A research proposal should be clear, coherent and compelling, contain all the key elements involved in the research process and include sufficient information for the committee to evaluate the proposed study. The proposal should situate the project’s objectives in the context of existing research, debates and literature on the topic. The research design should be realistic in scope and responsive to theoretical and methodological concerns of a particular discipline but should also be of demonstrable cross-disciplinary interest. Applicants should show an appropriate level of training and skill to undertake the proposed study, including evidence of language fluency adequate to complete the project and participate in the German language colloquium at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Applicants should demonstrate a sound knowledge of the local academic context and the available research resources and specify why an extended period of research in Berlin is critical to the successful completion of their proposed research.
Regardless of the discipline, research area, the methodology and academic level of the research project, all proposals should include the following information:
As the Berlin Program funds recent postdocs, postdoc proposals involve converting a doctoral dissertation into a book manuscript, starting research on a new project or both.
If you are proposing a dissertation revision, state this, explaining the changes to the manuscript that you plan, and how you will accomplish these goals. Use this the opportunity to highlight how your dissertation contributes to the field, but also how your proposed research will advance your study. Make sure you clearly describe the questions you will ask beyond those examined in your dissertation. As you will have the potential readership of your future book in mind and try to extend the publication’s reach to the broader academic community, reflect on additional research questions, analysis of additional sources/data/literature.
If you are applying for support of a new project, and this may seem a bit of a challenge as you are still finishing your dissertation and had not had time to work on the new project, do not be alarmed. As described above, provide an overview of the new project, explaining the basic ideas, problems, or questions examined by your research, i.e. help the committee get the bigger picture and the new avenues you are pursuing. You could reflect on how the new research connects to your existing work or adds new dimensions in your research foci (e.g. a change of century, adding a comparative dimension, or a shift in methodology etc.). Identify the methods, sources etc. by which you will accomplish these research goals. Describe how the project will complement, challenge, or expand relevant existing knowledge in the field. Demonstrate your ability to do this in the time line submitted.
It is also acceptable to ask for funding if you have two goals, i.e. to revise the dissertation into a book and to launch a new project. Proceed with the explanation of the dissertation and revision plans, and then move on to the new project as described above.
Continue with Application Forms.