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Spotlight: Program to support young female scientists


Image Credit: Pamela Saunders on Unsplash

One of the central profile features of Freie Universität is the promotion of young female scientists. Within the funding program “Professorinnenprogramm III” of the German federal and state governments, Freie Universität provides support opportunities for young female scientists in order to encourage gender equality, to sustainably improve the representation of women in the scientific system, and to increase the number of female scientists in top positions in the scientific field.

In addition to acquiring third-party funding and organizing conferences, congresses and workshops, transferring research results into practice and collaborating with non-scientific actors is becoming an increasingly important career tool. Spotlight supports the scientists´ career in two ways: On the one hand, funded researchers get the chance to establish/expand their professional networks and promote their research initiatives. On the other hand, the funded projects contribute to strengthening their own career profile. All of these are preconditions and prerequisites for the scientific career path and, in perspective, contribute to the establishment of employability.

The program Spotlight therefore promotes: the acquisition of third-party funding, the establishment of professional networks and the transfer of knowledge with actors within and outside of science. For the target group, Spotlight provides on the one hand personnel funds to support the application for third-party funding and on the other hand material funds for the implementation of events with transfer partners and non-scientific social actors (conferences, pilot transfer projects, workshops, congresses, etc.).

Target group

  • Female Post-doctoral researchers in their 1st to 3rd year of employment,
  • Junior female professors in the 1st up to and including 3rd year of employment,
  • and W2 female professors (on time) in their 1st and 2nd year of employment.

Funding conditions

The measure is based on two funding lines:

  • Funding line 1 funds projects that support the acquisition of third-party funding in transfer-oriented funding programs with personnel in the form of an increase or extension of a research assistant position (E13, max. level 2, up to 50%) for up to six months. The respective department supports the scientist by providing the necessary infrastructure and, if applicable, by assuming costs that exceed the maximum eligible experience level 2 or are necessary for the implementation of the project (personnel and material resources).
  • Funding line 2 supports the organization of transfer-oriented conferences, pilot projects, workshops and/or congresses with the active involvement of non-scientific target groups with up to €10,000 in the form of material resources and student assistants as well as honoraria and travel expenses for speakers and experts. The department or the transfer partner is expected to co-finance at least half of the costs up to an amount of 7,500 € per project.
  • Applicants from both funding lines also take part in an internal FU support program, which connects the participants with each other, supports them in the further development of the content of the transfer projects and the acquisition of key qualifications for young leaders.
  • Further information on the funding program: Call for applications Spotlight (PDF german)

Application and project start

In a concept of max. 1,500 words, applicants present their project and justify its necessity. The funds requested must be specified in the application form (DOCX german). The application documents must be accompanied by an endorsement of the project by the department administration. In the case that funds are requested for a student assistant, a commitment must be made to provide any necessary workspace.

Applications can be submitted to Teresa Kollakowski (teresa.kollakowski@fu-berlin.de) or Stefan Knoll (stefan.knoll@fu-berlin.de) by 15.01.2023.

A project start is possible from 01.03.2023. The requested funds must be spent by 31.12.2023.


Dr. -Ing. Stefan Knoll

Phone: (030) 838 60268

E-mail: stefan.knoll@fu-berlin.de

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