Financing Your Research
Anyone wishing to work as a postdoc in science and research after their doctorate must first consider how to finance this qualification and research phase, which usually lasts three to six years.
Here we give you an overview of the possibilities of financing your research in the postdoc phase as well as an outlook on funding opportunities for the next career stage.
Financing your own position and research at KIT
At KIT, postdocs usually work as research assistants for a university chair, in a research group, or in a third-party funded project. This position can either be financed within the framework of a KIT position or by research funding from third-party sponsors (e.g. DFG).
Job vacancies for postdocs at KIT:
Job vacancies for postdocs can be found here in the categories of academic or scientific staff.
KIT Sponsorship Program for Postdocs (YIG Prep Pro):
Particularly qualified early-career researchers and young scientists with a doctorate who are pursuing an academic career can also apply for funding through the Young Investigator Group Preparation Program (YIG Prep Pro).
External Project Sponsorship for Postdocs:
For (prospective) postdocs there is also the possibility to finance their own activities (own position and research) through external sponsorship programs. One of the most prominent funding institutions is the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG) [German Research Association], e.g. with the grant lines DFG individual grants and DFG Walter Benjamin Program. The "Research in Germany” website provides comprehensive information about other important funding organizations for postdocs. In addition, there are special sponsorship programs for women, e.g. the Margarete von Wrangell Program or the Brigitte-Schlieben-Lange Program (for female early-career researchers or young female scientists with children).
KIT postdocs can make use of Open4Research to have access to timely information on the latest calls for proposals of national and international funding agencies in due time.
Financial Opportunities for Research Projects by Postdocs
In the following, you will find a selection of other important sponsorship institutions and programs that usually support a clearly limited research project at home or abroad:
- Andrea von Braun-Stiftung - Knowing about each other
- AXA Research Fund - Junior Research Fellowships
- Baden-Württemberg-Stiftung - EliteProgram for Postdocs
- Berlin Mathematical School (BMS) - Dirichlet Postdoc Fellowship
- Daimler Benz Stiftung - Scholarship Program for Postdocs and Junior Professors
- DECHEMA e.V. - Research Scholarships
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (P.R.I.M.E.)
- The Junge Akademie - Member cooptation
- Funds from the chemical industry - Liebig Fellowship
- Fritz Thyssen Stiftung - Project Promotion
- Fritz Thyssen Stiftung - Research Scholarships
- HIDA Trainee Network- Helmholtz-wide exchange program
- Human Frontier Science Program - Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Konrad Adenauer Foundation - Post Doctorate Sponsorship (Begabtenförderungswerk)
- Peter und Traudl Engelhorn Stiftung - Promotion of Life Sciences
- Society in Science -The Branco Weiss Fellowship
- Telekom Stiftung - Fellowship Program in the MINT Teaching Methodology
- VolkswagenStiftung - Experiment!
Postdoc programs for women
Financing Options (Grants) During the Postdoc Phase
In addition to the financing options mentioned above, there are a number of other sponsorship opportunities for specific needs in the postdoc phase (e.g. material resources, teaching activities, stays abroad, conferences and short trips). These grants can usually be combined with existing financing. Here is a list of important funding and sponsorship institutes
- Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds - Travel Grants
- Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard-Stiftung
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - Congress and Lecture Tour Travel Program
- Deutscher Akademikerinnenbund e.V. – Travel costs and printing grants
- Friedrich Stammberger Stiftung - Printing cost grants
- Hans-Böckler Stiftung - Maria Weber Grant for Junior Professors and Post Doctoral Candidates
- Joachim Herz Stiftung - Add-on Fellowships for Interdisciplinary Research
Research travel and visiting researcher scholarships
KHYS also supports you during the postdoc phase with the following sponsorship programs, which help you to establish and expand your (international) scientific and professional network:
An overview of external research travel and visiting researcher scholarships can be found here.
Sponsorship and Funding Opportunities with a View to the Next Career Stage
At the end of the postdoc phase, there are various sponsorship programs that enable outstanding early-career researchers and young scientists to take the next step in the scientific community, e.g. by independently leading a junior research group.
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Emmy Noether Program
- European Research Council (ERC) - ERC Starting Grants
- Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups
The Research Funding Office (FOR) provides detailed advice on the requirements to be met when applying for external funding/sponsorship instruments and provides expert support in applying for them.
Further financing programs for advanced postdocs can be found here.
At KHYS we regularly offer workshops for successful acquisition of third-party funding in the context of the KHYS Postdoc Office.
In addition, the Research Funding Office (FOR) supports you on your "Path to a Professorship”, e.g. by helping you prepare convincing application documents.
Awards and Prizes
Prizes for one's own research are not only a big plus in the academic resume, but usually go hand in hand with financial support. The Research Funding Office (FOR) advises and informs you about prize competitions at the international, national and regional level, and whether they are from the public or private sector.
A selection of prizes for postdocs can be found here.