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 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. They should contact potential mentors (Local Hosts) among the researchers at the University of Konstanz in order to ensure appropriate affiliation. Support from the department strengthens the application.
  • 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 FAQs.


Call for applications open now. Deadline is June 13, 2017, 11:00 am (Konstanz time).

Please see the current Call for Application.

Applications should be submitted via our online application portal. Please find detailed information on the application process and and our FAQ here.

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 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. All eligible applications are forwarded to the Local Hosts for a first evaluation. Evaluation criteria are the quality of the proposal and the applicant's qualifications.

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 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, and quality of the research proposal and prospects for the proposed research.

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 decides which candidates will be offered the 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.