For Research. For Berlin.

Einstein Starting Researcher


The Einstein Starting Researcher programme gives pioneering researchers transitioning from a postdoctoral position to a permanent post the opportunity to launch a larger project and build their profile. 


Applications can be submitted by Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin. Non-university research institutions and/or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem may be involved as project partners.

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. If the applicant in question has children, this period shall be extended by two years per child, regardless of the applicant’s gender. Exceptions due to care work, illness, or personal circumstances will be judged on a case-by-case basis. The programme is open to candidates based in Germany or abroad.


The Einstein Starting Researcher programme provides funding for:

  • the candidate’s position (E13–W2 or equivalent, based on their qualifications), as well as

  • directly incurred expenses and/or minor investments necessary to reach the project’s objectives.

Throughout the funding period, the Einstein Starting Researcher may fulfil teaching obligations. Candidates are required to hold a full-time position for the duration of their participation in the programme. Workload reductions can be requested and will be judged on a case-by-case basis. 


This programme provides funding for a maximum period of four years. The respective scientist or scholar will hold the title of “Einstein Starting Researcher” for the duration of the funding.


Applications in all disciplines are welcome. Proposals must be submitted in English using the application forms provided online by the Einstein Foundation. All deadlines are announced on the Foundation’s website. Proposals are submitted by the eligible institutions. If an eligible institution has set internal deadlines for applications to the Einstein Foundation, please contact the relevant person at your institution in good time (contact details can be found on the Einstein Foundation’s website).


Applications must include the following:

  • The Starting Researcher’s name, curriculum vitae, and list of publications.

  • An outline of the proposed research project, including its key research questions and methods, its contribution to and impact on current research, its objectives and designated publication strategies that will be used to disseminate its results, as well as an outlook on how participation in the Starting Researcher programme will help the candidate progress their career opportunities. If relevant, this should also include the candidate’s planned teaching contributions, envisioned collaborations with other Berlin-based researchers and research institutions, and how they intend to build their international network. Please also submit a detailed project timeline as well as an annual budget and spending plan.

  • A letter of support from the host university or Charité – Universitätsmedizin highlighting the candidate’s teaching and research contributions as well as the importance of the proposed research project to enhancing the scientific profile and excellence of the host institution and Berlin’s science and research environment more broadly.


Grants from the Foundation are disbursed through the budget of the host university or Charité – Universitätsmedizin as third-party funding. These institutions act as employer of the person funded by the Einstein Foundation’s grant and will provide the space and infrastructure required. 

In case the Einstein Starting Researcher is appointed to a university outside Berlin, the doctoral or postdoctoral researchers supervised by the Starting Researcher may request a supervision agreement to be signed to ensure completion of the project currently conducted at the host institution.