For postdocs, the acquisition of research funding is an important building block for careers.

You will need financing for your cost of living as an academic. Instead of applying for a position at a university or research institute, you can also submit research applications to third parties or apply for a postdoc scholarship. There are positives and negatives to both types of funding, which you find here. For funding applications to third parties, the Service Centre for Research and Transfer can provide you with support.

You will probably need additional funding in order to help realise and publish your research: travel costs, the costs of hiring an assistant, printing costs, etc. As part of a large research proposal, you can apply for all of the expenses in your everyday life and your research (including employees, the costs of a conference, etc.). The Service Centre for Research and Transfer can help you. There are also a number of possibilities to apply for individual costs by different foundations. You can find a basic overview of these possibilities for support here.

If you need financial support for a stay abroad, you can apply for funding for research stays, conferences and lecturer exchanges. As an international postdoc, you can also apply for funding for a research stay in Germany.

If you have the goal of becoming a professor, you will also need to have had some success with your applications for outside funding in order to improve your chances on the job market.

Research scholarships for postdocs

Research scholarships are especially recommended for manageable research plans or for young scholars. The response period is often shorter than for project funding applications. Scholarships are typically tax-free, but also do not include any sort of social insurance - you must arrange health and pension insurance yourself and do not have a right to receive unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld I).

We have listed several scholarship donors for you, further ones can be found in databases.

Projects with your own position

As an academic with a PhD, you have the right to submit an application for a research project. You are eligible to apply for staff resources (e.g. for your own position), material resources and travel costs. A project application must be submitted via university. If the application is approved by external funding sources, the money will be managed by the university and you will be employed via these funds.

There are many different programmes through which you can receive funding. The Service Centre for Research and Transfer can provide you with a summary of national and international support programmes and can also help you with the application process.

We have compiled a first overview of well-known promotional programmes for the starting steps of your search:

Printing costs, travel costs and material resources aid

We have compiled a selection of foundations and promotional programmes for different demands for you. There are countless further possibilities which you can partly research in databases.

FSU-Scholarships for female Postdocs

Scientific careers may sometimes include transitional phases that are afflicted by funding shortfalls. This may be the case if the researcher's qualification process is affected by structural obstacles as, for example, by part-time employments and family-related interruptions. Women are disproportionately more affected by those difficulties than men.

The scholarship scheme aims at supporting female researchers with an outstanding doctorate during such transitional stages by providing them with project-related scholarships. Eligible for a scholarship are all those activities that contribute to expanding or sharpening your scientific profile in order to gain further qualifications or to improve your suitability for future appointments. The aim of your project should thus be to advance your academic career with targeted measures.

The scholarship scheme is part of the Thuringian Scheme for Young Female Researchers and Young Female Artists (2017-2020) funded by the Free State of Thuringia.

Please find more information about the scholarship for female Postdocs here.