For Research. For Berlin.

Einstein Guest Researchers
to foster academic freedom

This programme allows researchers whose academic freedom is constrained, or whose lives and security are at risk to work in Berlin for up to two years. As Einstein Junior Scholars or Einstein Guest Researchers, they 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. 

  • Eligibility: Scientists from abroad who are experiencing constraints in their academic freedom or who are under threat. The duration of their productive stay in Germany is limited to four years at the time of application (excluding the time needed to leave their country of origin).

  • Funding period: Up to two years

  • Volume: Funds cover the candidate’s position (e.g., a TV-L 13 contract or a monthly scholarship of up to €2,100) and directly incurred costs of up to €30,000 for a two-year funding period.


Questions and answers about programmes und applications

Here you can find general questions and answers about programmes und applications. 

Questions and answers 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. 

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 (see right-hand pane), as additional time might be required. 

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. 

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

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.