2-year Postdoctoral Fellowships are for all those in the early stage of their career who plan to develop and implement an independent research project.
The Zukunftskolleg provides them with a professional infrastructure and an appropriate workplace for conducting research. Each fellow receives an annual research allowance, e.g. for funding research assistants or equipment. Furthermore, the Zukunftskolleg gives financial support for start-up, consumerables and travel costs, and assists in developing academic skills.
Each fellow is a member of both a university department and the Zukunftskolleg. A mentoring committee supports each fellow in her/his career development. This committee consists of an experienced researcher from the Fellow’s research field within the university department, as well as an advanced Research Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg.
Fellows have a work contract with the University of Konstanz and are expected to have their place of residence in Konstanz. They participate actively in the regular weekly meetings (Jour Fixe) of the Zukunftskolleg and have an opportunity to teach.
Postdoctoral Fellows profit from all support measures available at the Zukunftskolleg:
- they receive an annual research allowance e.g. for funding research assistants or equipment
- they are eligible to apply for co-funding
- Senior Fellowships and the Mentorship Programme give them the opportunity to invite distinguished colleagues to Konstanz
- they can go on a temporary Research Visit abroad or nominate international early career researchers for a Research Visit at the Zukunftskolleg
- they are eligible to apply for funding for cooperative initiatives or for funding for particular career stages
- they receive non-monetary support like coaching, professional career counseling or in grant proposal writing
- they get financial support to organise and run a scientific retreat
In order to be eligible, candidates must fulfill all eligibility criteria:
- applicants must have a doctoral degree and have acquired two years of postdoctoral research experience at most
- applicants cannot hold an academic permanent position, a professorship, or have an habilitation or equivalent ("venia legendi")
- applicants must propose a research project that ties in with a discipline represented at the University of Konstanz
- applicants with their own position funded by another program, which can be transferred to Konstanz, are also eligible
If you have any questions concerning the eligibility criteria, please check our FAQ.
The following documents are required to submit the application:
- a complete application form
- motivation letter (1 page max)
- project outline (5 pages max)
- curriculum vitae
- copies of all relevant degree certificates
- writing sample (30 pages max)
- two letters of reference
The applications are selected in a multi stage process
- Eligibility check and pre-selection
- International external peer-review
- Decision by the recruitment committee
Since it is the community of fellows that makes up the Zukunftskolleg, applicants are assessed not only for their academic achievements, but also for their personal, social and method-related abilities. The selection of fellows is organized as a highly competitive process involving intra-disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary evaluation. Criteria include diverse knowledge and qualifications such as leadership and teamwork skills, teaching or management experience, mobility and independence.
The candidates’ achievements should be in line with their “academic age”, so that they have a realistic prospect of being appointed professors.
1. Eligibility check and formal pre-selection
In order to be eligible for application, candidates must fulfill all of the eligibility criteria listed above. Applications that do not pass the eligibility check will not be further considered. Subsequently, a first evaluation takes the quality of the proposal, the applicant's track record, and the suitability of the research proposal to the University of Konstanz into consideration.
Applicants are informed whether they have passed the eligibility check and whether their applications are forwarded for peer review.
2. International external peer-review
In the second stage, the best applications are forwarded to external experts who evaluate the research project and CV. Peer reviewers are distinguished experts in the same area of research as the proposals they assess, thus guaranteeing a high level of competence in the evaluation process. Peer reviewers are asked to comment on the quality of the research proposal, the long-term potential of the project, and academic performance, skills and competence relevant to an interdisciplinary setting.
3. Decision by the recruitment committee
In the final step, the recruitment committee discusses all peer-reviewed applications. Please note that the recruitment committee has access to all applications, even to those that have not passed the eligibility check. The Recruitment Committee will meet to decide which candidates will be offered the Postdoctoral Fellowships.
In order to follow up career reintegration after the initial fellowship, all 2-year Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to apply for external funding during their stay as well as for 5-year Research Fellowships.