Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience 2018, Germany


August 31, 2018



Opportunity Cover Image - Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience 2018, Germany

Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience


In 2014 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) initiated the PRIME programme to support the international mobility of postdoctoral researchers by temporary positions at German universities in place of conventional stipends. The programme has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Union (EU). 1 After four selection cycles that were partially co-financed by the EU, DAAD has successfully established this funding instrument and will continue the programme in 2018 with support from the national funding provider, the BMBF. Postdoctoral researchers of all nationalities, who see their long-term career perspectives in Germany, will be given the opportunity to combine employment at a German university with a research stay abroad. The possibility of continuous coordination with the German host institution shall ensure an efficient reintegration following the research stay abroad.


The support is provided for 18 months, of which the first 12 months have to be spent abroad and the remaining six months in Germany (reintegration phase).


Funding is provided through an 18-month temporary job position at the selected German university. The position will be remunerated according to the appropriate rate for postdoctoral researchers (according to the German pay scale “TV-L E13”). The specific level within the salary group “TV-L E 13” will be determined by the employing universities on the basis of the previous work experience of the fellows. DAAD will provide the respective universities with a grant agreement to cover the costs for the regular salary and an additional monthly expatriate allowance for the research stay abroad. 3 An additional lump sum travel allowance in accordance with DAAD rates for the selected candidate and, if applicable, accompanying spouse or partner (within the meaning of the German law on civil partnerships) and children will be paid directly by DAAD. Successful applicants will be invited to an orientation seminar before the start of the fellowship, together with current fellows, alumni and representatives of other funding institutions and possibly other researchers from science and business. The seminar will presumably take place in Bonn on 10-12 March 2019. Applicants are asked to save the date but not to make any travel arrangements before receiving a letter of acceptance.


Eligibility to the programme is defined by four criteria:

  • Applicants must have completed their PhD before starting the fellowship;
  • Applicants must comply with the programme’s mobility rule, i.e. they are free to choose any country (except Germany) as destination for their research stay abroad, provided they have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country for more than 12 months in total during the three years preceding the application deadline of 31 August 2018. 4 Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention is not taken into account;
  • Applicants who are already permanently employed by the research milieu where the research training activities are planned to take place and that is recruiting them may not be supported;
  • Applicants must accept that the research stay abroad and the return phase to Germany are both mandatory parts of the programme

Other Application Conditions

  • Appropriate host institutions in Germany and abroad must have been identified at the time of application. The contact with these institutions and the agreement on modalities are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • The employing host institution in Germany has to be a university.
  • The German host university must confirm in writing that the postdoc will be employed for the whole funding period, should the application be successful. The necessary means will be made available to the university through separate DAAD project funding. The university will appoint a mentor/scientific host, who will inform the PRIME scholar during his/her stay abroad about developments at the institution and answer his/her queries to ensure a successful reintegration at the end of the period abroad. It is expected that the German university indicates at the time of application the possibilities for longer-term research perspectives at the institution following DAAD funding.6 On its website ( DAAD offers a list of PRIME contacts at German universities who can answer questions from potential applicants concerning their institution. Universities that did not specifically nominate a PRIME contact person are equally eligible as hosts.
  • The foreign host institution shall be selected according to the scientific preferences/needs of the applicant and the research project. It can be a university, a non-university research institute, or an industrial research entity. It must be willing to support the postdoc in the realization of her/his research project and provide the necessary infrastructure. The type of support (office space, access to instruments, laboratories, libraries etc.) has to be defined and a mentor/scientific host appointed at the foreign host institution. DAAD cannot make funding available to the foreign host institution. 
  •  The starting date of the fellowship must be between 1 April 2019 and 1 August 2019. A postponement is only possible under exceptional circumstances (e.g. pregnancy, motherhood, parental leave) and has to be approved by DAAD.
  • The “Rules of good scientific practice” and the ethical guidelines of the programme must be accepted.

Application Documents

The application form will be available at the application portal. To get to the portal please click on Stipendiendatenbank für Deutsche, fill in “Fachrichtung” (subject of your research), “Zielland” (country of the period abroad) and Status “Promovierte” (position) and select the programme. Please mind the instructions on registering on the portal, choose English as portal language and activate, if necessary, the compatibility view of your browser. Once the application form has been completed, all other application documents (except the letters of recommendation) can be uploaded. All documents for upload must be in pdf format. If not stated otherwise, all documents must be submitted in English as the evaluation and selection process will be conducted by international reviewers and an international committee. 

 The following documents have to be submitted:

  • completed application form;
  • curriculum vitae with no chronological gaps and in tabular form in accordance with EU standards;
  • the short summary of the research project with a clearly recognizable working title and an indication of keywords. The summary should enable the assignment to a specific subject area and be suitable for use as preliminary information for potential reviewers. The length of the summary should not exceed 2,000 characters (including spaces);
  • a detailed and independently prepared research proposal upon which both the German and foreign host institutions have agreed. In the evaluation of the proposal particular emphasis will be placed on the quality of the research plan. It should detail the preliminary work undertaken and the relevance of the topic for research, and explain why the chosen institutions are especially suitable for the realization of the planned project. The strategy for the investigation of the scientific problem should be readily understandable and the choice of methods and work equipment be adequately established. Please provide a precise description and a clear presentation. The total length of the research proposal should not exceed 20,000 characters (including spaces, but not bibliographical references). Bibliographical references may be included as an annex;
  • time schedule for the realization of the planned work abroad and in Germany;
  • invitation letter from the German host. This letter should detail why the university is particularly suitable for the execution of the research project, the support to be provided, the name(s) of the mentor/scientific host and possibly also the longer-term research perspectives at the institution. The scientific host and the mentor may also be the same person;
  • binding declaration from the German host university (form 1), to provide a temporary position for the funding period at the rate appropriate for postdocs at the institution within the framework of project funding from the DAAD, should the application be successful;
  • invitation letter from the foreign host. This letter should detail why the institution is particularly suitable for the execution of the research project, the support to be provided and the name(s) of the mentor/scientific host. The scientific host and the mentor may also be the same person;
  • degree certificate for the most recent academic degree (usually the PhD). If the document is not available in English or German, it must be translated. If the PhD has not yet been completed, the certificate of the master’s degree (or an equivalent document, e.g. diploma) must be submitted and an additional statement by the supervisor is required, stating when successful completion of the PhD is expected; In the application process, a pdf copy of the degree certificate will suffice. However, before staring the fellowship successful candidates must provide a certified copy of the degree certificate.
  • publication list categorized according to (a) publications in peer review journals, (b) specialist books, and (c) conference proceedings and indicating the type of publication (original paper, review etc.). For each publication the state of publication (published, in print, accepted, submitted) and complete bibliographical information (including the first and last page number) must be provided. Where available, please include electronic links;
  • list of the most important publications (maximum of three) and the reasons for their selection (importance of the scientific results, significance for the research project, new methodological approach etc., no more than 3.000 characters including spaces in total). Please comment on your specific contribution if several authors are involved. For each of the three publications the electronic link (URL) must be provided. If the publications are not available online, single articles can also be uploaded. However, please refrain from uploading entire monographs/volumes as part of the application;
  • short summary of the doctoral thesis (up to 7.000 characters including spaces);
  • supplementary information (if applicable) on other scientific, professional and social activities, and possibly on your personal situation, as far as this information might be relevant for the assessment of the proposal. The selection criteria listed below may be used for guidance;
  • completed and signed form 2 (Ethical-Issues-Table) 7 for checking whether ethical standards for scientific research might be affected by the planned research project. This document is a mandatory self-declaration and has to be submitted by every applicant;
  • language certificate for the period abroad; the language skills must be sufficient to successfully conduct the research project at the host institute. However, an additional certificate for English is not required on the level of postdoctoral funding. For all other languages relevant to the research project proof is required, unless one of the following exceptions applies:
  1. the applicant is a native speaker of the language in question
  2. the applicant has studied in the respective language (this must be confirmed by adequate documents);
  3. since the beginning of studies the applicant has lived for at least one year without interruption in a country where the respective language is the official language.
  4. since the beginning of studies the applicant has worked for at least one year without interruption in a working/research environment in which the respective language has been the regular working language (this must be confirmed by adequate documents).

If one of the above-mentioned exceptions applies, please be sure to upload a separate document in which you briefly explain why an additional language certificate is not necessary and how language proficiency is proven by other documents in your application, such as the CV. This will facilitate the formal examination of the application. It is not sufficient that the doctoral thesis or publications have been written in the respective language or that the language was used at international conferences; An official language certificate for the respective language will be accepted. It should not be over three years old and rate all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) 8 . Certificates of participation in language courses will not be accepted, if no rating for the above-mentioned language skills is indicated. If the language at the host institute is not the official language of the host country, a certificate for the working language at the institute is sufficient. In this case the foreign host must confirm the working language at the institute in the letter of invitation.

  • A certificate for the knowledge of German9 is required unless one of the following exceptions applies: i) the applicant comes from a country where German is the official language; ii) the applicant has lived for at least one year (without interruption) since the beginning of studies in a German-speaking country; iii) the German host confirms that knowledge of English is sufficient to realize the planned project. In this case no additional language certificate is required.
  • two recent letters of recommendation that should in particular refer to the applicant’s personal and scientific suitability for the planned project. Where possible, one letter of recommendation should be submitted by the supervisor of the doctoral thesis. Following registration in the portal applicants must generate and download the respective form in the section "Personal Funding"  "Gutachten anfordern". Applicants must send this form to their referees. The letters of recommendation consist of the generated form and a freely-worded letter of reference. They must be sent by post in a sealed envelope to DAAD (Section ST43/PRIME), either by the referee or the applicant. 

With the exception of the letters of recommendation (see section 17.) all documents have to be uploaded in pdf format in the application portal. The letters of recommendation have to be sent by post to DAAD: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Section ST43 / PRIME Kennedyallee 50 53175 Bonn Germany

DAAD reserves the right not to consider incomplete applications. The responsibility for submitting a complete application by the end of the deadline lies with the applicants.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
May 14, 2018
Link To Original