The COFUND Fellowship Program at Freie Universität, as well as the POINT and REGAIN programs, are organized by Dahlem Research School (DRS). In addition to having a postdoctoral position funded, the fellows are also given an opportunity to participate in training courses designed to give them an impression of what is required to successfully do research in Germany, as well as an overview of funding opportunities in Germany. If needed, a German course is also included.
The fellowship programs are a key component of the career path model, which in turn is a major component of the university's development strategy that, for the second time in 2012, made Freie Universität Berlin one of the winning universities in the German Excellence Initiative. Through its career path model, Freie Universität seeks to provide junior researchers at various stages of their professional development with more certainty in planning their careers and over the longer term to win the best of them to pursue their research and teaching at Freie Universität.
So far 27 young researchers have benefitted from the various fellowship programs that are part of the career path model. They came from 14 countries, including Great Britain, Kenya, Pakistan, Romania, China, and the United States. Interested candidates undergo a four-stage selection process. Up to now about ten per cent of those who applied were able to be funded.