Sofja Kovalevskaja Award for Junior Researchers

Deadline: 1 September 2011
Open to: junior researchers not residing in Germany who have just completed the doctorate
Award: 1.65 million EUR

Submit an application if you are a successful top-rank junior researcher from abroad, only completed your doctorate with distinction in the last six years, and have published work in prestigious international journals or publishing houses. The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award allows you to spend five years building up a working group and working on a high-profile, innovative research project of your own choice at a research institution of your own choice in Germany.

Scientists and scholars from all disciplines may apply directly to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt Foundation plans to grant up to eight Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards. The award is valued at 1.65 million EUR.


1. Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed with distinction less than six years prior to the date of application. Should it not be possible or customary to take a Ph.D. in your subject or country of origin, you may apply up to ten years after completing your Master’s or Diploma Degree provided that your publication record is commensurate with a Ph.D. and your current career stage.
2. Cutting-edge academic achievements documented by a comprehensive list of academic publications for internationally-reviewed journals and publishing houses.
3. Detailed expert’s report by an academic host at a research institution in Germany as well as the host’s agreement and the administrative agreement from the host institution.
4. Expert references by important collaborative partners and academics at the applicant’s own institute and other institutes, if possible not all located in his/her country of origin.
5. Language skills: scholars in the humanities or social sciences and physicians must have a good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the project successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English; scientists and engineers must have a good knowledge of German or English.
6. Origin: Foreign academics staying in Germany are eligible to apply if they been in Germany for less than 24 months at the time of application. German academics are eligible to apply if they have been working in an academic capacity abroad for a longer time. If in doubt, please check first with the FAQ and contact the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation before submitting an application as formal grounds might militate against the application.
7. No previous Sofja Kovalevskaja Award: This award can only be granted once to any individual researcher.
8. The Humboldt Foundation assumes that candidates will abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice during the application and sponsorship periods.

Application Process

Applications for the coming selection in March 2012 maybe submitted starting March 15, 2011. The deadline for application is September 1, 2011.

Please send your application directly to:
Selection Department of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation,
Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173
Bonn, Germany.
If this is not possible, you may submit your application via the branch offices of the DAAD or the German Embassy or Consulate, which will then forward them to the Humboldt Foundation.

Application Package

Email advisory service:

The official webpage.

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