The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. Our research fellowships and research awards allow you to come to Germany to work on a research project you have chosen yourself together with a host and collaborative partner. As an intermediary organization for German foreign cultural and educational policy we promote international cultural dialogue and academic exchange. If you would like to become a member of the Humboldt Family, only one thing counts: your own excellent performance. There are no quotas, neither for individual countries, nor for particular academic disciplines. Our selection committees comprise academics from all fields of specialization and they make independent decisions based solely on the applicant’s academic record. We support people, not projects. After all, even in times of increasing teamwork, it is the individual’s ability and dedication that are decisive for academic success.
During their stay in Germany, the German Chancellor Fellows pursue research-based, self-developed projects at host institutions. They are supervised by hosts in Germany whom they select themselves and who have the necessary level of expertise to mentor the respective research topics. The projects should not only be of social significance, but should also have a long-term, publicly-visible impact. They should also be conducive to advancing fellows’ career development. While in Germany, fellows will be able to expand their specialist knowledge and gain new international experience whilst enhancing their intercultural skills and thus enabling them to develop into successful leaders. After the fellowship has ended, they act as intermediaries between their own countries and Germany. Alumni continue to be part of the worldwide Humboldt Network in which current and former German Chancellor Fellows have fostered a steadily growing network of international decision-makers, multipliers and thought leaders.
Position Roles & Responsibilities
The fellowship grant amounts to 2,150 EUR, 2,450 EUR or 2,750 EUR per month, depending on the applicant’s qualifications. The fellowship also includes a mobility allowance as well as a contribution to health and liability insurance.
The stay in Germany begins with a language scholarship for an obligatory two-month intensive German language course which takes place during August and September. Depending on the individual’s German language knowledge, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation may grant an additional language course in July or approve a reduction of the course. The German Chancellor Fellowship is granted for twelve months and starts in October with a four-week introductory seminar in Bonn and Berlin. This provides varied insights into the social, political, economic and cultural life in Germany. It is followed by eleven months of individual project work starting in November.
During the spring, a two-week study tour of Germany takes place. Other events within the scope of the fellowship include the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting with a reception held by the Federal President and a final meeting in Berlin which includes a reception at the Federal Chancellery. Fellowship extensions of up to three months are possible.
This fellowship program is under the patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and is financed by the Federal Foreign Office. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to 50 German Chancellor Fellowships every year – up to ten of which go to prospective leaders from each of the five eligible countries.
Eligibility & Qualifications
The applicant must be a national of the United States, the Russian Federation, The People’s Republic of China, Brazil or India.
Applicants must have a Bachelor’s or equivalent academic degree completed less than twelve years before the beginning of the fellowship (1 October of the year following application).
- initial proven leadership experience; applicants with a preponderantly academic background should have acquired initial leadership experience in addition to their own research activity
- German or English language skills
- a letter of motivation (approx. 2 pages)
- a project plan (approx. 3 pages); candidates must draw up their project plan independently and discuss it with their intended host prior to application
- a detailed statement, including confirmation of supervision, by the host in Germany
- two references by individuals qualified to comment on the candidate’s professional, personal and/or academic background
- Potential applicants who have been in Germany for more than six months immediately prior to the application deadline (15 September) may not apply.
Potential applicants who have already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation are not eligible to apply for one of the Foundation’s other fellowships but should seek support for a further stay in Germany from the Foundation’s Alumni Program.
Applicants are selected according to the following criteria:
- previous career and leadership potential
- significance of fellowship for further career development
- potential to build bridges between home country and Germany
- international outlook and future role as an international leader
- existing knowledge to help complete the project successfully
- relevance of the project for the dialogue of modern societies
How to Apply
Applications should be completed online.
The completed application form, including the necessary additional documents, should be submitted online by the application deadline. Visit the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s website (http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/buka) for further information on the online application process and all necessary documents as well as access to the online application system. A confirmation of receipt will be issued immediately after the application has been submitted. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their documents are complete. It may not be possible to include incomplete applications in the selection procedure. The host in Germany should send the confidential statement directly to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation by the application deadline at the latest.
The selection process consists of two steps: The most promising candidates are initially selected from all formally approved applications on the basis of the written documents, and invited to a selection meeting in Bonn. During an interview, the applicants present themselves and their projects to an independent selection committee which decides on how the fellowships should be allocated. A further selection tool involves a group discussion on an overarching topic of general interest.
Additional information on the selection process can be found in the FAQ section on the Humboldt Foundation’s website. The Humboldt Foundation will be pleased to answer any further questions about the German Chancellor Fellowship Program by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Deadline: The application deadline is 15 September of every year.