Applications are invited for Fully Funded Volkswagen Foundation Freigeist Fellowships at Germany.
The Freigeist funding initiative provides an opportunity for outstandingly qualified, creative and inde- pendent early career researchers to conduct their own research. It aims to encourage exceptional research personalities to embark on visionary, risk-taking research projects at the intersections between established fields of research. The flexible funding scheme and clear time frame are designed to ensure maximum support for their self-chosen research topic and thus help them develop an en- tirely independent research profile.
A ‘Freigeist’ Fellow: for the Volkswagen Foundation this means a young researcher with a strong personality, a creative mind, an ability to identify and use freedom, dedicated to overcoming obstacles. A ‘Freigeist’ Fellow opens up new horizons and combines critical analysis with imagination and innova- tive solutions.
Depending on the nature of the Freigeist Fellowships project, up to €2,200,000 for two funding phases is available.
- The first funding phase can encompass either five or six years. This allows the Fellow to be hired as a W1 Junior Professor for the duration of the grant. It is expected that Fellows participate in academic teaching (including examinations), involving generally a teaching load of between two and four weekly hours per semester.
- A second funding period of two or three years is possible, whereby the total funding period (including the first funding phase) must not exceed eight years. The prerequisite is a positive evaluation carried out by the Foundation and a clear perspective for the continuation of the Freigeist Fellow’s position on the part of the host institution. Flexibility is ensured by allowing a change to another institution for the second phase.
To be eligible for Freigeist Fellowships, applicant must:
- Have obtained a doctorate not longer than four years but at least one year previously (with regard to the date of the defence relative to the deadline of the initiative)
- Ensure that the Fellowship will be integrated within a university or an extra-mural research institution in Germany
- Have already changed your 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
- Have completed a previously research sojourn abroad, at the latest integrated in the proposed research project
- The applicant’s personal qualifications
- The scientific quality and originality of the project
- Accuracy of fit between the project proposal, applicant’s personal profile, and aims of the fund- ing initiative
- A capability for independent research
- The potential for breakthroughs, new methodological approaches, interdisciplinary cooperation
- A constructive approach to possible risks
The following documents need to be uploaded as attachments (pdf-files; in English unless otherwise specified) within the Electronic Application System for Freigeist Fellowships:
- Cover letter including Self-Assessment: “Why Freigeist?“ (max. two pages)
- Summary of the project in German (max. one page)
- Summary of the project in English (max. one page)
- Illustrative and creative presentation of the project in layman’s terms, e.g. video, podcast, newspaper article etc. (max. 2 minutes/1 page)
- Project proposal (in sum not more than 15 pages, 12 pt, 1.5 lines) containing:
- Project description
- Teaching concept
- Reasons for choosing the host institution and description of research infrastructure
- Details of cooperation partners
- Information, if this or a similar application has been or will be sent to other funding organiza- tions
- Schematic working plan and time schedule
- List of references/bibliography
- Justification of budget (explanation for costs applied for) including host institution’s contribution
- Where applicable, quotations for equipment costing more than 10,000 Euro (one pdf-file if pos- sible)
- CV (including date of thesis defense or doctoral viva) and list of publications
- Copy of doctoral degree award/PhD certificate
- Binding declaration on the part of the host institution (English if possible)
- Optionally: up to three publications/manuscripts authored by the applicant (as separate pdf- files)