Sofja Kovalevskaja Award

The deadline for this funding opportunity has passed. Please check back for the next application cycle. 

With the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is offering promising young researchers from all over the world attractive career prospects in Germany. Junior research talents of all disciplines from abroad are given the opportunity to establish working groups of their own at German research institutions.The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award recognises outstanding talent and creative research approaches with exceptional conditions: With an award amount of up to €1.65 million each winner receives valuable starting capital to spend five years pursuing an innovative research project at a research institute of his or her choice – untroubled by administrative constraints. In addition, the establishment of their own junior research team enables the award winners to lay an important foundation for a promising academic career at a very early stage. Eight awards are expected to be granted.

Outstandingly qualified junior academics of all disciplines from abroad who completed their doctorate less than six years ago are eligible to apply for the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award. It is also possible to submit applications immediately after finishing one’s doctoral studies. 

Details of the application procedure for the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award can be found on our website at: www.humboldt-foundation.de/skp_en. For individual questions, you are also welcome to contact info@avh.de.

 

Application Procedures

Application requirements:

1. Doctorate or comparable academic degree (Ph.D., C.Sc. or equivalent), completed with distinction less than six years prior to the application submission deadline.

 2. Career level: the award would enable the successful applicant to take on a leadership position (e.g. head of a junior research group) in Germany for the first time. Moreover, the applicant must not have held or accepted an offer of permanent employment in Germany. The relevant date is the date of the selection.

3. Cutting-edge academic achievements documented by a comprehensive list of independent academic publications reviewed according to international standards and printed in journals and / or by publishing houses.

4. Support of the German host institution, evidenced by a detailed expert's report from the academic host as well as the host's agreement and the confirmation from the administration at the host institution.

5. Two supporting expert reviews from academics (at the applicant's own institute or other institutes, where possible including some outside the applicant’s country of origin).

6. Language skills: scholars in the humanities or social sciences and physicians must have a good knowledge of German if it is necessary to carry out the project successfully; otherwise a good knowledge of English; scientists and engineers must have a good knowledge of German or English.

7. No previous Sofja Kovalevskaja Award.

Eligible applicants must have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to the submission deadline.

Potential applicants of German nationality are eligible to apply provided that their habitual place of work and residence has been located abroad on the assumption of permanence for at least five years. Potential applicants who have completed their school education and one university degree or one university degree and their doctorate in Germany are subject to the regulations governing German citizens. Visit the FAQs on the website for additional information.

Evaluation Criteria

The Humboldt Foundation will confirm receipt of the online application by email. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents.

After providing all the documents and receipt of the host’s statement and expert reviews, the application documents will usually be forwarded to three independent reviewers for written review. On the basis of these independent peer reviews a selection committee composed of about 25 academics from all disciplines reaches a decision on approving Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards. If there is any delay in submitting the host’s statement and the expert reviews it may not be possible to process and assess the application in the time available.

If an application has been approved the award winners and their host institutions agree jointly on the commencement of the planned research work in Germany in the course of the calendar year of the award conferment at the latest.

If your application is not approved, you may send an informal email requesting feedback to be sent to you and your host on the reasons for the rejection. This will usually follow approximately four to six weeks after the selection committee meeting.

It is not possible to appeal. However, applicants who have been rejected may submit a revised application response to a future call for applications provided that fundamental aspects of the original application have been manifestly improved and the then applicable submission requirements are met.