Humboldt Research Fellowship

Information for Hosts

Any academic actively working at a research institution in Germany (university, non-university research institute etc.) may host a Humboldt research fellow. If a fellowship is granted, the Humboldt Foundation pays the host an allowance for research costs amounting to €800 per month for research fellows from the natural sciences and engineering and €500 for humanities scholars.

A major issue for the Humboldt Foundation was how to distinguish our selection of individuals from the project funding provided by other funding organisations; as a result, we have made some changes regarding applicants’ presentation of their research outline. The main focus of the assessment should therefore be on the applicant’s creative potential and the innovative idea. The guidelines for applicants specify the following requirements for the presentation of the research outline:

  • The current state of research should first be briefly described and be supported by approximately five relevant publications from the research area (one page max.).
  • The most important content is the clear description of the research questions to be examined, their originality and significance for the advancement of the research field (approx. 2 pages).
  • Furthermore, the academic methods to be used to achieve these goals should be clearly described and referenced, if necessary (approx. 2 pages).
  • The research outline should comprise approximately five pages in total (including references).
  • It must be clearly apparent from the assessment that the principal content has been independently developed by the applicant and agreed beforehand with the hosts. Content contributed by the host institute must be clearly identified by the applicant.

A research outline that has not been sufficiently agreed in terms of content or methodology will generally result in rejection of the application. Alongside their academic background, the quality of the key publications selected by the applicants and their future prospects, the originality of the research outline is an important aspect on which the independent expert reviewers and the Selection Committee will base their assessment of the application. It is therefore of particular importance that the research outline is independently drawn up by the applicant and not wholly or partially specified by you as the host.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation requests you to submit a confidential statement, which is very important both for the evaluation procedure and for the selection committee, and signed confirmation that research facilities can be made available.

The applicant should provide you with all the documents and information required to prepare your statement (curriculum vitae, key publications, research outline and the names of expert reviewers) well in advance of the submission date. Please observe the list of questions for the host's statement and answer the questions in detail in the order given. Please sign the confirmation of research facilities, too. You can rest assured that your statement will be treated confidentially by Humboldt Foundation headquarters and the selection committee.

If the applicant wishes to implement his or her research proposal at two host institutions, separate statements and confirmation of research facilities must be provided by each host institute. If the two hosts work at the same institution, one confirmation of research facilities suffices while the (joint) statement and the privacy statement must still be signed by both hosts.

Please bear in mind that Humboldt Foundation headquarters can only initiate the external peer review procedure once both the complete application and your statement have been received. We, therefore, recommend submitting your statement and confirmation of research facilities separately from the application itself and sending them at the earliest opportunity directly to the:

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Selection Department,
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany,
Fax: 0228-833 212, Email: info(at)

General information on the selection procedure is available in the overview of the timeline.

In your role as academic host integrating the guest academic in your working group, you undertake to observe both the principles of scientific ethics and the regulations to prevent the transfer of armaments-related technology as well as to pay heed to the danger of any other illegal or undesirable transfer of knowledge. Furthermore, the Rules of Good Scientific Practice must be observed.

You and the applicant will, of course, be notified about the result of the selection meeting by email as quickly as possible. When receiving the information about the selection decision the applicants may request feedback on their applications that are rejected. If this is the case, you will both receive an additional communication about four to six weeks after the decision outlining the factors that led to the rejection. We should be very grateful if you would refrain from approaching headquarters with any queries until you have received this information.