Einstein Starting Researcher

The Einstein Starting Researcher programme allows eligible Berlin institutions to recruit and retain outstanding researchers by giving Einstein Starting Researchers time at a crucial career stage to focus on their research project. 

Information & Forms


Candidates must have completed their doctoral degree at least two years prior to submitting their application. Candidates who have already obtained their Habilitation are also encouraged to apply, provided they earned the degree no more than three years prior to application. This period can be extended if the candidate has children, and exceptions due to care work, illness, or personal circumstances are possible.

Funding period

Up to four years (in exceptional cases up to six years)


The funding covers the candidate’s position as well as additional staff, directly incurred expenses and/or minor investments necessary to reach the project’s objectives.


Programme information

Application form

Budget plan

Budget plan attachment

Code for funding recipients

Guidelines on Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Career Support

FAQs about the "Einstein Starting Researcher"

No, Einstein Starting Researchers can be recruited from Berlin, other parts of Germany, or abroad.

Einstein Starting Researchers can, but do not have to be affiliated with collaborative research structures. If the envisioned project is to be conducted in affiliation with a Cluster of Excellence, Collaborative Research Center, Einstein Center, Einstein Research Unit, or Research Training Group, please include a letter of support from the head(s) of the research consortium outlining their support for the project and how it aligns with the collaborative research structure’s theme.

Yes, as long as the eligibility criteria are met.  

Although applications must be submitted by Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin or Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Einstein Starting Researchers may collaborate with non-university research institutes. In this case, please include an additional letter of support from the research institute outlining the envisioned cooperation. 

There is no nominal limit regarding additional funds. However, the application and the budget plan attachment need to clarify that these additional funds are essential to reach the project’s aims and that they will not be used to purchase basic equipment that is to be provided by the university or Charité – Universitätsmedizin. 

No. It is possible to request funding for additional staff, but all members of the project team need to be assigned at least 75% FTE positions. Exemptions from this rule require separate justification and authorization from the Einstein Foundation head office. 

Yes, if you wish to gain additional teaching experience.  

Funding will be cancelled once you are appointed. Funds provided by the Einstein Foundation cannot be transferred to other countries or other federal states in Germany. If the funding period ends prematurely, the staff employed for the project (PhD students and/or postdoctoral researchers) may request a supervision agreement to be signed with the Einstein Starting Researcher and/or other Berlin-based academics to ensure they can conclude their research projects.