Yes, neither German citizenship nor residency in Germany is a requirement. PRIME is open to both Germans and foreigners, no matter whether they are currently living in Germany or abroad. You are eligible to apply if you already hold a PhD or if you will have completed your PhD before the prospective starting date of your PRIME fellowship.
PRIME does not have age or time limits. However, when assessing an application, the scientific accomplishments, and the publication record, reviewers may take the applicant’s “scientific age” into consideration, i.e. the time since the PhD was completed.
You are eligible to apply for PRIME if you have received a DAAD scholarship in a different funding programme before. Previous scholarships may be evidence of excellence and scientific competitiveness. The main decision criteria are the soundness of your research project, your scientific accomplishments, your publication record, and your long-term career perspective.
Yes, you may apply again. Unsuccessful candidates receive anonymized reviewer’s feedback from us, and you should take the feedback into consideration when revising your project proposal. We recommend updated letters of reference, so that referees can comment on the latest version of your research project. We recommend you consult with us before reapplying since our committee rarely recommends a second application.
DAAD finalizes funding agreements with German universities only. Hence, the German host institution must be a university. However, we will not object if you conduct your actual research at a non-university research institute (e.g., Max Planck Institutes, Helmholtz Centres, Fraunhofer Institutes, Leibniz Institutes) in coordination with a university. Please discuss any such arrangements directly with your German host.
You should choose the German host university that provides the best research environment for your project, so your home university may be a convincing choice. Please keep in mind though, that reviewers look for a certain degree of independence when assessing a postdoctoral application. Moving on from your PhD supervisor and changing institutions may be a wise option to demonstrate scientific autonomy.
It is your responsibility to locate a German host university. You can check the website as a directory for your specific subject-area in Germany. Additionally, we provide a list of universities that nominated a contact for PRIME on our website www.daad.de/prime/contacts. Please be aware that all German universities are eligible as host institutions.
No, the 18-month funding duration in PRIME consists of a 12-month research stay abroad and a 6-month (re)integration phase in Germany. Both phases are mandatory and not interchangeable.
The only exception is being made for reasons considering the specific employment status. If a candidate is not yet employed within the German social security system, it may be necessary to spend one month in Germany first – to formally enter the German social security system – before starting the 12-month research stay abroad. In this case the (re)integration phase afterwards will only consist of five months. Thus, the regular funding cycle of 12+6 months can be adapted to a funding cycle of 1+12+5 months, if required by the employing German university and the social security status.
In general, every foreign country is an eligible destination for the 12-month research stay abroad, if you have not stayed in the respective country for more than 12 months in total during the three years preceding the application deadline. This may rule out your home country or the country where you currently reside as potential destinations for a research stay under PRIME.
In addition, there is one requirement that you must consider when choosing the country of destination: If the research stay abroad is to be undertaken in a country other than an EU member state, you must either be a national/resident citizen of the EU or have been continuously active in research for three years’ full-time in the EU, immediately prior to the time of recruitment.
No, the foreign host institution can either be a university, a non-university research institute, or an industrial research entity. The host must be chosen according to your scientific needs and preferences. Please be aware that DAAD cannot make funds available to the foreign host institution.
If research stays at two different institutions and/or countries are essential for your project, you may apply with a respective research schedule. You must obtain letters of invitation from both foreign institutions.
All necessary documents are listed in the call for applications. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete application and we reserve the right to exclude applications that are incomplete or were completed only after the deadline.
The deadline is on Wednesday, 31 August 2022, and the application portal closes at 11:59 pm CET (23:59 Uhr MESZ) on that day. Do not to wait until the very last day (or even the last second) to submit your application, as we cannot guarantee an unrestricted portal access if too many users log in simultaneously to file an application. We will not be able to re-open the application portal after the deadline.
You must have completed your PhD before the prospective starting date of your PRIME fellowship. If you cannot provide a PhD certificate yet, your doctoral supervisor must confirm – either in the letter of recommendation or in a short separate statement – when completion of the PhD is expected.
We strongly encourage candidates who have completed their PhD at the time of application.
It is your obligation to submit a complete application before the deadline. The absence of documents that you hand in yourself (e.g. CV, research proposal, time schedule, ethical issues declaration etc.) will lead to exclusion. This includes letters of invitation from the foreign and German host institutions (incl. form 1 and form 2), which are essential documents for your application.
Since the letters of recommendation must be sent to DAAD by post (usually directly by the referees), we allow for some delay and will not automatically exclude an application.
Your language skills must be sufficient to successfully conduct your research project abroad and in Germany. In general, you will need a proof for all languages relevant to your research project unless the language in question is your mother tongue or one of the exceptions listed in the call for applications does apply.
Knowledge of German may not be necessary if your German host confirms that English is the institute’s working language, and German is not otherwise required by the topic of your research project. The same holds for foreign host institutes in non-English speaking countries.
An additional certificate for English is not required.
The curriculum vitae should be prepared in a tabular form in accordance with EU standards. We recommend using the template provided by europass https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents/curriculum-vitae to make sure that your CV will meet the requirements. Please ensure that your CV does not contain any chronological gaps.
Providing a photo along with an application is very common in some countries but inadmissible in others. We do not need a photo but will not exclude an application that comes with one.
The invitation letters should be signed by the prospective mentors / scientific hosts. Generally, the host researchers should be the perfect match to your research project, provide access to the research infrastructure and be willing to mentor you. Your host at the German institution should be in touch with you regularly to inform you about developments at the institution and to ensure a successful reintegration at the end of the period abroad.
The binding declaration of the German host university must be signed by an authorized university official.
The DAAD online application portal is the only way to submit your application. All documents have to be uploaded there, with the letters of recommendation being the only exception.
Following registration in the portal you must generate and download the letter of recommendation form in the section "Personal Funding" → "Gutachten anfordern". This form must be sent to your referee. The letter of recommendation consist of the generated form and a freely-worded letter of reference. They must be sent by post in a sealed envelope to DAAD (Section ST43/PRIME), either by the referee or the applicant.
You must start your fellowship between 1 June 2023 and 1 November 2023. Further postponement of starting dates is decided case-by-case after the selection process and is granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Every application will first undergo a formal examination (eligibility check, completeness, compliance with deadline etc.). We expect to inform all applicants in October 2021 whether their proposals are being forwarded to reviewers or were excluded for formal reasons.
Each proposal will be sent to two external reviewers whose expertise corresponds to the proposed research topic. External reviewers will be recruited among scientists from all over the world.
An interdisciplinary selection committee which adequately reflects the disciplines of the applicants will then be responsible for the final rating. This will result in a ranking list, according to which successful candidates and reserve candidates will be identified, taking into account the available funding.
The criteria for evaluation are (1) the achievements of the applicant to date (scientific and other qualifications) and (2) the quality of the proposed project and the consistency with long-term career planning.
Our evaluation forms include a checklist and a self-declaration in which reviewers have to indicate if a potential conflict of interest exists. If so, a scientist will not be able to serve as reviewer.
The selection committee meeting is scheduled for February 2023, and we will inform applicants by March 2023. Successful candidates are invited to an information seminar in March/April 2023. Please keep this date in mind.
No, PRIME is strictly oriented on DAAD’s principle to provide funding for the best candidates.
The funding ratio depends on the total number of applications and the available funds. The success rate has been ~12 % lately.
The position of a PRIME fellow will be remunerated according to the level set by the German pay scale “TV-L E13”. The exact amount depends on the personal circumstances. Expect a salary range of € 4,000 - € 5,000 per month pre-tax, plus approximately € 1,200 - € 2,000 per month expatriate allowance during the 12 months of your research stay abroad. DAAD will provide the employing German university with a grant agreement to cover these costs.
Furthermore, as a PRIME fellow you will receive a lump sum travel allowance depending on the country of destination. This is the only payment that fellows will receive directly through DAAD.
There is no extra family support for PRIME fellows available through DAAD, but since funding is provided via a work contract there are usually deductions from your income tax that take into account your family situation.
The decision on the entitlement to state-funded child benefits (“Kindergeld”) rests with the respective German authorities.
No, PRIME funding covers the costs for an 18-month temporary position, but the German and foreign host institutions are expected to provide the necessary research infrastructure.
As a PRIME fellow you will be eligible to apply for extra support within DAAD’s programme for . However, this programme is entirely separate from PRIME and requires a completely new application.
Yes, DAAD can cover up to 10,000 euros in additional costs to ensure that chronically ill or disabled PRIME fellows have equal access to research opportunities abroad. We individually assess and determine the amount of support on request of the host university.
You may not receive another salary or scholarship from a different funding provider. However, PRIME does not cover additional costs for research infrastructure/equipment or travel expenses for conferences and visits to cooperation partners. Therefore, you may apply for, and receive funds for that purpose.
In case your research project specifically depends on such additional support, you should make very clear in your application that such additional sources are secured. If reviewers have doubts regarding the feasibility of your project, they might question a successful outcome of your fellowship period.
No, we will issue a letter of award to successful applicants but cannot provide additional financial support for visas to Germany or the foreign host country.
It is a fellow’s obligation to obtain the correct legal immigration status in the country of destination. Do not enter a country on a visa that does not provide the legal basis for your research stay (e.g. tourist visa or other short-term visitor visas), as this may lead to detention, deportation, or even a ban to re-enter a country.