Technische Universität Berlin

Financing your Postdoc

There are a number of options available for funding your postdoc. For example, you can apply for a position at a university or non-university research institution, acquire funding for a project at a research institution, or apply for a grant from a foundation or funding organization, enabling you to focus on your own development.

Budget and third-party-funded positions

Academic chairs at TU Berlin regularly advertise fixed-term as well as permanent positions. Details of currently available positions can be found on the TU Berlin Department of Human Resources website.

Depending on requirements, these are advertised as pay scale E13 or E14 positions. The personnel department’s list of requirements, including details of pay scales assigned to tasks, is also available online. 

TU Berlin-internal funding

As part of its internal measures for promoting research, TU Berlin can help you prepare an application for third-party funding from the DFG or similar programs for a temporary principal investigator position.

If you have received approval for a junior research group from a funding program such as the Emmy Noether Programme, the BMBF, or the Helmholtz Foundation, TU Berlin will provide you with additional funding should you decide to establish your junior research group at the University.

Further information on internal measures for promoting research can be found on the website of TU Berlin’s Research Department.

External funding (DFG and others)

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is particularly strong in providing assistance in the form of grants, measures, and programs for the advancement of postdocs. These include fellowships for research abroad, positions within research training groups, the possibility to apply for a temporary position as a principal investigator as well as funding to develop a junior research group within the Emmy Noether Programme. 

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation finances junior scholars in temporary positions as principal investigators for a maximum of 3 years. 

There are also a number of funding options available at European level. In addition to the Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Technological Development, excellent funding options for junior scholars are also provided by Marie Curie Individual Fellowships and ERC Starting Grants.

Leading a junior research group

A number of organizations provide funding for junior research groups:

DFG: Emmy Noether Programme

Funding type —  independent leadership of a junior research group to acquire leadership experience and skills as well as eligibility for appointment to a professorship

Duration and scope — max. 6 years

Application — no deadlines; processing takes 6 months

Further information — doctorate 2-4 years prior to submission of application; not for projects at the institution where applicants completed their doctorate; significant international research experience including publications; excellent research project

Federal Ministry of Eduction and Research - BMBF: Junior research groups

Funding type — leadership of a junior research group to gain experience of conducting independent research work at an early stage of career development

Duration and scope — staff and equipment for a maximum of 5 years (evaluation after 3 years)

Application — funding announced in specific calls

Further information — specific calls in various fields of research; please subscribe to the appropriate BMBF newsletter


Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups

Funding type — individual funding for young, talented researchers to lead a research group, enabling them to acquire the skills and experience for a university career

Duration and scope — at least EUR 300,000/year for staff, equipment and research over a maximum period of 6 years (evaluation after 3-4 years)

Application — annual call

Further information — doctorate 2-6 years prior to submission of application 


Robert Bosch Junior Professorship for Research into the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

Funding type — leadership of a junior research group

Duration and scope — up to EUR 1 million for staff and equipment over a period of 5 years

Application — annual call

Further information — doctorate 5 years prior to submission of application; research topics: agriculture and forestry, biology and environmental sciences, economics, politics, sociology, medicine, public health


ERC Starting Grant

Funding type — setting up a junior research group in Europe (excellence program)

Duration and scope — 5 years; max. EUR 1.5 million (possibly + EUR 500,000)

Application — annual call in July; submission deadline usually in the fall

Further information — doctorate 2-7 years prior to submission
TUB advising:   

International Mobility Experience: P.R.I.M.E.

Co-funded by the Marie Curie Program of the European Union, the DAAD offers a PostDoc funding program. The so-called "Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience" (P.R.I.M.E) supports international mobility in the PostDoc phase through temporary positions. The funding runs for 18 months, the first 12 months you spend at an international university. Another six months at a German university.

This year's call is expected to be published in early June.

Information on obtaining research funding via ELFI

ELFI - the ELectronic Research Funding Information service for German-speaking countries can help you locate potential research funding. This database collates and organizes information on research funding and is available online to researchers, research advisors, students, and businesses. ELFI currently contains information on some 9,000 programs and more than 4,000 national and international funding organizations and sources. To access the database, you need to log in via the TU Berlin network (or one of the other participating institutions).