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Minerva Foundation

Minerva Fellowship


The Minerva Fellowship Program enables German and Israeli scientists and researchers to spend longer-term research residencies at institutions in the host country from six to thirty-six months (for graduates) or from six to twenty-four months (for post docs). To date, more than 1,500 German and Israeli scientists and researchers have been awarded a Minerva Fellowship. Some fifty scientists receive fellowships each year. Young scientists and researchers (post docs) are given priority in the selection process. Scientists with tenure are not eligible to apply.

Art der Förderung

Minerva Fellowships are granted to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. The minimum funding period amounts to six months in both cases. Doctoral scholarships are initially granted for a maximum of twenty-four months. There is the possibility of extending them for a third year. Post-doctoral fellowships are also granted for a maximum of twenty-four months. Extensions of post-doctoral scholarships are, however, principally not possible.

Israeli Fellows in Germany
Status Monthly Fellowship rates
#Scientists working on their Ph.D. thesis € 1,377
#Scientist(Ph.D.) with up to 5 years' working experience € 2,100
#Scientist (Ph.D.) with more than 5 years' working experience € 2,300

Dependency allowance: up to € 256/mth. for an accompanying spouse (if spouse has income less than € 409)

Children's allowance: up to € 51/mth. per child (if children accompany family to Germany for minimum six months)

Payment in kind: up to € 123/mth. (for books, travel to symposia etc.)

2. German Fellows in Israel

I) Fellowship
Status Base salary monthly rate
Graduate € 1,278
#up to 30 years € 1,365
#31 to 34 years € 1,416
#35 to 38 years € 1,467
#39 years and over € 1,519

II) Country allowance (postdocs only)
Status Monthly Rate
Single € 1042
Married, spouse does not live in Israel € 1266
Married, spouse lives in Israel € 1489

Dependency allowance (postdocs only): € 205/mth. (€ 153/mth. for graduates) for an accompanying spouse (if spouse has income less than € 205/mth.)

Children's allowance: up to € 51/mth. per child (if children accompany family to Israel for minimum six months).

Payment in kind: € 102/mth. (for books, travels to symposia etc.)


Application requirements
*Graduate fellowship: eligible candidates must have completed a university degree ("Diplom", M.A., M.Sc., or equivalent qualification). B.A. and B.Sc. students are only eligible to apply if accepted to a direct Ph.D. track.

  • Post-doctoral fellowship: we accept applications from candidates who provide proof that they will have submitted their doctoral thesis by March 1 (for applications submitted for the January deadline) respectively by September 1 (for applications submitted for the June deadline), or who have completed their doctorate no more than seven years prior to the beginning of the fellowship. Maternal leave will be taken into account.
  • Applicants who are presently residing in Israel/Germany but are not nationals of either of the two countries must show a proven record of integration into the Israeli or German scientific community. An affiliation to a research institution in Israel or Germany is required together with a residency of 5 years or longer in either of the two countries. Conversely, if applicants are citizens of one country but have been living in the other for an extended period of time (more than 4 years) a scholarship in the second country cannot be granted since it would not truly support German-Israeli exchange.

Reapplication is possible and requires that:

  • the candidate has not received notification that such a reapplication is not permissible;
  • minimum 12 months lie between the first and second application;
  • scientific progress and achievements during this interval are duly reflected in the reapplication


The following documents should be submitted in English and only by e-mail (separate pdf-files):

  • Questionnaire
  • Curriculum Vitae including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address
  • University Transcripts (Academic Record) in English or German (B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D.)
  • Publication List
  • Research Proposal: This should not exceed five pages. (References are not included in these five pages.)
  • Summary of the proposal: 5-10 keywords, additionally an abstract (up to 200 words), which should by all means be written in laymen's English (for committee members who are not familiar with your field of research), and should contain a generally comprehensible description of the project, also indicating its scientific aims.
  • Letter of Invitation: The letter from your host should contain a statement indicating the feasibility of your research at his/her institute.
    *Overview of the activities of the host institute/chair/group including its ten best research publications of the past five years. This information should be no longer than a page and supplied by the host.
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation (must be written in English) from scientists who know the candidate personally. A letter from the Ph.D. supervisor is for doctoral students compulsory, for post-docs desirable. The future host can also write such a letter provided he or she knows the candidate personally.
  • At least one confidential reference letter (must be written in English), if possible, from a scientist who is neither German nor Israeli to comment solely on the project and not on the candidate. The person providing the reference must be a scientist who does not know the candidate personally and who has not previously collaborated with the candidate.

The reference letters should be addressed to the Minerva Foundation and sent directly to the Minerva Office, attn. Ms. Sieglinde Reichardt by e-mail. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the reference letters are sent. Reviewers will not be contacted by the Minerva Office.

Application for an Extension of the Fellowship

Extensions for Post Docs are principally not possible.

Extensions of doctoral fellowships will only be granted if the continuation of the fellowship is vital for the success of the project

The following documents must be submitted for an application for an extension of a doctoral fellowship:

  • Cover letter from the candidate stating why an extension of the fellowship is absolutely necessary for the success of the project
  • Updated proposal with results achieved so far
  • Updated CV
  • Letter of recommendation from the host justifying the extension

Applications must be sent to the Minerva Office by e-mail no later than June 15.
In case of approval, the earliest possible date of start of fellowship is November 1.

Minerva will confirm receipt of your application and at the same time notify you if an interview with a member of the Fellowship Committee is necessary. The Minerva Fellowship Committee decides on the applications at the end of September. You will be notified of the outcome of your application shortly thereafter.

If you have any questions please contact:
Tel.: +49-(0)89-2108-1242, fax: +49-(0)89-2108-1222, or e-mail: reichardt@gv.mpg.de

Please send your application in hard copy or by e-mail to:
Minerva Fellowship Office
Max Planck Gesellschaft
Frau Sieglinde Reichardt
Hofgartenstr. 8
80539 München

Bewerbungsfrist: jeweils zum 15.01. und 15.06. eines jeden Jahres.

Weitere Informationen


  • Allgemeine Förderung (Lebenshaltungskosten)
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Minerva Foundation
Hofgartenstraße 8
80539 München

Telefon: +49 89 2108-1420
Telefax: +49 89 2108-1451
Internet: www.minerva.mpg.de


Sieglinde Reichardt
Telefon: +49 89 2108- 1242
Telefax: +49 89 2108-1222
Internet: www.minerva.mpg.de/fellowships/fellowships.html

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