Postdoctoral Fellowship

2-year Postdoctoral Fellowships are for all those in the early stage of their career who plan to develop and implement an independent research project.

The Zukunftskolleg provides them with a professional infrastructure and an appropriate workplace for conducting research. Each fellow receives an annual research allowance, e.g. for funding research assistants or equipment. Furthermore, the Zukunftskolleg gives financial support for start-up, consumables and travel costs, and assists in developing academic skills.

Each fellow is a member of both a university department and the Zukunftskolleg. Additionally, fellows of the Zukunftskolleg can be affiliated to the Clusters of Excellence at the University of Konstanz: "Politics of Inequality" or "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour".

Up to two Cluster-Zukunftskolleg Fellowships related to the study of collective behaviour can be funded by the "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour" directly.

The target group consists of excellent postdoctoral researchers at the early career level, with leadership abilities and a capacity for teamwork, so that they can reasonably be expected to take up leading roles in academia. The applications are evaluated in a two-stage process by international reviewers. The candidates will be informed about the decision around mid-February 2024.

Fellows have a work contract with the University of Konstanz and are expected to have their place of residence in Konstanz. They participate actively in the regular weekly meetings (Jour Fixe) of the Zukunftskolleg and have an opportunity to teach.

Support Measures

Postdoctoral Fellows profit from all support measures available at the Zukunftskolleg:

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible, candidates must fulfill all eligibility criteria:

  • You should be in possession of a doctoral degree granted between October 31, 2021 and December 31, 2023. Earlier graduation dates can be accepted in case of maternity/paternity leave, or working contracts outside academia  
  • Candidates must not hold a permanent professorship, or have a habilitation or equivalent (Venia legendi). Candidates with their own position funded by another program, which can be transferred to Konstanz, are also eligible
  • Applicants must propose a research project that ties in with a discipline represented at the University of Konstanz. They are invited to include in their motivation letter a reflection note on how their research relates to the 17 SDGs of the UN
  • Applicants should contact potential Local Academic Partners among the researchers at the University of Konstanz in order to ensure appropriate affiliation. Support from a department strengthens the application.
  • International experience in teaching or research, and a strong interest in interdisciplinary topics are desirable. 

Find more information in our FAQs!

 

Your Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement your research project
  • Build up your own research profile
  • You are expected to participate actively in the regular weekly meetings of the Zukunftskolleg (and/or the respective Cluster of Excellence) and to contribute to the Zukunftskolleg in creating a team of exciting interdisciplinary postdoctoral researchers
  • Have your place of residence in Konstanz or its surroundings
  • report on a regular basis and contribute to the yearly institutional reports. Additionally, a final report on your activities and achievements at the Zukunftskolleg is expected within 6 months of completing your fellowship;
  • indicate the membership of the Zukunftskolleg and the source of financial support in publications and any other presentations and outreach activities originating from research projects undertaken within the Zukunftskolleg.

Application

All applications should contain the following supporting materials:

  • letter of motivation (1 page max)
  • research proposal (5 pages max)
  • curriculum vitae
  • writing sample (30 pages max)
  • two letters of reference

Find more information on the application process and the requested documents in our FAQs!

Selection Process

The applications are selected in a multi stage process

  1. Eligibility check and pre-selection
  2. International external peer-review
  3. Decision by the recruitment committee

Since it is the community of fellows that makes up the Zukunftskolleg, applicants are assessed not only for their academic achievements, but also for their personal, social and method-related abilities. The selection of fellows is organized as a highly competitive process involving intra-disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary evaluation. Criteria include diverse knowledge and qualifications such as leadership and teamwork skills, teaching or management experience, mobility and independence.

The candidates’ achievements should be in line with their “academic age”, so that they have a realistic prospect of being appointed professors.

 1. Eligibility check and formal pre-selection

In order to be eligible for application, candidates must fulfill all of the eligibility criteria listed above. Applications that do not pass the eligibility check will not be further considered. Subsequently, a first evaluation takes the quality of the proposal, the applicant's track record, and the suitability of the research proposal to the University of Konstanz into consideration.

Applicants are informed whether they have passed the eligibility check and whether their applications are forwarded for peer review.

2. International external peer-review

In the second stage, the best applications are forwarded to external experts who evaluate the research project and CV. Peer reviewers are distinguished experts in the same area of research as the proposals they assess, thus guaranteeing a high level of competence in the evaluation process. Peer reviewers are asked to comment on the quality of the research proposal, the long-term potential of the project, and academic performance, skills and competence relevant to an interdisciplinary setting.

3. Decision by the recruitment committee

In the final step, the recruitment committee discusses all peer-reviewed applications. Please note that the recruitment committee has access to all applications, even to those that have not passed the eligibility check. The Recruitment Committee will meet  to decide which candidates will be offered the Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Follow-up Prospects

In order to follow up career reintegration after the initial fellowship, all 2-year Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to apply for external funding during their stay.

Further, the Zukunftskolleg provides financial support for one additional fellowship year (2+1) to Postdoctoral Fellows who have submitted an application for external funding / a grant application to cover their own position and are waiting for the results.
Read more about that option in the Intranet of the Zukunftskolleg in the section "Manuals and Guidelines"

Have a look at the career pathways of former fellows here.