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Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutions in Germany

Fellowships to USA Postdoctoral Candidates for Humanities
Research at German Universities and Institutions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Volkswagen Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Fellowships to USA postdoctoral candidates employed at universities for research projects in the humanities fields at universities and research institutions in Germany. Funding is intended to strengthen global academic relations and allow researchers to take advantage of interdisciplinary scholarly discussions and networks. These studies can either be undertaken at a university or research institute of the candidate’s choice, or at a cooperating institute. The fellowship primarily funds projects in the humanities, but candidates from social sciences, with very close thematic relation to the humanities are also welcome to apply.

Through these fellowships, junior scholars are offered a chance to:

- Pursue research in the humanities in an attractive international environment,
- Take advantage of interdisciplinary scholarly discussion and research networks,
- Use local libraries, archives, and other facilities, and attend international conferences, symposia, etc.,
- Gain experiences in a non-American university system by teaching courses, depending on the opportunities offered by the respective host institution.

The Foundation can only support projects in need of ongoing running costs in such cases where it is clear from the outset that on expiration of funding on the part of the Foundation, another party is prepared to assume such ongoing costs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160964

Number of Grants:

Funding can support up to 10-12 fellows each year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants cover a postdoctoral fellowship (2,100 Euros per month) plus international health insurance, visa, travel expenses (two return flights U.S.- Germany-U.S.), conference participation (preferably) in Europe, and rent/additional living costs (1,000 Euros per month).

Fellows can also apply for funds to cover small technical equipment (limited to up to 5% of the total budget), consumables (research and work-related), literature, etc. (Please note that non-personnel expenditure can add up to 10,000 Euros for a period of three months (i.e. up to 40,000 EUR for a fellowship of 12 months). In addition, the Foundations provide a maximum of 3,000 Euros for administrative costs for the host institution/department as well as a total sum of 10,000 Euros for a workshop to be organized by the fellow.

Term of Contract:

The fellowships are usually granted for a period of 9 to up to 12 months, although in exceptional cases, a funding period of 18 months is also possible.

The grants will be awarded for the academic year 2019/2020. In general, the starting month for a fellowship is August or September. Alternative starting dates may be arranged upon consultation with the host institution after a grant has been awarded.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This call addresses promising scholars from the Humanities in their postdoctoral research phase currently based at academic institutions in the U.S. Scholars who work in an interdisciplinary field are especially encouraged to apply, if their project has a clear humanistic focus.

To be eligible, applicants should have finished their PhD after October 1st, 2013. As this call addresses postdoctoral candidates, the PhD must be completed by the time of application (i.e. by September 11th, 2018).

Please also note that, to be eligible under this scheme, candidates must have been based in the U.S. for at least two years directly prior to the application.

The Foundation can award grants to academic institutions only.

Please note that workshop funds cannot be used to cover honoraria for invited guests. Please also note that these fellowships do not cover employment of any support staff (e.g. research assistants).

The Foundation does NOT allocate funds for individual scholarships, i.e. general undergraduate or postgraduate studies! Junior scholars and scientists can only receive support in the frame of the Foundation’s funding initiatives. It is also not possible to allocate funding in the following cases:

- Supplements to travel costs or scholarships granted by another agency
- Congresses
- Costs of printing not associated with projects supported by the Foundation
- Acquisition, supplementation, or maintenance of collections – including exhibitions
- Construction and extension of hospitals and nursing homes
- Equipment to be used in therapy
- Development and testing activities involving scientific issues which have already been resolved
- Exploitation of patents
- Schools, preparatory courses and institutions for further education
- Start-up costs for scientific institutions associated with specific political, confessional or world views
- Global increases to budgets or making up for budget deficits
- Repayment of prefinance granted by another agency
- Profit-generating projects
- Charitable activities
- Private individuals

Furthermore, it is not possible to allocate funding for a project which refers to an already completed grant by the Foundation. Nor can the Foundation step in for other funding organizations which have ceased funding on their part, or support projects if the respective research area already receives adequate funding from other sources.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for applications is September 11th, 2018. Applications must be written in English and submitted to the Volkswagen Foundation electronically via the online application system.

The selection of candidates is jointly organized by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in a two-stage procedure. In the first step, all proposals submitted to the Volkswagen Foundation are reviewed and assessed by international experts to generate a shortlist of candidates, who are then invited to present their proposed project at a review panel meeting in New York. This forms the second step of the selection process and the basis for the final decisions on the applications. The personal presentations of shortlisted candidates are scheduled for March 2019.

Not Funded:


Application instructions:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply:

Dr. Anika Haverig
Phone: +49 (0) 511 8381-237

Kastanienallee 35
30519 Hannover

Please contact for any technical questions when using the electronic application system.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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