Information from GAUSS & GAUSS Career Service

Volkswagen Foundation Freigeist Fellowship for 5 yrs (Deadline: 11 Oct 2018)

volkswagenThis year’s call for the Volkswagen Foundation Freigeist Fellowships is open until 11 October 2018.

The initiative focuses on early-career researchers from all disciplines. The aim of the Foundation is to facilitate the implementation of extraordinary research projects and to make a substantial contribution to the establishment of dependable career paths for the upcoming generation of researchers.

The main focus is on junior researchers (up to 4 years of postdoctoral experience) working at the borders of neighbouring fields or disciplines. The ‘Freigeist’ initiative offers freedom for creative thinking, whilst at the same time providing security for at least 5 years and in the long run the opportunity to establish a career within a scientific research organization or university in Germany.

A ‘Freigeist’ fellow: for the Volkswagen Foundation this means a young researcher with a strong personality, a creative mind, an ability to identify and use freedom, dedicated to overcoming resistance. If necessary, he or she will be a free spirit, enjoying the unexpected, even unexpected difficulties. A ‘Freigeist’ fellow opens up new horizons and combines critical analysis with imagination and innovative solutions. By thinking ahead the ‘Freigeist’ fellow will act as a catalyst in overcoming existing disciplinary, institutional and even national boundaries.


The funding scheme at a glance:


  • Purpose: To support junior researchers working at the borders of neighboring fields or disciplines and to offer freedom for creative thinking, whilst providing security for at least 5 years and in the long run the opportunity to establish a career
  • Duration: 5 years (+ 3 years extension)
  • Type of Funding: own position including further benefits (funding for communication of science, special family related benefits, training programs etc.)
  • Award: 1 million €
  • Eligibility: Outstanding junior researchers with a PhD maximum four years prior to application; linked to research institution in Germany; completed change of academic environment and research experience abroad
  • Deadline: 11 October 2018
  • Webpage