Postdoctoral Fellowship

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.

Within the Synergy Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme we open the possibility to (academic) partners to apply. This programme allows two researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds to work on a single project, each contributing their own topical or methodological expertise, while having the opportunity to sharpen their individual research profiles. Each researcher will be awarded an individual Postdoctoral Fellowship.

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. Additionally, fellows of the Zukunftskolleg can be affiliated to the Clusters of Excellence at the University of Konstanz: "Politics of Inequality"and the "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour". Furthermore, the position for one Cluster-Zukunftskolleg Fellowship will be financed by the "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour".

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.

Support Measures

Postdoctoral Fellows profit from all support measures available at the Zukunftskolleg:

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible, candidates must fulfill all eligibility criteria:

– applicants should be in possession of a doctoral degree granted between October 16, 2017 and December 31, 2019. Earlier graduation dates can be accepted in case of maternity/paternity leave, or working contracts outside academia
– candidates must not hold a permanent professorship, or have a habilitation or equivalent (Venia legendi).
Candidates with their own position funded by another program, which can be transferred to Konstanz, are also eligible
– applicants must propose a research project that ties in with a discipline represented at the University of Konstanz. Applicants should contact potential mentors (Local Academic Partner) among the researchers at the University of Konstanz in order to ensure appropriate affiliation. Support from a department strengthens the application
– International experience in teaching or research, and a strong interest in interdisciplinary topics are desirable

If you have any questions concerning the eligibility criteria, please check our FAQ.

Selection Process

The applications are selected in a multi stage process

  1. Eligibility check and pre-selection
  2. International external peer-review
  3. 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.

Timeline Selection Process for Fellowships

  • 15 October 2019: Deadline in the calls for application for 2-year and 5-year Fellowships
  • 9 December 2019: First pre-selection and decision which candidates will be sent to external peer-reviewers. The candidates receive an information about the outcome per e-mail.
  • 23-24 January 2020:

    • Final decision on the winners of the 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowships
    • Decision on which candidates will be invited to the selection workshop in Konstanz

  • 12-13 February 2020: Final decision on the winners of the 5-year Research Fellowships

Follow-up Prospects

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.

Have a look at the career pathways of former fellows here.