sponsorship decisions that occur while we are considering your application.

Can I conduct part of my research work abroad?

If it is necessary for the success of the project, fellows may conduct research at research institutions in other parts of Europe during the fellowship period (excepting their country of origin). Please do not apply for this stay until you have been awarded the fellowship. As a rule, the total length of your Europe Research Stay may not exceed 25 per cent of the projected total duration of sponsorship. Furthermore, if the fellowship is divided up into several stays (experienced researchers), the duration of the Europe Research Stay may on principle not exceed half the duration of the respective fellowship period. Research stays in the fellow's country of origin or in a non-European country will, however, normally result in a temporary suspension of the fellowship.

Can I apply for a research fellowship for a period of less than six months?

The first research stay in the context of a postdoctoral fellowship must last at least six months. Experienced researchers must also apply for a stay of at least six months, which can, however, be divided up into two blocks of three months.

I am a postdoctoral researcher. Can I divide up my research stay?

It is not possible to break up the research stay.

Do I have to divide up my research stays strictly according to the model specified by the programme line for experienced researchers?

Yes. It is not possible to deviate from the standard model.

When do I have to start the fellowship period at the latest?

You must start the fellowship period within twelve months of being selected. Otherwise you will have to submit a new application.

What is the value of the fellowship?

Will you pay the fellowship retroactively if I am already at the host institute at the time of being selected?

No, the fellowship cannot be paid retroactively.

Is the intensive German language course part of my research fellowship?

A two- to four-month language course takes place immediately prior to the start of the research fellowship. The language fellowship is not part of the research fellowship. (In other words, if you apply for a two-month language course in connection with a 12-month research stay in Germany, your stay will last a total of 14 months.)

When can I attend a language course?

The intensive German language course can only be taken immediately prior to the start of the research fellowship. If this is not possible, you may apply for funds to attend evening classes during the research fellowship.

Do I have to take a language course?

There is no obligation to take a language course. However, the Humboldt Foundation strongly encourages all its fellows and their partners to learn German during their research stay so that they can fully participate in social and cultural life in Germany.

Can I bring my family?

The Humboldt Foundation welcomes the idea that fellows' partners and children should accompany them and encourages this by paying family allowances in addition to the fellowship, provided that the family members accompany the fellow for more than three months.

Application documents

Which publications should I enclose with my application?

Your application must contain one copy of each of the key publications you have chosen. Other publications will not be accepted (exception: reviews of your key publications by other authors).
If you wish to cite your dissertation as a key publication but have not yet submitted it for printing, please upload the original manuscript of your doctoral thesis.

May I include works that have not yet been submitted for publication in the list of key publications and the complete list of publications?

No. Please only cite publications that are already in print, have been accepted for publication or have at least been submitted to a publishing house. In the latter case you must include the acknowledgement of receipt from the publisher; in case of publications that have been accepted, please include the letter of acceptance from the publisher. Any other works cited on the list will be deleted.
Exception: Your dissertation may be cited as a key publication even if you have not yet submitted it to a publisher. If you wish to cite your dissertation as a key publication but have not yet submitted it for printing, please upload the original manuscript of your doctoral thesis.

What are key publications?

You yourself should choose the key publications from your publications. You should choose works which present your most important academic results. In cases of multiple authorship you should select those to which you have made a major contribution. When choosing key publications we recommend including works that reflect your more recent publication activity.
Please note that you cannot amend your selection of key publications once the selection process has begun.

How many key publications should I cite?

If you are applying for a fellowship for postdoctoral researchers, one key publication is sufficient. You may cite a maximum of three.
If you are applying for a fellowship for experienced researchers you must choose at least three key publications. You may cite a maximum of five. Surplus key publications will be removed from the list without notifying the applicant.

How should I explain why I have chosen a key publication?

Please address the particular academic relevance of the results contained in the key publication and briefly explain the significance of the publication for your academic profile (cf. Sample key publications). In cases of multiple authorship please also indicate your own personal contribution to the publication.

Should my key publications also be cited in the complete list of publications?

Yes. Please cite all your publications in the complete list of publications, including your key publications. In this list they should be cited without explanations (cf. Sample publication list).
Please note that it is not possible to amend the list of publications submitted once the selection process has begun.

Selection procedure

Who will review my application?

Your application will be reviewed by independent peer reviewers.

Who will decide on my application?

The final decision on all applications is made by the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee consists of researchers of all disciplines who decide on all applications by majority vote. The Humboldt Foundation and Capes have no vote on the Selection Committee.

Selection

What are the most important selection criteria?

The essential aspect of the application is the individual applicant's academic qualification. Please refer to the relevant programme information for more details on the selection criteria.

Can I re-apply after being rejected?

It is possible to re-apply if you fulfil the eligibility criteria. The new application should, however, differ significantly from the original, rejected application. Generally, it makes sense to re-apply after developing one's academic profile, e.g. after academical publications have been accepted by internationally reviewed journals and publishing houses. Our experience shows that applicants should wait about two years before re-applying. Submitting a new application that differs little or not at all from the rejected original may result in a formal rejection of the new application.

In the case of unanimously rejected applications, a new application will be accepted only after 3 calls.

What issues frequently result in applications being rejected?

Insufficient publication record:
In particular, applicants who apply shortly afterupon completion of their doctoral thesis should ensure that the key findings of the doctoral thesis (key publications) are already published or have been accepted for publication. In case of doubt, it is a good idea to wait for several months before submitting the application until evidence can be provided that the key publications have been accepted.

Lack of academic development:
The chosen research project should not be a direct continuation of the doctoral thesis or of the academic work carried out to date. Returning to the same academic environment, e.g. returning to the supervisor of the doctoral thesis or the mentor of longer postdoctoral research (more than 12 months), or returning to a host institute where a longer research stay has already taken place, generally results in the rejection of applications on the basis of a lack of further independent academic development.

Lack of originality:
In the qualitative assessment of the key publications and of the research outline, the independent peer reviewers focus in particular on the originality of the work and the associated impetus for further development in this research area. If these aspects are not immediately apparent, if the research concerns more routine work or if the aims of the planned research and its significance for the continued development of the subject area are not clearly presented, applications are generally rejected.

Lack of personal academic profile, academic establishment:
In the experienced academics’ programme segment, the personal academic profile is of major importance for the assessment of applications by the independent peer reviewers and committee members. Therefore, applications are frequently rejected if
  • no or insufficient publications are available in sole authorship or as a corresponding author;
  • the applicants’ topics are too narrowly focused;
  • no clear continued academic development is apparent;
  • the research project is not clearly aligned with the research interests of the applicant;
  • after several postdoctoral positions, another "traditional" postdoctoral position is applied for without the applicant becoming independently established academically in the meantime.
For experienced academics whose doctorate was completed more than eight years ago, rejection often results if a position as an independent academic (assistant professor, lecturer, junior research group leader, etc.) has still not been obtained, or if the prospect of a professorial appointment upon completion of the proposed stay is not apparent from the documentation submitted, especially the publication profile.