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Freethinker Research Fellowships for International Students in Germany, 2018

The Volkswagen Foundation is offering Freethinker Fellowships to pursue research. International students are eligible to apply for this fellowship programme.

The offer is aimed at exceptional researchers who wish to move between established research fields and engage in risky science.

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The non-profit Volkswagen Foundation supports research projects in all disciplines. In the context of changing funding initiatives, it gives targeted impetus to science.

Scholarship Description: 

  • Applications Deadline: October 11, 2018
  • Course Level: Fellowships are available to pursue research.
  • Study Subject: Fellowships are awarded in all subjects areas.
  • Scholarship Award: A second funding period of two or three years is possible, whereby the total funding period (incl. the first funding phase) is a maximum of eight years. Prerequisite is one through the foundation carried out a positive evaluation and a clear perspective for the continuation of the position of Fellows from the host institution. Again, flexibility is given for the second phase, a change to another institution is possible. The funding for the second Depending on project-specific requirements, the funding phase ranges between 0.5 and 1 million euros, the total funding for both funding periods must not exceed EUR 2.2 million.
  • Nationality: International students are eligible to apply for this fellowship programme.
  • Number of Scholarships: Every year, 10 to 15 free-spirit fellowships are awarded. The number of permits is dependent the quality of the applications and the accuracy of the projects for the orientation of the Funding initiative.
  • Scholarship can be taken in Germany

Eligibility for the Scholarship: 

Eligible Countries: International students are eligible to apply for this fellowship programme.

Entrance Requirements: A free-spirit fellowship can apply for who identifies and knows what the goal is Research project corresponds to the specific orientation of the Freigeist initiative. The following formal requirements are also placed on the applicants:

  1. Promotion is at least one year and max. four years back (referring to the date of the exam [Disputation / Rigorosum] in relation to the deadline of the call for tenders).
  2. Integration into a university or non-university research institution in Germany with the beginning of the Fellowship.
  3. Already completed change of the academic environment and place, at the latest with the beginning of the Fellowship (Return to working context of the doctoral phase only in exceptional cases).
  4. Already completed stay abroad, at the latest integrated into the requested project.

Application Procedure: 

How to Apply: Please submit your application electronically via the application portal of the Volkswagen Foundationon. The following information is required: Forms filled out in the application portal with information on the applicant, the beneficiary of the grant (Destination institution), title, duration and legal explanation. Also for the cost plan, there is a Form (“Budget”) that you fill out online. Please pay attention to the personnel costs their average sentences stored in a pdf document. The following documents are in the application portal as attachments (pdf files, in English, if not stated otherwise):

Application cover sheet signed by the applicant (after entering all Generate data in the application portal; please print, sign and scan).

1. Cover letter with self-assessment “Why free spirit?” (Maximum 2 pages)
2. Summary of the project in German (maximum 1 page)
3. Summary of the project in English (maximum 1 page)
4. Clear, comprehensible and creative presentation of the project idea for interested people
5. Layman, z. Eg video, podcast, cartoon, newspaper article, etc. (maximum 2 minutes / 1 page).

Online Application

Scholarship Link