DADD 2024 Post Doctoral Researcher International Mobility Experience Prime Funding Programme

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The DAAD PRIME program supports the international mobility of postdoctoral researchers by providing temporary positions at German universities. Postdocs aiming for long-term careers in Germany can receive funding for independent research stays abroad, with temporary employment at a German university. This grant also includes a mandatory return phase for reintegration into the German science system. The program seeks to enhance participants’ qualifications for continued scientific careers. It targets postdoctoral researchers with long-term career aspirations in Germany, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


  • Candidates must have an excellent scientific record, including at least one publication (coauthorship accepted) and must have completed their doctorate with excellent marks before the start of funding. If the doctorate is not graded, the DAAD selection committee will decide. Applications during the final stages of the doctorate are possible but not recommended.
  • Applications are accepted up to six years after the first doctorate, considering parental and care periods. Applicants must comply with the program’s mobility rule: they can choose any country (except Germany) for their research stay, provided they have not lived or worked there for more than 12 months in the three years before the application deadline of August 30, 2024. Time spent seeking refugee status under the Geneva Convention is not counted.
  • EU nationals, residents, or those with three years’ full-time equivalent research activity in the EU can conduct their research outside the EU. Others must stay within the EU for their 12-month “abroad” phase.
  • Applicants must express their intent to continue their research careers in Germany after the return phase if living abroad at the time of application.
  • Those with permanent employment at the prospective host institution for the intended research activity are not eligible.
  • Both the research stay abroad and the return phase in Germany are mandatory parts of the program.
  • Applicants must agree to the “Rules of Good Scientific Practice” and the program’s ethical guidelines.
  • Re-application is allowed once within two years after consultation with the PRIME team, with improvements clearly labeled in the project proposal and explained on an extra page.


  • DAAD provides funding for an 18-month employment contract at a German university, including a 12-month research stay abroad followed by a return phase in Germany. The research stay can include multiple research institutions in various countries.
  • The funding duration is 18 months: 12 months abroad and 6 months in Germany (12+6 cycle). Depending on scientific or legal requirements, alternative models can be approved by DAAD.
  • Integration into the German social security system is necessary for the research stay abroad, which may involve a 1-month initial phase in Germany (1+12+5 cycle).
  • Local statutory insurance determines the applicant’s status

Support: The DAAD will establish a grant agreement with the respective German university to cover the costs of the regular salary and the monthly expatriate allowance.

  • Salary: An 18-month temporary employment contract at a German university under the pay scale TV-L EG 13. The exact salary will be determined by the university based on the candidate’s previous work experience.
  • Expatriate Allowance: A monthly expatriate allowance for the research stay abroad, determined by the area classification of the destination and the fellows’ gross income.
  • Travel Allowance: Travel Allowance: The DAAD provides postdoctoral scientists with a lump sum travel support for PRIME Fellows. Spouses (by marriage or according to German civil partnership law) and children are also eligible if they accompany the fellow for at least one month during the research stay abroad. This travel allowance is not part of the grant agreement with the German university but is paid directly by the DAAD.


  • Applicants with above-average qualifications from all disciplines may apply.
  • Applicants must have completed their doctorate with excellent results before the funding begins. There are no restrictions regarding nationality or current residency, though restrictions may apply when choosing the destination country for the stay abroad based on nationality and place of residence (see application requirements).

Selection Process:

  • All applicants will be informed about the outcome of the formal eligibility check approximately six weeks after the application deadline. Applications that pass this check are independently reviewed by external experts in the relevant subject area. An interdisciplinary selection committee will then decide on the final ratings based on these reviews and create a ranking list. The number of successful applicants and reserve candidates is determined by available funds.
  • The selection process does not involve personal interviews and is based solely on the submitted documents Applicants will be notified of the outcome (funding, reserve list, rejection) around two weeks following the selection committee meeting. Approximately two months after selection, applicants will receive feedback summarizing key comments from the reviewers.
  • Successful applicants are invited to a virtual orientation seminar before the fellowship starts, where they will receive more information about the fellowship implementation process. Once successful candidates accept their fellowships, the DAAD will notify their German host universities, which will then apply for DAAD project funding to finance the fellows’ positions. Following DAAD approval, funding can start on June 1, 2025, at the earliest.

Schedule/Application Deadline:

  • Call announcement: May 2024
  • Application deadline: August 30, 2024
  • Selection results: mid-March 2025
  • Orientation seminar for new fellows: March or April 2025
  • Earliest starting date: June 1, 2025
  • Latest starting date: November 1, 2025

Application Documents

To apply, upload the following documents to the DAAD Portal:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. A chronological, tabular CV (e.g., EU standard format).
  3. A one-page career plan outlining how PRIME funding will advance your professional development.
  4. A short summary/abstract of the research project (max. half a page) with a working title and keywords.
  5. A detailed research proposal prepared independently and coordinated with the German and foreign hosts. The proposal should highlight the quality of the research plan, preparatory work, relevance of the subject area, and the suitability of the host institution. It should be 7-8 pages long (excluding references). Reapplicants must include a separate statement on improvements (1 extra page).
  6. A time schedule for the planned work abroad and in Germany (e.g., Gantt chart).
  7. A binding declaration from the German host university (Form 1 word/pdf) to provide a temporary position according to TV-L E13 within DAAD project funding.
  8. An invitation letter from the German host (Form 2 word/pdf), detailing the suitability of the university for the project, the support provided, and the mentor’s name.
  9. An invitation letter from the foreign host, detailing the institution’s suitability, support provided, and the mentor’s name.
  10. Certificates of the two most recent academic degrees (usually doctorate and master) with transcripts. If no transcript is available, provide an explanation. If documents are not in German or English, provide a translation. If the doctorate is incomplete, a statement from the PhD supervisor is required.
  11. A publication list categorized by peer-reviewed journals and books, including the type and status of publication and complete bibliographical information. Indicate the three most important publications and explain their significance. Provide an electronic link (URL) or upload individual articles if not available online.
  12. A short summary of the doctoral thesis (1-2 pages).
  13. A completed and signed ethics issues checklist (Form 3) to check for ethical standards in the planned research project.
  14. Language certificates, if the project requires special language skills.
  15. A checklist of the application documents (Form 4).
  16. One confidential letter of recommendation from a university professor using the corresponding recommendation form. This should ideally be from the doctoral thesis supervisor, or an explanation should be provided if it is from another professor. Ensure the recommendation and invitation letters are from different professors. All documents must be uploaded as PDFs. The DAAD portal generates an automatic confirmation for the letter of recommendation; contact DAAD if you do not receive confirmation within two weeks after the deadline.

Method of Application

The application form is available through the DAAD application portal. To access it, visit the “Stipendiendatenbank für Deutsche,” enter your research subject (“Fachrichtung”), the destination country (“Zielland”), and select “Programme für Promovierte.” Follow the instructions for registering, choose English as the portal language, and enable the compatibility view if needed.

For More Information

Application Deadline: August 30, 2024.

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