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.

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 acaemic 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.

Support Measures

Postdoctoral Fellows profit from

  • Co-Funding
  • Mentorship
  • Senior Fellowships
  • Scientific Retreat
  • Funding for Cooperative Initiatives
  • Funding for Particular Career Stages
  • Non-monetary Support

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Applicants must have a doctoral degree
  • Applicants cannot currently hold a permanent position as full professor, or the equivalent of the German venia legendi (“Habilitation”)
  • 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


Currently no call for applications - calls for applications are opened on a regular basis. Application in between calls is not accepted.

Applications should be submitted via our online application portal.

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

Selection Process

 The applications are selected in a two stage process

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

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.

There is no age limit, although 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 in the application section above.

Applications that do not pass the eligibility check will not be evaluated by peer reviewers. All eligible applications are forwarded to the Recruitment Committee for formal pre-selection. Criteria for the pre-selection are the quality of the proposal and the applicant's qualifications.

Applicants are informed whether they have passed the eligibility check and pre-selection, and their applications are forwarded for peer review.

2. International external peer-review

In the second stage, each written application is 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 proposal, the qualifications of the applicant and the long-term potential of the project.

Evaluation criteria include:

  • Academic performance
  • Skills and competence relevant to an interdisciplinary setting
  • Quality of the research proposal and prospects for the proposed research

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.