Postdoc funding

Many third-party funding institutions target emerging academics with special funding programmes. Depending on the career stage, various options can be selected as solid foundation for scientific independence and further career paths. Examples are the acquisition of a so-called “own position” (temporary position as principal investigator) in a research project, the management of a junior research group or establishment of networks, cooperations and mobility programmes in Germany and abroad. From the variety of offers, we have compiled the most important funding sources and programmes.

Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators and Postdoc Fellowships

The acquisition of your own third-party funded project is of great importance for your scientific career path. At the same time, you can also apply for a temporary position as principal investigator or a fellowship and thus obtain basic funding for postdocs, usually for two to three years.

Note: Please contact the Research Service (Referat Forschungsförderung) of the University of Siegen for advice on DFG programmes for young researchers. A proposal for an Individual Research Grant must be submitted to the Research Service for review prior to submission. Please also note the internal procedures for submitting proposals.

Scientific Career before Appointment for Professorship

The DFG’s Heisenberg Programme is aimed primarily at excellent researchers who have already obtained the qualification for a professorship appointment and wish to prepare themselves for this position with a high-profile research project and further enhance their academic reputation. In the Heisenberg Programme, the following options are available: Heisenberg position, Heisenberg rotation position, Heisenberg professorship and Heisenberg fellowship.

The Lichtenberg Endowed Professorship of the Volkswagen Foundation is intended to establish the funding instrument of endowment as sustainable means of financing outstanding scientists on professorships.

Mobility Programme, Networking and Cooperations

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowships (PF) of the EU promote the individual career development of experienced researchers through training, research and international or intersectoral mobility. Competence enhancement on a broad basis shall pave the way to a successful career for the researchers.

Humboldt Research Fellowships of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enable researchers at different stages of their career to carry out their personal research project – in cooperation with a host research institution of their choice in Germany.

The DAAD promotes the international exchange of students and scientists. In the DAAD scholarship database you will find DAAD scholarships for stays abroad during your doctorate, but also scholarships from other funding institutions.

The Heinrich Hertz Foundation supports scientific exchange by awarding scholarships for international research stays to scientists working in North Rhine-Westphalia who are planning a research project abroad, and to scientists working abroad who are planning a research project in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Walter Benjamin Programme of the DFG enables researchers to conduct a research project abroad.

To intiate international collaborations, the modules “Exploratory Workshops”, “Trips Abroad” and “Guest Visits” can be applied for at the DFG.

Scientific networks of the DFG enable a multi-year exchange across locations – including also researchers from abroad – on a specific topic.

The Scholarship programme of the Daimler and Benz Foundation supports selected postdocs, junior professors or heads of junior research groups. The annual funding amount of 20,000 euros per fellowship is granted for a period of two years and can be used to finance scientific assistants, technical equipment, research trips or participation in conferences.


Research Service
Foundations, Federal Ministries

Dr. Nadine Hoffmann
Phone: +49 271/740-5077

DFG, Foundations

Dr. Susanne Pütz
Phone: +49 271/740-4944


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Peter Stolpp
Phone: +49 271/740-4940

Federal and State Ministries

Dr. Clemens Stupperich
Phone: +49 271/740-4837