Early career researchers who have completed their doctorate may apply to a variety of European and German research programmes to finance their own research or development projects using external funds. If you wish to do so, the Research Services Division is the competent contact for you.
Continue reading below for an introduction to the topic:
- Start-up finance from the University (German only)
- German funding programmes
- European funding programmes
- Acquiring funding for professorships
The donor institutions and programmes below are particularly suitable for funding requests from postdoctoral ECRs. At the University, your primary contact is the Research Services Division, and the Graduate Centre and International Office will be glad to provide assistance. Please note that some of the sites linked to below are only available in German.
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
- Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
- Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (German) and Federal Institute for Culture and History of Germans in Eastern Europe: the Research Services website provides information on federal funding offers, as do the Research Services and Graduate Centre newsletters.
- Funding opportunities from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for postdoctoral ECRs, particularly the Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators Module and the Emmy Noether Programme
- Fritz Thyssen Foundation: project funding specifically for the humanities and social sciences
- The State of Bavaria provides ECRs with start-up finance, support for initiating research partnerships and the academic exchanges, e.g. by way of the BayIntAn, the Bavaria California Technology Center or the Bavarian Academic Center for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe programmes. Research Services and the International Office can provide more details.
- Gerda Henkel Foundation: funding programme in the field of historical humanities
- Robert Bosch Foundation
- Volkswagen Foundation
Under the EU's Horizon 2020 framework programme, ECRs have access to the following funding lines:
- Starting Grants of the European Research Council (ERC) for excellent ECRs with two to seven years of experience since completion of the doctorate who carry out pioneering research
- Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSC): supports mobility and career development across countries and sectors and aims at enhancing the attractiveness of academic careers.
Important funding lines are: structured training of doctoral candidates within Innovative Training Networks (ITN) backed by various European institutions; Individual Fellowships (IF) for experienced researchers to facilitate research visits in and outside Europe; Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) between academic and non-academic sectors and between EU and non-EU countries to facilitate knowledge transfer
Research Services will be happy to advise you on these programmes.
The Research Services Division is your first port of call for information on programmes geared towards securing funding for professorships (e.g. the Heisenberg Programme of the DFG or the Lichtenberg Professorships of Volkswagen Foundation).
To gain funding for professorships, the University usually has to give a guarantee that these posts will be made permanent and therefore require the approval and endorsement of the University Executive; as a result, such applications cannot be pursued by researchers alone.