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Freigeist Fellowships for International Students in Germany, 2020

Volkswagen Foundation is offering fellowship for international young researchers in all disciplines. Ten to fifteen fellowships for researchers will be awarded per year.

The offer is aimed at excellent junior scientists who want to pursue exceptional, risky science between established research fields and pursue risky science.



  • Award
  • Application Process
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Volkswagen Foundation is providing Freigeist Fellowships for International Students in Germany to conduct their own research.

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The aim of the program is to encourage exceptional research personalities to embark on visionary, risk-taking research projects at the intersections between established fields of research.

The Volkswagen Foundation is the largest private research funder and one of the major foundations in Germany. It funds research projects in path-breaking areas and provides assistance to academic institutions for the improvement of the structural conditions for their work.

Application Deadline: October 15, 2020

Brief Description

  • University or Organization: Volkswagen Foundation
  • Department: NA
  • Course Level: P.HD Program
  • Award: Up to 1,000,000 Euro
  • Access Mode: Online
  • Number of Awards: Ten to fifteen
  • Nationality: International
  • The award can be taken in Germany
  • Language: English


  • International candidates are eligible to apply for the opportunity .
  • The ‘Freigeist’ scheme is deliberately open to all disciplines and topics.
  • Anyone can apply who identifies with the goals of a ‘Freigeist’ Fellowship and whose proposed research project fits in with the aims pursued by the Freigeist initiative. Candidates must, however, conform to the following conditions:
  • Their doctorate must have been obtained not longer than five years previously (with regard to the date of the defense relative to the deadline of the initiative).
  • The Fellowship must from the outset be integrated within a university or an extra-mural research institution in Germany.
  • Candidates must already have changed their academic environment and moved to a new location – at the latest when starting the Fellowship. A return to the working context of the doctorate will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
  • A previously completed research sojourn abroad, at the latest, integrated into the proposed research project.


How to Apply

  • How to apply: Interested applicants can apply online.
  • Supporting Documents: There are no supporting documents are required for this free study.
  • Admission Requirements: There is no specific admission is required to apply for this application .
  • Language Requirement: English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language.


The initial funding period is five years it is depending on the field of research and career experience, projects in a total amount of up to 1,000,000 Euro.

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