In providing Georg Forster Research Fellowships (HERMES) for postdoctoral researchers, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables highly-qualified scientists and scholars from abroad who are just embarking on their academic careers and who completed their doctorates less than four years ago1 to spend extended periods of research (6-24 months) in Germany.
The research fellowship programme is financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ) and co-financed by the European Union (EU) in the 7th Framework Programme.2 The programme is scheduled to run from 01/07/2013 to 30/06/2018. Applications can be submitted no earlier than 01.07.2013 until mid-2015 (exact date TBD).
Scientists and scholars from all disciplines from developing countries, emerging economies and transition states (excluding People’s Republic of China and India; c.f. detailed list of countries) may apply. The research outline must deal with issues of major relevance to the future development of the candidate’s country or region of origin.
The research outline is carried out in cooperation with academic hosts at research institutions in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their host in Germany and prepare their research outline independently. Details of the research outline including information on the intended duration of the fellowship must be agreed with the intended host before applying. Short-term visits for study and training purposes or for attending conferences are not eligible for sponsorship.
Candidates are selected solely on the basis of the evaluation of their academic qualifications. There are no quotas for individual disciplines or countries. A candidate’s academic eligibility is assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
- academic record and academic performance to date (mobility, determination, breadth of research activities, academic productivity)
- quality of key publications specified in the application (originality, degree of innovation,
applicant’s contribution in cases of multiple authorship)
- originality and innovation potential of the suggested research outline (significance for the advancement of the discipline, convincing choice of academic methods, prospects for
academic development of the applicant, clear focus and feasibility of realization within
the requested funding period and at the chosen host institution)
- the applicant’s future potential (academic potential, further academic development,
- Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed less than four years prior to the date of application. Candidates who have nearly completed their doctoral degrees are eligible to apply provided that they submit the manuscript of their dissertation or publications containing the results of their dissertation, however, at the earliest, 6 months prior to the completion of their dissertation.
- Academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
- Choice of a research outline of major relevance to the future development of the candidate’s country or region of origin
- Confirmation that research facilities are available and mentoring agreement and a detailed expert’s statement including a statement on ethical issues concerning the planned research stay by an academic host at a research institution in Germany.
- Expert reviews from the doctoral supervisor and two other academics qualified to give well-founded comments on the applicant’s qualification, preferably including reviewers not working at the applicant’s own institute.
- Necessary language skills: humanities or social sciences and medicine: good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the research successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English; natural sciences and engineering: good knowledge of German or English.
- Citizenship as well as principal place of residence and work in a developing country, emerging economy or transition state (excluding People’s Republic of China and India, c.f. detailed list of countries).
Potential applicants who have been in Germany for more than six months at the time of application are not eligible to apply.