Dear applicants for PRIME,
The first call for PRIME applications was announced in 2014. Interest in the first six application cycles in the years from 2014 to 2019/20 was very high and so was the number of applications we received. We are delighted that the programme is clearly in accord with the requirements of early-career scientists. However, due to limited funds, the high number of applications led to rigorous selection procedures. The average funding ratio for the previous six selection cycles was about 12-13 %. While this is rather low, one should keep in mind that PRIME offers a (temporary) position at a German university. When comparable researcher positions are advertised the number of applications per job offer is often considerably higher.
We hope that the fact that in 2019/20 the selection may once again be rigorous will not put you off. We recommend that you check carefully whether you fulfil the selection criteria listed in the call for applications before applying. If you only partially fulfil any criteria, you should as far as possible provide reasons for these shortcomings. Your referee may also be able to comment on these matters. In any case it is important that you highlight your strengths appropriately.
However, should you identify a considerable deficiency in your profile in comparison with programme specifications, we recommend that you discuss this with a scientist experienced in this area and subsequently decide whether it is worth submitting an application.
For your information we have put together some reviewers' comments, which refer to criticisms relevant for all disciplines.
If similar weaknesses were found in numerous applications, we have mentioned those several times so as to document their particular relevance.
We hope that this information is helpful.
With best wishes
Your PRIME team