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Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships

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Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships for experienced researchers are the instrument with which the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables highly-qualified scientists and scholars from Germany who completed their doctorates less than twelve years ago1 to spend extended periods of research abroad (6-18 months; may be divided up into a maximum of three blocks). Candidates are expected to have their own, clearly defined academic profile. This means they should usually be working at least at the level of a Junior Professor or Junior Research Group Leader or Habilitand or be able to document independent research work over a number of years. Scientists and scholars from all disciplines may apply for any target country abroad.

The academic host must be an academic working abroad who has already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation. Candidates choose their own research projects and their host abroad and prepare their own research plan. Details of the research project and the time schedule must be agreed upon with the prospective host in advance. The duration of the research fellowship (6-18 months) may be divided up into a maximum of three visits lasting a minimum of three months each. As a rule, no more than 36 months may elapse between the beginning of the first stay and the end of the last stay. Short-term visits for study and training purposes or for attending conferences are not eligible for sponsorship.

The Humboldt Foundation expects the host to contribute to financing the research fellowship. Over the duration of the fellowship, the host’s contribution should account for approximately a third of the total fellowship amount. However, host institutes in developing and threshold countries and in other selected countries (c.f. list of countries) are not required to make a financial contribution. If a host institute in another country experiences obvious difficulties in raising its contribution, the Humboldt Foundation may accommodate this particular case.
Candidates are selected solely on the basis of their academic record. There are no quotas for individual disciplines or countries. The most important criteria for assessment are:

-academic publications in internationally-reviewed journals and for publishing houses;
-statements on the candidate’s academic profile and potential contained in the expert references submitted by the candidate from various institutions and, if possible, various countries;
-the academic quality and feasibility of the research proposal submitted by the candidate.

Applications are assessed by peer reviewers appointed by the Humboldt Foundation. The final decision is taken by a committee composed of academics from all disciplines.

A stay abroad in the framework of the Humboldt Foundation’s research fellowships for German junior researchers does not count towards the so-called “Twelve-Year Rule” in the University Framework Law.

Fellowship specifications

The provisions of the fellowship comprise a basic monthly sum and a monthly foreign allowance which may differ according to location and marital status. Marital and child allowances may be paid in addition. An unmarried, 33-year old fellow in the United States, for example, receives between 2,500 EUR and 2,800 EUR per month, depending on location, in France approximately 2,300 EUR, in Japan approximately 2,900 EUR, in Poland and China approximately 2,500 EUR. The estimated amount of the fellowship can be calculated with the “fellowship calculator” on our homepage (Stipendienrechner).

Additional benefits:

-return travel expenses within reasonable limits (also for marital partners and children, where applicable);
-reintegration allowance for attending job interviews or participating in important career-promoting conferences in Germany;
-a return fellowship may be granted for a maximum of 12 months immediately following the research stay abroad. It allows fellows to continue cooperation with their Humboldt hosts by carrying out an international research project in association with a research institution in Germany;
– alumni sponsorship following a successful stay abroad and return to Germany, especially financial assistance for participating in conferences and for short-term visits from or to Humboldt Guest Researchers worldwide.

Application requirements

1. Doctorate or comparable academic degree, completed less than twelve years prior to the date of application.
2. The candidate’s own research profile, documented by a comprehensive list of academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and/or by publishing houses.
3. Confirmation that research facilities are available and a detailed expert’s report from an academic host (Humboldt Guest Researcher) at a research institution abroad. On request, the Foundation will confirm whether the prospective host is a guest researcher previously sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation and/or whether there is a former Humboldt Guest Researcher cooperating with the designated institute.
4. Expert references from important collaborative partners and/or academics from the candidate’s own institute and, if possible, from abroad.
5. Language skills: good knowledge of the language spoken in the host country or at least a very good knowledge of English are required

Potential applicants who have been outside Germany for more than six months at the time of application should check with the Humboldt Foundation ( whether formal requirements have been met before submitting their application documents.
Academics who have already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation are not eligible to apply for the Feodor Lynen Programme but should turn to the Foundation’s Alumni Programme for support for further research visits.


Application form and Guidelines (DOC)

Research area index (PDF)

Sample publication list (PDF)

List of questions for the host’s statement and confirmation that research facilities are available (DOC)

List of questions for expert reviewers (PDF)

Application procedure

Applications may be sent to the following address at any time:
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Selection Department
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany
Email advisory service:



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