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.

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 website ▶ Research in Germany provides comprehensive information about other important funding organizations for postdocs. Also, a first overview regarding other funding options can be found in their ▶ brochure. In addition, there are 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.

An overview of financial opportunities for research projects by postdocs can be found ▶ here.

An overview of programs for women can be found ▶ here.

An overview of financing options (grants) during the postdoc phase can be found ▶ here.

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:

▶ ConYS
▶ Research Travel Grant
▶ Aspirant Grant

An overview of external research travel and visiting researcher scholarships can be found ▶ here.

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
▶ Carl Zeiss Foundation – „Nexus“ funding program for interdisciplinary postdoc research 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.

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.

You can find a comprehensive overview of the key figures in publicly funded research in the ▶ Funding Atlas 2021.

Comprehensive lists of further research-promoting organisations can be found here:

▶ Scholarship Database of the DAAD
▶ Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen
▶ Stifterverband
▶ German Education Server (Deutscher Bildungsserver)