Funding Types of Support Postdoc Stipends

Postdoc Stipends


The funding instrument Postdoc Stipends has been suspended until further notice.



Postdoc stipends from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation are an instrument used to support highly qualified individual junior scholars with doctoral degrees in a research project for a limited period of time. These stipends are intended, for example, to enable scholars to familiarise themselves with a new field of research and/or to write a scholarly article for publication. Excellent postdoctoral students are to be enabled through a stipend to concentrate exclusively on a project of their choice for a maximum of one year. Projects intended solely for the preparation/revision of dissertations for printing are not supported.

An application can be filed in the following areas of support:

Funding is basically reserved for projects that are related to the promotion areas of the Foundation and have a clear connection to the German research system. This connection can be established either at a personal level through German scientists working on the project, at an institutional level through non-German scientists being affiliated to German research institutes or through studies on topics related thematically to German research interests.

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation also provides other stipends within the framework of special topical programs.

Applications for postdoc stipends
  • Basic information and conditions
    • To be able to apply for a postdoc stipend, the doctoral degree procedure must have been completed with the defense of the work (disputation) or doctoral viva (Rigorosum); a (preliminary) degree certificate is to be submitted.
    • The applicant should generally not have received his or her doctoral degree more than one or two years previously.
    • The planned project should generally comprise a maximum period of one year.
    • The research stipend should be associated with a scholarly project that is independent of any outside influence and be based on individual initiative and be carried out at a school of higher learning or at a non-profit research facility.
    • No stipends are awarded for doctoral dissertations or “Habilitationen” (post-doctoral research) or to complete such works to follow up support through other institutions; nor can stipends be applied for to support students at the bachelor’s or master’s level.
    • The foundation generally does not accept any applications for projects if applications are being filed with other institutions offering support at the same time to ease the burden on its experts assessing applications. An application that is refused by another institution can be filed with the foundation along with a note explaining why it was refused.
    • It is generally not possible to revise applications that have been rejected by the Foundation.
  • Suggested outline of the application
    • Application form (signed in the original)
    • Detailed description of the research project: topic, present state of research, preparatory work done including a list of the applicant’s publications, planned procedure, theories and methods, time schedule and work plan (around 10 pages)
    • Bibliography on the topic
    • Curriculum vitae
    • If applicable, an itemized budget for planned stays abroad or similar

    The application documents are to be sent as single copies (unstapled and unbound) by postal service.

    Applications may be submitted in German or in English.

  • Application deadlines

    Applications for stipends can be submitted at any time. An answer is generally provided within eight weeks.

  • Stipend amount

    The postdoc stipend is made up of a basic payment and additional payments.

    The basic payment irrespective of age is € 1,800 per month.

    To cover material and travel costs (e.g. for books, information visits to other working groups) directly connected to the academic work, a lump sum allowance of € 200 per month can be awarded as additional payment. Significant special expenses beyond this can only be considered if applied for in advance.

  • Travel expenses and increased cost of living

    A grant can be awarded for travel expenses to the place of the academic work up to the amount of the costs actually incurred, which should not exceed 2nd class for rail travel and economy class for air travel. Price reductions should be made use of wherever possible.

    In the case of travel abroad, the daily or monthly rates for the respective country of travel can be applied for as an allowance to defray overnight accommodation and meal costs.

    For continuing financial commitments, in justified cases (e.g. if the stipend holder cannot be accompanied by his or her family to the location of the academic work) an application can be submitted for the payment of an appropriate subsidy towards these commitments (e.g. rent) of up to € 200 per month.

  • Partial stipends and family-related benefits

    Partial stipends (at least 50%) can be awarded to give stipend holders the opportunity to take care of their children alongside their academic activity. The duration of the stipend is extended accordingly.

    Stipend holders can be paid an allowance in the form of a monthly lump sum (€ 400 for the first child, € 100 respectively for each additional child) for children up to the age of 18. If child benefits are applied for, copies of the birth certificates of the children are to be submitted. Children of life companions can only be considered if it is convincingly demonstrated that such were already living in the household of the stipend holder before the stipend was commenced (for example, verification from the local residents’ registration office).

    For funded stays abroad of at least six month, the costs for one home flight of the funded scientist whose child/children has/have stayed in the home country can be applied for.

    Child benefits are not included in the stipend. Such must be applied for at the employment office.

  • Health insurance, illness or accident

    The stipend holder shall be responsible for ensuring that he or she has adequate health-insurance coverage (including for foreign countries) during the period of the stipend granted. The foundation does not pay any subsidies or benefits in the event of sickness or accident.

  • Notice of grant, payment and accounting

    The foundation sets the amount of the stipend in each individual case in the form of a notice. By accepting the stipend, the recipient of the stipend recognizes the conditions, which are provided along with the notice.

    The stipend is paid out monthly in advance to the account named by the stipend holder, or to a university or institute, to be forwarded to the stipend holder. Disbursement of the stipend is subject to evidence being submitted of sufficient health insurance coverage.

    Additionally approved resources (e.g. to defray travel expenses, financial resources to defray increased costs of living) are only disbursed in response to a request – signed in the original – by the recipient or the office administrating third-party funds (state file numbers, account and bank information, internal accounting numbers). Funds can also be called up by sending the foundation a telefax or a pdf file attached to an e-mail.

    Rededication of resources as well as the use of approved resources to defray other expenses not stated in the application are subject to approved in advance by the foundation.

    After completion of the support, the foundation requires an informal report – in each case signed in the original – on what happened during and results of the stipend (around 5 to 10 pages) and account statement verifying the use of the resources. Accounts do not have to be rendered for the basic amount and if applicable the lump sum for additional funding. It must be confirmed that the stipend holder devoted himself or herself to his or her research project during the term of the stipend in accordance with the application. Accounts are to be rendered for any other additional allowances, e.g. to defray travel expenses. Any funds not used must generally be returned after review of the accounts showing how the funds have been used and request for such by the foundation.

    The account statement showing how the funds have been used must be backed up with verifiable receipts and documents. These should be kept, but not sent to the foundation unless requested to do so.

    The foundation expects that the results of the scholarly work will be published. The foundation does not assume any obligation with the approval of project resources, however, to provide funding to prepare and print publications. It is possible to file an application for a printing subsidy if this is necessary and the required support is not provided by another party.

    The foundation requests two offprints or specimen copies of any publications in connection with the project. The foundation assumes that the publications will contain a note that support was provided by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The logo of the foundation can be downloaded from the website for this purpose.

  • Legal conditions and obligations of the grant holders

    The postdoc stipend should be associated with a scholarly project that is independent of any outside influence and be based on individual initiative and be carried out at a university or at a non-profit research facility and also promote continuing educational training.

    Upon acceptance of the postdoc stipend, the foundation assumes, however, that the financial resources will be used for the intended purpose, that the stipend holder will devote his or her working time to the research task and submit a report after the end of the stipend. The foundation is to be informed if the basis for approval or the personal or financial conditions of the stipend holder or spouse change, the project is changed or if it is interrupted. The foundation retains the right to revoke the stipend if it turns out that statements made in the application documents are inaccurate or notifications have not been provided as required. The foundation furthermore reserves the right to adjust grants to changing conditions.

    The postdoc stipend is not tantamount to any employment or service relationship with the foundation. The postdoc stipend is being awarded with the expectation that the recipient will devote all his or her efforts to the chosen project.

    The stipend holder is not subject to statutory social security requirements. The stipend holder shall be responsible for ensuring that he or she has adequate health-insurance coverage (including for foreign countries) during the period of the stipend granted. The foundation does not pay any subsidies or benefits in the event of sickness or accident.

    The postdoc stipend is tax-free under the conditions laid down in § 3, section 44 German Income Tax Act (EStG). In cases of doubt, a binding decision will be issued by the fiscal authorities having jurisdiction over the stipend holder.

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