Selection Procedure


The selection procedure for the DRS-Fellowship POINT consists of three phases which are further described below:

1)    Administrative eligibility check

2)    Structured interviews

3)    Final selection by a Supervisory Panel

Each phase must be passed successfully to proceed to the next. Candidates will receive an identification code which will allow anonymised results of each selection phase to be published on a secure website with limited access. After completion of phase 1, applicants will receive login details for the secure site and will from then on be notified by e-mail each time new results are announced. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed by email. To enter the secure website please click here.

Composition and Organization of Selection Committees/ Criteria and Method of Judging Merit

Phase 1: Administrative eligibility check

The Eligibility Check of all complete applications submitted through the online application form is carried out by the POINT program manager together with the Managing Director of the Dahlem Research School. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • The call is open to experienced researchers from abroad, holding a PhD (at the time of application), with minimum 4 years (incl. PhD) and max. 10 years of research experience.  
  • All nationalities apart from German may apply, provided applicants have not lived in Germany for longer than 6 months at the time of application.

Phase 2: Structured interviews

In Phase 2 applicants will be invited to structured interviews carried out by a Steering Committee consisting of at least three Principal Investigators of the respective Focus Area.

The interviews will take place either by telephone, Skype or video-conference. It is the responsibility of the applicants to have access to appropriate technical equipment.

Due to a tight interview schedule, time slots of 30 min. per interview will be appointed to each candidate. The interview schedule for each Focus Area will be communicated on the DRS-Fellowship webpage. Candidates who are invited to an interview will be contacted by e-mail in due course prior to the date.

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following evaluation criteria:

  •  Discussion and convincing defense of the proposed project plan
  •  Convincing defense of motivation to pursue a postdoctoral research experience at the proposed host institution with regard to the candidate’s future career aspirations
  •  Convincing presentation of the candidate (CV)
  •  Personal fitting of the candidate into the respective Focus Area

Scoring system

Scores from 0 to 5 will be applied to assess the candidate’s performance in each category. Each category will be weighed equally. Scores for each criterion are given to one decimal point.

Interpretation of the scores:

0– The candidate/application/proposal fails to address the criterion under examination or cannot be judged due to missing or incomplete information.

1– Poor. The criterion is addressed in an inadequate manner, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.

2– Fair. While the candidate/application/proposal broadly addresses the criterion, there are significant weaknesses.

3– Good. The candidate/application/proposal addresses the criterion well, although improvements would be necessary.

4– Very good. The candidate/application/proposal addresses the criterion very well, although certain improvements are still possible.

5– Excellent. The candidate/application/proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion in question. Any shortcomings are minor.

Candidates with an overall score of at least 15 out of 20 possible points will be recommended for phase 3.


Phase 3: Final selection by Supervisory Panel

The Competitive Selection and the final decision on admission or rejection will be the responsibility of the Supervisory Panel. The panel will consist of four members of the Steering Committee of the Dahlem Research School.

The Supervisory Panel will take the final decision based on the competitive ranking and recommendations of candidates from phase 2.