Fellowship for prospective leaders and postdocs
Are you working academically or practically in climate protection or climate-relevant resource conservation in your home country – a non-European developing or transition country (see list of countries, PDF)? Then we invite you to apply for an International Climate Protection Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
If you are a prospective leader you will do a one-year research-related project in Germany as part of your fellowship; if you are a postdoc, long-term academic research (12-24 months). It should focus on combating climate change, adaptation strategies, preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, or on the sustainable use of the seas and oceans. Sustainability topics relating to natural resources, resource-efficient consumption or urban development are also welcome.
We award up to 15 International Climate Protection Fellowships to prospective leaders and up to five to postdoctoral researchers each year. The fellowships are funded through the International Climate Initiative. The Initiative (IKI) became the responsibility of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in 2022. The IKI programme cooperates with its founding ministry, the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), as well as the Federal Foreign Office.
The fellowship facilitates the mutual exchange of knowledge, methods and techniques with hosts in Germany; this also extends to questions of practical applicability in your country of origin. We offer you
- a monthly fellowship of €2,170, €2,470 or €2,670 in the programme line for prospective leaders – depending on your training and career level; a monthly fellowship of €2,670 in the programme line for postdoctoral researchers
- individual support during your stay in Germany
- additional financial support for example for accompanying family members, for travel expenses, for full private health insurance or for a German language course
- a three-week introductory event where you can connect with other climate protection fellows, visit businesses and research institutions, and attend cultural events in Germany
- extensive alumni sponsorship, in particular to support long-term connections with your cooperation partners in Germany over the duration of your entire professional career
Host institutes receive a monthly allowance for research costs of 800 euros for projects in the natural and engineering sciences or 500 euros for projects in the humanities and social sciences.
You must meet the following criteria/What is required of you
As future decision-makers and multipliers, you aim to take on the global challenge of climate change through international, cross-border cooperation. The International Climate Protection Fellowship is designed for prospective leaders and postdoctoral researchers. We invite you to apply for an International Climate Protection Fellowship if you
- explore questions in the natural or engineering sciences or address legal, economic, health-related or societal aspects of climate change
- are a citizen of a non-European developing or transition country (see list of countries, PDF) and have been predominantly living and working there
- have initial experience in a leadership role and corresponding leadership skills
- have very good knowledge of English and/or German
In addition, you meet the following criteria as a prospective leader or postdoctoral researcher:
Did you complete your first academic degree (Bachelor or comparable degree) during the last 12 years (cut-off date is the appication deadline on 1 February)? Do you have extensive professional experience, at least 48 months at the application deadline? If so, apply for an International Climate Protection Fellowship.
Did you complete your first academic degree (Bachelor or comparable degree) during the last 12 years (cut-off date is the application deadline on 1 February)? Additionally, did you complete your doctorate no more than four years ago by the application deadline (1 February) or will you complete it until 31 August of the respective selection year? Have you published in academic journals and publishing houses that are reviewed according to international standards? If so, apply for an International Climate Protection Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers.
How to apply
Before applying, you should agree the details of your independently developed research-based project with your chosen academic host.
Please submit the necessary application documents to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online only.
- research-based project: Outline the project you have developed yourself and agreed with your intended host prior to applying. Bear in mind that the following criteria are important for selection: a convincing choice of methods; clear focus and feasibility; relevance to the fields of climate protection or climate-relevant resource conservation; feasibility of conducting the project at the chosen host institution; practicability of the communication strategy
- extensive statement including confirmation of support from your host in Germany
- two letters of recommendation (not more than 12 months old) from individuals who can provide information on your professional, personal and/or academic background
The online application form contains links where the letters of recommendation and statements can be uploaded. Please forward these links to the relevant individuals as soon as possible. We will send you a confirmation e-mail as soon as we have received all the required documents. If you have any doubts or questions, please contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting your application. We are happy to help.
A selection committee comprised of 15 researchers from Germany and non-European developing or transition countries decides who will be awarded an International Climate Protection Fellowship. The peer review is conducted largely on the basis of three selection criteria:
- academic and professional career (determination, mobility, professional qualifications, academic success, only in the case of applicants with a doctorate: quality of key publications)
- leadership skills in the area of climate protection
- research project (quality, originality, feasibility, relevance to climate protection, practical relevance in the recipient’s country of origin)
The closing date for the current application round is 1 February 2023.