Funding Opportunities and Grants The DAAD awards research grants to highly qualified university graduates and postdocs from abroad. But there are also numerous additional funding opportunities for postdocs in Germany. For instance, many of the major research institutions run postdoc grant programs aimed specifically at young international scientists and enabling them to realize their research projects.
Well-qualified postdocs with initial experience can develop their leadership qualities by heading independent junior research groups. For instance, the Fraunhofer Society’s “Attract” program and the programs of the Helmholtz Association and the Max Planck Society are designed for junior research group leaders, providing support usually for a period of five years.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a mediating organization for Germany’s cultural and educational policy, aims specifically at supporting scientists from abroad through research grants and awards. Consequently, the Humboldt research grants enable scientists to work at a German research institution. The Humboldt Foundation’s Georg Forster Research Grants offer special support for young scientists from developing countries and newly industrialized countries whose projects can contribute towards promoting the development process in their home countries.
Outstanding highly gifted young scientists from abroad can apply to the Humboldt Foundation for the Sofja Kovalevskaja award. As one of the most generously endowed research awards in Germany, it enables the award winner to build up a research group in Germany over a period of five years to carry out investigations on a topic of the winner’s own choice. The research budget can extend up to 1.65 million Euros. The Humboldt Foundation awards up to eight of these distinctions every two years. In addition, many of the company foundations provide research awards for young scientific talent.
The German Research Foundation (DFG) also offers postdocs a large variety of possibilities. They range from research grants to the financing of postdoc positions and culminate in the funding of one’s own research project in the prestigious Emmy Noether Program.