The Volkswagen Foundation combines support both for individual researchers as well as institutions via the funding initiative “Lichtenberg Professorships”. Outstanding (young) researchers are offered a tenure-track at a university of their choice in Germany, enabling them to carry out independent research in innovative and interdisciplinary areas for longer periods of time.
Target Group The offer is primarily intended for outstanding young academics with 2 to 3 years of research experience after completion of a doctorate, whose work in an innovative field has attracted attention and which they would now like to advance with a Lichtenberg Professorship in their field. It is also open to academics who completed their doctorate several years ago but still satisfy high standards with regard to personal qualification and subject area of the professorship – academics returning from abroad are favoured.
Academic Requirements Academics with doctorates and persons with qualification to teach in higher education in the subjects Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Medicine
Application Requirements This scholarship is intended for young, highly qualified academics, preferably having spent time abroad, who have published outstanding, independent scientific papers after gaining their doctorate. Decisive criteria for selection by the foundation include qualification of the applicant, a subject focus in an innovative and therefore risky research area, as well as the academic environment and integration in the higher education institution.
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Initial funding over a period of five years is available in an amount of0.8 to 1.5 million eurosper professorship, in accordance with the specific require
ments of the respective fieldand the individual applicant’s qualifications. The Foundation can be flexible concerning the professorship’s configuration and infrastructure. For example, the funds could be expended in the following way:
- W1 or W2 professorship
- 1 post-doc and 1 PhD position or 2 to 3 PhD positions. In the natural sci-ences it may be possible to apply for an additional position for a technicalassistant. As a rule, PhD positions should entaila minimum of 50% of the regular working time. It may be possible to apply for a position with more than 50 % of the regular working timeinsofar as deemed necessary by the national and international labor market situation within and outside the science system.
- Recurring costs for consumablesand travel expenses.
- Non-recurringcosts (e.g. for equipment and literature). Under certain cir-cumstances it may be possible to allocate extra funding for large items of equipment which are necessary for the research. It is assumed, however, that the host institution will provide the basic equipment necessary and that large items will be financedby the respective Federal State or within the context of the DFG program“Forschungsgroßgeräte”.
- Science Communication MeasuresBearing in mind an applicant‘s family situation, it may be possible to grant funding even for part-time occupation, encompassing a possible extension beyond the normal expiration time of funding. In the case of W1 professor-ships and sufficient supporting evidence it mayalsobe possible to grant funds to cover the costs of childday-timecare (see information on “Family-related benefits”).
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