Sofja Kovalevskaja Award for Young Researchers

Deadline: 31 July, 2013
Open to: scientists and scholars from all countries and disciplines who completed their doctorates with distinction less than six years ago
Grants: funds of up  to 1.65 million EUR


The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is granted to young exceptionally promising researchers from abroad in recognition of outstanding academic achievements. The award is designed to enable them to embark on academic careers in Germany by establishing their own junior research groups at research institutions in Germany.


The programme is open to scientists and scholars from all countries and disciplines who completed their doctorates with distinction less than six years ago. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation particularly welcomes applications from qualified, female junior researchers.


1. Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed with distinction less than six years prior to the application submission deadline.

2. Career level: the award would enable the successful applicant to take on a leadership position (e.g. head of a junior research group) in Germany for the first time. Moreover, the applicant must not have held or accepted an offer of permanent employment in Germany prior to the selection date.

3. Cutting-edge academic achievements documented by a comprehensive list of independent academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and / or by publishing houses.

4. Support of the German host institution, evidenced by a detailed expert’s report from the academic host as well as the host’s agreement and the confirmation from the administration at the host institution.

5. Three supporting expert reviews from academics (at the applicant’s own institute or other institutes, where possible including some outside the applicant’s country of origin).

6. 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.

7. No previous Sofja Kovalevskaja Award


As soon as the award has been conferred, the award winner is entitled to the award funds of up  to 1.65 million EUR. The award funds are placed at the award winner’s disposal for a period of five years to carry out the approved research project of his or her own choice in Germany. The award winners and their host institutions agree jointly on the commencement of the planned  research work in Germany in the course of 2014.

See Regulations on the use of Funds

How to apply

Applications must reach the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Selection Department Jean-Paul-Str. 12, 53173 Bonn, Germany by July 31, 2013 at the latest.

Application documents can be downloaded from the official website  HERE

More detailed information about programme is available HERE

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