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A New Improved Scholarship Policy from The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

I just have received an email from Professor Wieringa, telling about a new policy of The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation concerning the Sponsorship Programs, among them is replacing the current age limit requirement (40 years old) for granting fellowships by a career stage model. Below is the complete information:

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

As of this August, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is making significant changes to its sponsorship programmes: it is replacing the current age limit for granting fellowships by a career stage model. This new departure is designed to make the Foundation’s programmes even more attractive and ensure the quality of the international Humboldt Network in the face of increasing international competition for the best brains.

In future, the Humboldt Foundation’s sponsorship portfolio will comprise programmes for post-doctoral researchers, programmes for experienced researchers, programmes for independent research group leaders and programmes for internationally renowned researchers.

We are convinced that these sponsorship opportunities, tailor-made to suit the respective target group, will allow us to take greater account of the individual career situation of every single applicant or nominee, regardless of whether they are young postdocs at the beginning of their academic careers, experienced academics who have already established themselves or indeed world-class authorities in their fields.

The terms of sponsorship are also being adapted. Postdoctoral researchers, for example, will be able to apply for longer-term research visits lasting up to 24 months in order to be able to plan their research projects with greater certainty. Experienced academics, on the other hand, will essentially profit from greater flexibility, allowing them to divide up their 18-month visit into as many as three blocks. Thus, independent research group leaders or newly-appointed professors will be able to use their research fellowships to build up international cooperation with partners in Germany without having to give up their own positions or be reliant on generous leave of absence regulations at their own institutions.

An allowance for research costs, which has already been introduced, is making fellowships even more attractive, too. This allowance will contribute to creating optimum conditions for cooperation between fellows and their academic hosts in Germany. Every year, approximately six million EUR will be provided for this purpose. The funding is to be used, for example, for financing essential equipment and laboratory apparatus, computing time, academic assistance, administrative costs or fellows’ participation in conferences. The allowance for research costs amounts to 800 EUR per month for research fellows from the natural sciences and engineering and 500 EUR for humanities scholars.

The “Profile and Services” brochure, which is fresh off the press and may be downloaded, provides an overview of our programmes and terms of sponsorship. I should be most grateful if you would disseminate this information on the Humboldt Foundation’s sponsorship opportunities at your institution.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions (0228 833-0,

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Georg Schuette
Secretary General of the
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

I think that this new policy should increase the applicants for the scholarship, especially from my countries, which so far has a less number of Humbodtian as I mentioned here.

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