• Country: Germany
  • Scholarship Type: Merit-based
  • Offered by: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Institutions: 
  • Type: Fully funded scholarship
  • Degree Program: Postdoctoral, Research
  • Scholarship Amount: 2,670 to 3,170 EUR (2833 to 3364 USD) per month
  • Deadline: Year-round, evaluations take place in March, July, and November

Scholarship Description

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation offers the Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced and postdoctoral researchers. It is open to individuals of all nationalities in all research areas with the goal to support talented researchers with notable qualifications.

This fellowship supports research at all stages of the awardee’s career in conjunction with a German research institution. The foundation expects to approve a fifth or a quarter of all applications received.


  • Opportunity to benefit from research sponsorship in Germany early in academic career.
  • The Humboldt Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers enables research in Germany.
  • The monthly fellowship amount is €2,670.
  • Fellowships may last from 6 to 24 months.

Experienced Researchers:

  • Research sponsorship in Germany is available for those well advanced in their academic careers.
  • The Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers enables research in Germany.
  • The fellowship amount is €3,170.
  • Fellowships may last from 6 to 18 months, and can be divided into up to three stays within three years.

General Conditions:

  • In addition to the fellowship amount, personal support throughout the sponsorship is provided.
  • Flexibility in determining start date of the fellowship.
  • Prior to the research fellowship, intensive language course availability for the fellow and their marital partner.
  • Additional financial support available including family benefits, subsidies for private full health insurance, and allowances for travel expenses.

Alumni Programmes:

  • Continued contact and support after the research stay ends.
  • Flexible sponsorship measures to support Humboldtians throughout their career and future research collaborations.
  • Opportunities for a return fellowship or later visits to Germany.


Here are the requirements for interested applicants:

  • Not a German national or university graduate, unless you meet these criteria:
    • Resided abroad for over ten years
    • Intend to live in another country in the future
  • A strong connection to your home country if you have resided or worked abroad for over five years
  • Have not lived in Germany for more than six months within the 18 months leading up to the application
  • Not previously sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation
  • Completed a doctorate in the last 12 years
  • Completed a postgraduate degree in the last 16 years if doctorates are common in your country or field 
  • Possess extensive publications in academic journals and publishing houses

Courses applicable

The Humboldt Research Fellowship does not explicitly indicate any courses. It is open to researchers pursuing any topic and field as long as they meet the other requirements and criteria.

How to apply

Follow these steps if you meet the requirements for the Humboldt Research Fellowship:

  1. Pick two hosts in Germany and request a statement and confirmation for research.

They may be institutions or individuals.

  1. Create a user account on the official online platform.
  2. Attach the documents requested and submit the application.
  3. Wait for the written confirmation, which will arrive by email.
  4. Wait for the selection date once the committee has reviewed the documents.

The committee in charge of application reviews meets in March, July, and November. It recommends applicants submit their applications ahead of these months. Processing takes four to eight months.

Documents required

Below are the documents applicants must prepare. Take note that you must submit all the documents online.

  • Curriculum vitae with a maximum of two pages
  • Research outline with a maximum of five pages
  • Complete list of publications
  • List of key publications
  • Key publications
  • Doctoral certificate or other proof of completion of the doctorate
  • Confirmation that the applicant will complete the doctorate in six months, if not yet completed
  • Statement and confirmation of the availability of research facilities from the host
  • Two expert reviews
    • Postdocs: by the doctoral supervisor and another researcher.
    • Experienced researchers: by important collaborators and/or researchers.
  • German language certificate, if required
  • Publisher’s letter(s) of acknowledgment and/or acceptance of receipt, if required
  • Summaries or translations of key publications, if required

There are sample lists for the lists of publications and key publications available on the website.

Official Website



1.Is it possible to appeal a rejected application?

Unfortunately, the selection committee does not allow the appeal of decisions. It is, however, possible to reapply after improving key aspects of the original application. You may reapply after 18 months from the time of the first application.

2.When does the fellowship start?

Fellowships begin anywhere from two to twelve months after the selection meeting. If required, awardees must take a preceding language course.

3.Are there other opportunities for me if the Humboldt Research Fellowship has previously sponsored me?

While no longer eligible for this fellowship, you may apply for the alumni programs.

You can find full list of scholarships in Germany here.