Who can apply?

Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin are eligible to apply. Applications may also be submitted jointly with the publicly funded Berlin-based non-university research institutions, such as the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association, and the Fraunhofer Society. In exceptional cases, the Berlin-based institutions of the Max Planck Society, Helmholtz Association, Leibniz Association, and Fraunhofer Society may also submit applications independently.


Institutions submit applications nominating a candidate. Researchers may not apply on their own behalf. Suitable candidates can be identified in a number of different ways, e.g. through appointment or head-hunting processes conducted by the institutions submitting the application; special search processes such as the one used by the Max Planck Society are also possible.


The candidate must hold a post abroad. Where special justification is provided, exceptional researchers based in Germany can also be nominated to keep them from leaving the country, for instance if the candidate has access to international third-party funding (e.g. from the ERC or NIH).


Einstein Strategic Professorships are open to researchers of all nationalities and can be awarded in all disciplines. The requirement is that the candidates must play a leading role on the world stage in their particular fields. Evidence can include internationally recognized prizes and awards, and at least five groundbreaking publications and acclaim for their research in the past five years. In their application, the eligible institutions present the outstanding, strategic importance of the individual for their own institution and for Berlin’s research landscape. The Einstein Foundation is particularly keen to see equality measures implemented by the institutions submitting applications. As a rule, Einstein Strategic Professorships should be new posts.