№ 390/2013 from Dec 13, 2013
The European Commission has renewed its funding for a fellowship program at Freie Universität Berlin to support outstanding young researchers with international research experience. The program can now be expanded to give selected postdocs an opportunity to spend up to two years doing research within a Focus Area at Freie Universität or within one of the collaborative research projects funded within the German Excellence Initiative and based at Freie Universität. The resources available for non-personnel costs and travel were also increased. The aim of the program is to prepare young researchers for an academic career in Germany and to support them in submitting proposals for larger research projects. The EU funding from the Marie Curie program COFUND in the amount of 3.5 million euros will be co-financed by Freie Universität Berlin with 5.2 million euros within the framework of the university’s development strategy that is funded through the German Excellence Initiative.
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.
Dr. Nina Diezemann, Office of News and Public Affairs, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel. +49 30 838-73190,