Einstein Guest Researcher (Academic Freedom)

This programme allows researchers whose academic freedom is constrained, or whose lives and security are at risk to work in Berlin. As Einstein Guest Researcher, you have the opportunity to work in a productive environment in Berlin free from restrictions. In this way, the programme also contributes to strengthening Berlin’s image as a tolerant and open city. Funding is provided as "Immediate support" or "Advanced support".
 

Eligibility

Academics with a doctorate from abroad who are experiencing constraints in their academic freedom or who are under threat in their home countries. 

Immediate support

  • Researchers who are still abroad

Advanced support

  • Researchers who are already in Germany and want to realise an independent excellent research project in Berlin. The duration of their stay in Germany or a safe third country must not exceed four years.

Funding period and volume

Immediate support

  • Scholarship (max. €2,100) for up to twelve months as well as material resources of up to €5,000 for the entire duration (exclusively for language courses or further training and publications)

Advanced support

  • Own position (normally TV-L 13) and project-related material resources of up to €30,000 for a period of up to two years

Forms

Programme information

Application form 

Budget plan

Budget plan attachment

Report

Code for funding recipients

Guidelines on Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Career Support

FAQs about the Academic Freedom programme

First, you will need to identify a host at one of the eligible institutions (Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin) willing to mentor you. In the application, the host provides a letter of support guaranteeing that office space and other necessary infrastructure will be provided and that they will help you navigate Berlin’s research environment. In a second step, you and/or your potential host need to contact the research grants department at the relevant university (see right-hand pane).

No, all applications are forwarded to the Einstein Foundation by the relevant person at the respective university (see right-hand pane) and need to be signed by the potential host. 

Applications for "Immediate Support" are decided by the Executive Board of the Einstein Foundation. You can find the Board meeting dates here. Please submit applications at least six weeks before a board meeting so that they can be discussed promptly.  

Applications for "Advanced Support" go through the regular application procedure. The Einstein Foundation requires six to seven months for the review and decision-making process. Please agree on a realistic start date with the university’s contact person, as additional time might be required. 

Yes, that is also possible for the "Advanced Support" which is, contrary to the “Immediate Support”, primarily aimed at researchers at risk who are already in Germany.

Yes, for the “Advanced Support” as long as the productive stay outside of your country of origin / the country in which your academic freedom was constrained and/or you were under threat including unemployment due to flight does not exceed four years at the time of application. If you are not sure whether you are eligible to apply, please contact the Einstein Foundation in good time. Yes, as long as the productive stay outside of your country of origin / the country in which your academic freedom was constrained and/or you were under threat does not exceed four years at the time of application. If you are not sure whether you are eligible to apply, please contact the Einstein Foundation in good time.

No, an application is only possible with a doctorate.

Please outline your personal situation in attachment B. Where possible, please include a letter from “Scholars at Risk”, the “Council for At-Risk Scholars”, or similar organizations. You can also include copies of documents which demonstrate that your academic freedom and/or safety was or still is under threat. But even if you are unable to present such documents, you are encouraged to apply by describing your personal situation in attachment B.

The Einstein Foundation supports German courses with up to 2,000 euros over the entire duration. Courses at non-university institutes can only be funded if no university courses are available. If relevant, please list your planned participation in a German language course in the budget plan attachment.

No, personnel funds for the Guest Researcher can be requested, but no other personnel funds for student assistants or similar.

Yes, for the “Advanced Support” as long as the productive stay in a safe country does not exceed four years at the time of application.