POINT Program - Call for Applications (CLOSED)

The Postdoc International (POINT) program provides funding for outstanding international postdoctoral fellows to conduct a research project in one of Freie Universität’s research Focus Areas.

It is designed to provide research opportunities that clearly advance the researcher's own career through:

  • Integration into excellent research groups as well as facilitation of new co-operations in a stimulating research environment
  • Development of teaching and leadership skills
  • Professional guidance on obtaining research funding

At the end of the funding period, POINT fellows are expected to apply for further funding for a subsequent research project at Freie Universität Berlin.

For this purpose, Dahlem Research School offers

                        5 Postdoctoral Fellowships

Starting in spring 2013, each research fellowship is awarded for 18 months to support postdocs carrying out a defined research project in one of Freie Universität’s research Focus Areas - Center for Area Studies, Dahlem Humanities Center, Dahlem Centre for Plant Sciences, and NanoScale.

                    Deadline for applications: September 30, 2012

Incomplete applications and applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Nächsten Eintrag anzeigen
  • Candidates have a completed doctorate (the dissertation must have been submitted, thereof proof of this must be available by the application deadline)
  • The doctorate has been completed less than six years prior to the application deadline (starting with the date on the doctoral certificate)
  • Candidates may not be German citizens
  • Candidates may not have lived in Germany for more than 6 months within the 24 months prior to the application deadline


  • 18 Months, starting April/May 2013, with an optional extension of 6 months (submission of a grant proposal must be proved)


The fellows will be employed via full employment contracts according to the collective agreement for the public sector of Berlin, carrying social benefits such as pension and social security, but also subject to taxation.

  • A yearly net salary of approx. 22.700 to 29.400 Euro (depending on your level of proved previous work experience and marital status)
  • A single payment as travel allowance (subject to taxation and social security contribution)
  • A monthly research allowance
  • A fully funded intensive German course
  • A tailored qualification program delivered by Dahlem Research School

For the Center for Area Studies (CAS) applications are invited for research in the following topics:

1. Politics of Public Religions
2. Business, Culture and Society
For further questions regarding the CAS  and its research areas please contact Inna Melnykovska, geschaeftsstelle@cas.fu-berlin.de or refer to the CAS-homepage.

For the Dahlem Humanities Center (DHC) applications are invited for research in the following topics:

1. Theories and Practices of Interpretation
2. Performing Cultural Studies
For further questions regarding the DHC and its research areas please contact Katja Heinrich, katja.heinrich@fu-berlin.de or refer to the DHC-homepage.

For the Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences (DCPS) applications are invited for research in the following topic:

1. Ecology and Biodiversity of Plant-Soil Interactions
For further questions regarding DCPS and its research areas please contact Dr. Diana Mutz, diana.mutz@fu-berlin.de or refer to the DCPS-homepage.

For NanoScale applications are invited for research in the following topics:

1. Supramolecular Interactions
2. Nanoscale Systems
For further questions regarding NanoScale and its researchs areas please contact Achim Wiedekind, achim.wiedekind@fu-berlin.de or refer to the NanoScale-homepage.

Step 1: Applications must be submitted via the online application form.

Note: Problems can occur when text containing symbols, formulae, and/or any special formatting is copied into the online form. This can be avoided by checking the text first with the standard text editor on your computer.

Step 2: In order to complete your application you are required to send us further documents:

(1) POINT CV Template (download template here)
(2) Candidates applying for the Focus Area "Center for Area Studies” and “Dahlem Humanities Center” are requested to submit a project outline for the intended research topic (of 3 to 5 DIN A4-pages). Candidates for the "Dahlem Humanities Center" have to determine an appropriate contact or mentor at Freie Universität. Ideally, a short confirmation of the mentor should be part of the application package.
(3) A Letter of Motivation (max. 1 DIN A4-page)
(4) Scanned signed letters from at least 2 of the referees named in the POINT CV template
(5) A scanned copy of your PhD, MA and BA certificates (or equivalent qualifications) 

Note: All application documents must be submitted in English.
For the Letter of Motivation please use 2 cm top, bottom and side margins, font Arial, font size 10, 1.5 line spacing.

Only complete applications with all requested documents (1-5) will be considered.

Step 3: Submit your application

(1) Convert your documents into one pdf file, name it “appl.DRS-POINT-2013.lastname.firstname” and send it by e-mail to fellowship-drs[at]fu-berlin.de. Make sure your file does not exceed 10 MB in size.
(2) E-mail Subject: “Application for DRS-POINT-2013: lastname firstname”
(3) Deadline for submission: September 30,  2012

Once your application is complete, you will receive an acknowledgement together with an individual code number and login details for a secure web page to be able to view the anonymized selection results. Applicants will be notified by e-mail when new results are announced.   


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

(1)  Administrative eligibility check
Structured interviews
Reviewing and recommendation by the university’s Research Commission
Final selection by a the university’s Executive Board

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. 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 holding a PhD from abroad. German citizens are not eligible.
  • Candidates are max. 6 years after completion of their PhD (at the time of the deadline)
  • Non-German researchers who are currently resident in Germany may apply, provided they have not lived in Germany for longer than 6 months in the 24 months at the point of the deadline.

Phase 2: Assessment of applications/ structured interviews

Phase 2 of the selection procedure consists of two steps:

  1. First, the board of directors of each Focus Area will assess each application/proposal according to the quality of its contents as well as how well it fits within the scope of the relevant focus area.

  2. Secondly, the board will recommend selected applicants for structured interviews that will be 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: Recommendation by the university’s Research Commission

As a joint commission of the Academic Senate and the Executive Board of Freie Universität the Research Commission will discuss about the top-listed candidates based on the results of the interviews and give its recommendation to the Executive Board.

Phase 4: Final selection by the university's Executive Board

The Competitive Selection and the final decision on admission or rejection will be the responsibility of the Executive Board. The Executive Board will take the final decision based on the competitive ranking and recommendations of candidates from phase 3.



Call for applications


Deadline: September 30, 2012

Sept (1-2 weeks)

Phase I – Eligibility Check

Oct (4-5 weeks)

Phase II – a) Scientific Review


Announcement/ Recommendations for Interviews

Nov - Dec

Phase II – b) Structured Interviews

Dec 15

Announcement/ Results of Phase II


Jan 15

Phase III – Fellowship Selection Committee

End of Jan

Phase IV – Approval by University’s Executive Board

End of Jan

Notification of successful candidates

Mar/ Apr

Start of Project (employment at Freie Universität)

Apr 8-12

DRS Orientation Week (mandatory)

For further questions regarding the Center for Area Studies and its research areas please contact Anja vom Stein, geschaeftsstelle@cas.fu-berlin.de.

For further questions regarding Dahlem Humanities Centre and its research areas please contact Katja Heinrich, katja.heinrich@fu-berlin.de.

For further questions regarding the Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences and its research areas please contact Dr. Diana Mutz, diana.mutz@fu-berlin.de.

For further questions regarding NanoScale and its research topics please contact Achim Wiedekind, achim.wiedekind@fu-berlin.de

For questions regarding the POINT program please check our FAQ page or contact

DRS – POINT-Co-ordination
Dahlem Research School
Freie Universität Berlin
Hittorfstr. 16
14195 Berlin, Germany
E-Mail: fellowship-drs@fu-berlin.de.

For general information please contact the liason offices:

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