The “Freigeist” Fellowship – General Information

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VolkswagenStiftung’s “Freigeist“ Fellowship is open to all disciplines and focuses on extraordinary postdoctoral researchers with a strong personality who work at the borders of established research fields and engage in risk-taking science.   

The Fellowship, scheduled for a minimum of 5 years

- offers the freedom to develop one’s own research profile,

- provides a maximum funding amount of one million Euro for one’s own position, further personnel, as well as consumables, travel expenses, etc.

- has flexible funding periods and can be adapted to provide for unexpected occurrences during the course of the project and one’s personal development.


- outstanding scientific qualifications, as well as a creative, innovative, and visionary idea

- interdisciplinary work and independent development of an unique angle or new methodological approach

- the doctorate must have been obtained no longer than 5 years previously

- candidates must have changed their academic environment at least once, or leave the working context of their doctorate

- experience abroad

- the research project must be integrated within a university or extra-mural research institution in Germany 

For detailed information regarding Fellowship requirements, see: