The Leopoldina fellowship programme was set up by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 1997 and has been managed by the Leopoldina since then. Since 2009, the program has been a fixture in the Academy’s institutional budget and is funded jointly by the BMBF and the state of Saxony-Anhalt. It represents a contribution by the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina to promoting the elite of future generations.
The programme has four elements:
The Leopoldina postdoc scholarship is awarded to outstanding postdoctoral scientists from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The target group for the programme is up-and-coming young scientists from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland who already indicate an independent research profile in natural science or medicine. Individuals who were granted a research project are given the opportunity to carry it out at a renowned research institute, usually abroad, and receive a postdoctoral fellowship for it. Austrian and Swiss scholarship recipients may only conduct their funded projects in Germany.
As a rule, a stay at the host institute is possible for one to two years. Recipients are expected to return to their home country at the end of the funding period and implement their newly acquired knowledge and skills there.
The follow-up funding starts upon expiry of the postdoc funding and may run for up to five years. During this period, former research fellows may receive limited support in the form of material resources. The personal follow-up support may be used to provide former scholarship holders with materials and travel grants to showcase the results from their postdoctoral research.
The returning fellow scholarship is available for selected excellent Leopoldina scholarship holders. Upon their return to Germany, it facilitates their reintegration into German academic life. If deemed necessary, a temporary interim payment will be granted until long-term employment has been found.
In the mentoring programme, qualified members of the Academy are available to provide individual support for the scholarship holders abroad and serve as mentors for the returnees. They provide direct and indirect assistance in the form of individual advice and references to contact persons at institutes and in the industry.
Further information is available in the leaflet “Leopoldina Funding Programme”.
The grants available allow for the financing of approximately 35 Leopoldina postdoc scholarships per year. Approximately 20 new scholarships are awarded each year.