Humboldt Fellowship 2020 Eligibility, Application, Rewards, Selection Procedure

Humboldt Fellowship: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is granting the Humboldt Research Fellowships for excellent candidates at a research university in Germany. Highly equipped international experts and scholars of all subjects who have achieved the doctorate in the past 12 years are invited for applying.

Graduate, Post Graduate Students and Research Fellows can also find more Fellowship Articles to explore various fellowships across India to know the funding opportunities.

The fellowship is adaptable and can be divided up into as many as three halts within three years. The programme aims to enable highly equipped academics from overseas to come to Germany to attend research and stay there. The foundation encourages international academic cooperation among excellent scientists and scholars from Germany and from overseas.

Humboldt Fellowship Overview

University or Organization Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Course Level Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent
Nationality International
Award to be granted in  Germany
Application Deadline No deadline

Humboldt Fellowship Eligibility Criteria

  1. Doctorate or equivalent academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), finished less than four years before the date of application. Candidates who have approximately completed their doctoral degrees are suitable to apply. They need to submit the original of their dissertation or publications, including the results of their thesis.
  2. Academic publications evaluated according to international norms and printed in journals and by publishing organisations.
  3. Proof that research equipment is available and mentoring arrangement and a complete expert’s report by an educational host at a research university in Germany. Aspects of the research plan, including information on the expected term of the fellowship, must be matched with the expected host before applying.
  4. Expert inspections from the doctoral administrator and one other academic equipped to give well-founded observations on the applicant’s qualification, preferably including an analyst not working at the candidate’s own institute.
  5. Language skills: Fellows in the humankind or social sciences and physicians must have a sound knowledge of German if it is required to carry out the research favourably; otherwise a good understanding of English. Scientists and engineers must have a solid understanding of German or English.
  6. Applications to extend a research stay already started can only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Foreign academics living in Germany are qualified to apply if they have survived outside Germany for a least 12 months in total in the 18 months before submission of the application. Any time employed in Germany in those 18 months is taken into a record, despite duration or reason. German citizens and educated citizens are generally unsuitable for applying if they have been in Germany in the last 18 months before receipt of their application or are now in Germany at the time of applying.
  7. The Humboldt-Foundation believes that candidates will live by the Laws of Good Scientific System and the legally-binding postulates of scientific standards during the application and sponsorship duration.

Humboldt Fellowship Application Procedure

Candidates who are interested can submit their applications to the Humboldt Foundation online at any time, after filling the required details and providing the required documents.

Humboldt Fellowship Documents Required

Applications can be submitted only after these documents have been uploaded.

  • Curriculum vitae (two pages max)
  • Research outline (five pages max)
  • Complete list of publications
  • List of selected key publications
  • Key publications
  • Doctoral certificate
  • German language certificate, if applicable
  • Host’s statement and confirmation of research facilities*
  • Two expert reviews
    Additionally, where required: publishers’ letter(s) of acceptance and/or acknowledgement (s) of receipt as well as summaries or translations of the key publications.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to assure that he/she has submitted all the required documents.

Humboldt Fellowship Selection Procedure

The Humboldt Foundation will verify receipt of the online application by email. The time used to conclude whether the applicant satisfies specific formal qualifications, particularly to career stage boundaries and previous visits in Germany, is the time on which the Humboldt Foundation accepts the respective application.

After the form has been checked to guarantee that it is comprehensive and meets the formal specifications for eligible candidates will be notified about the recommended selection date. The application papers will then usually be forwarded to two autonomous reviewers for a written evaluation. Based on these standalone peer reviews, a selection commission composed of about 50 academics from all restraints decides on approving research scholarships. The selection board attends three times a year, in March, July and November. If a petition has been approved a fellow visiting from overseas may start the fellowship two months later the selection meeting at the most advanced. Candidates must start their fellowships in twelve months of the election meeting; otherwise, it will be abandoned.

If your request is not accepted, you may post an informal email asking feedback to be sent to you and your manager on the reasons for the denial. This will usually happen approximately four to six weeks after the election committee conference.

It is not likely to appeal. However, candidates who have been rejected may offer a revised application granted that fundamental phases of the original form have significantly developed.
In the case of requests that have consistently been rejected, new forms will be accepted only after 18 months.


  • A monthly stipend of €2,650 for postdoctoral researchers (doctorate accomplished within the last four years) or €3,150 for qualified researchers (doctorate accomplished within the previous 12 years),
  • An adjustable starting date for the fellowship
  • For expert researchers, the option of dividing the fellowship up into a maximum of three visits
  • Personalized mentoring during the sponsoring period,
  • Accelerated German language program for fellows and their marital partners before the fellowship,
    Further financial assistance for attending family members and items like travel costs
  • Extensive alumni support once the research halt has come to an end, such as a Return Fellowship or further visits in Germany.

Courses Offered

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences
  • Environmental & Life Sciences
  • International Opportunities
  • Medical
  • Medical – Clinical Science
  • Social Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1.
Who is funding the Humboldt fellowship?

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Question 2.
What is the duration of Humboldt fellowship?

The duration of Humboldt fellowship is 6-24 months.

Question 3.
What is the stipend provided under Humboldt fellowship?

Monthly stipend of 2650 € which will be tax free and travel costs etc.

Question 4.
What is the eligibility criteria?


  • Doctorate or equivalent academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), finished less than four years before the date of application.
  • International applicants must have resided outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18 months before submission of the application.
  • German candidates must have had their permanent place of work and home located abroad on the presumption of continuity for at least five years.

Question 5.
What are the application deadlines?

No application deadlines

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