For Research. For Berlin.

Einstein Strategic Professorship


Einstein Strategic Professorships are recruitments of top researchers from abroad, who are of outstanding strategic importance for Berlin’s research landscape: the Berlin universities and publicly funded non-university research institutions can employ Einstein Strategic Professorships to foster research strategies, develop their research profiles, explore and advance new research areas as well as strengthen their research foci and become more attractive to top talents. Einstein Strategic Professorships provide a decisive contribution to sustainably enhance Berlin’s competitiveness among internationally leading research locations. 

The generous donation by the Damp Stiftung allows the Einstein Foundation to grant 36 Mio. € for Einstein Strategic Professorships from 2018 for twelve years. The State of Berlin provides additional funds for the program and finances permanent positions for some professorships at the universities in this program through the Einstein Foundation after the five-year start-up phase has expired. 


The following institutions are eligible to apply: Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 

A joint application with publicly funded Berlin research institutions, e.g. the Berlin-based non-university institutes of the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Fraunhofer Society is possible. Furthermore - in exceptional cases - the publicly funded research institutions based in Berlin, in particular the institutes of the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Fraunhofer Society can submit an application on their own. In all cases the eligible institutions propose internationally recognized top scientists and researchers for funding, who e.g. were also awarded with internationally visible prizes. In the case of joint applications from the universities / Charité with non-university institutes, the division of labour of the professorship must be explained.


The Einstein Foundation grants funds for positions and additional equipment.         

The institutions eligible to apply for Einstein Strategic Professorships name specific international candidates in their applications. In case of a positive funding decision the receiving applicant institution is responsible for the employment or appointment procedure (for example, by way of waiving a formal announcement and issuing a direct call). The applicant institution leads the (appointment) negotiations and creates the prerequisites for the call or the employment of the funded person. The appointment of the professor or the filling of an executive position should take place within nine months after the positive funding decision (letter of approval).[1]

In the case of non-appointment of a granted Einstein Strategic Professorship, the Executive Board can fund the next application on the ranking list agreed upon by the Research Board and the Executive Board.

The number of funded professorships depends on the total volume requested and the number of permanent professorships provided by the state of Berlin and granted to the universities.


[1] If necessary, a temporary leave of absence during the transistion phase can be granted.


The initial funding phase generally lasts five years. A cost-neutral extension of the funding period is possible, however, only in the case of exclusively privately funded professorships or consistent mixed financing of all professorships. If needed, some granted Einstein Strategic Professorships are secured in the long run by the commitment of the state of Berlin to subsequently continue the funding and can thus be announced and appointed for life. In the case of a sole application by the non-university institutions stated above the specification of the form of continued employment after the Einstein Strategic Professorship expires lies within their responsibility.

For the time of their work in Berlin the funded candidates will hold the title „Einstein Professor”.


The eligible institutions can apply for Einstein Strategic Professorships on the dates announced on the website of the Einstein Foundation. Aside from outlining the reasons for the proposed candidate the applications shall make clear in what way the proposed Einstein Strategic Professorship will enhance and emphasize research-related or artistic innovation within the university or the local research landscape. Furthermore the application must outline the importance of the Einstein Strategic Professorship for the mid-term strategic development of the institution and for future appointments or research foci.  In the application, the applicants must explain how they intend to bind the candidate – above and beyond the lifetime position financed by the State of Berlin through the Einstein Foundation – to their institution in the long term after the funding period has expired. 

Please note that the application must be written in English.


The approved funds may only be drawn through the university, the Charité or the non-university institutions in accordance with the regulations on third-party funding.