College for Life Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship


The College for Life Sciences offers Short-term Fellowships for early-career post-doctoral scientists. You will live and work on the campus of the Wissenschaftskolleg and attend the weekly colloquia held by leading scholars in various fields, which can help you to broaden your horizon and think about your own research from a new perspective. The meals will provide time to discuss your research with scientists from all kinds of backgrounds and provide you with new and unexpected views and ideas. Within the College for Life Sciences, you will profit from discussions with peers at similar career stages. Outstanding young scientists awarded by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) with the John Maynard Smith Prize will join and further enrich the College for Life Sciences. We offer to organize workshops and to present your research to the regular Fellows of the Wissenschaftskolleg or to facilitate your visit to research institutes in Berlin.

We offer:

  • a full stipend based on your previous salary
  • on-campus studio accommodation in Berlin, mainly  institute financed, a negotiable amount self-financed
  • access to its library and IT services
  • daily meetings and lively discussions with all Fellows
  • weekly colloquia
  • annually changing focus groups on contemporary scientific questions
  • scientific exchange with the research community of Berlin, Germany, and beyond
  • the possibility to invite your scientists of interest to the Wissenschaftskolleg
  • the possibility to organize workshops on scientific topics you are interested in and to invite relevant scientists
  • replacement or substitution costs (Rotationsstellen)

We do not offer any lab space. However, you are strongly encouraged to develop interactions with the life science community in Berlin, to explore new laboratories, techniques, equipment, etc.

If you intend to stay with your partner and/or family in Berlin, please contact the coordinator Ulrike Pannasch for further information. We welcome families and are usually successful in hosting them. But since our housing possibilities are limited, we cannot always guarantee suitable accommodation for families.

For more information about the Fellowship conditions, please refer to: Living and Working


We invite applications from all life scientists who have obtained their Ph.D. and we foster postdoctoral fellows up to the level of lecturer, junior/assistant professors, and junior principal investigators working in all life science disciplines. We require that you have at least one lead-author publication in a peer-reviewed journal. There are no restrictions as to which life science discipline, nationality, or age. If you have been a principal investigator for longer than five years, though, you are advised to apply for a regular Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg. Applications from scientists working at institutions in Berlin cannot be taken into consideration.

We invite applications from all life scientists who have obtained their Ph.D., MD, or Dr. med. and we foster postdoctoral fellows up to the level of lecturer, junior/assistant professors, and junior principal investigators working in all life science disciplines.


We invite Fellows for up to 6 months to work and live at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin during the academic year (September-June). The College is embedded in the regular Fellowship program and therefore officially starts in September, when all Fellows of the Wissenschaftskolleg arrive.

It is advantageous to schedule a stay at the beginning of the academic year, but participations later in the academic year and shorter durations of at least 3 months are also possible.

The advantage of a synchronized start for all College for Life Sciences Fellows in September is the formation of an interactive and dynamic Fellow group, the possibility to join focus groups of the regular Fellows, who will start their work in September, and, in general, early interaction with the regular Fellows.


The next deadline for submitting applications is November 24, 2019.

Please apply here:

Applications include:

  1. a project proposal (max. 1000 words)
  2. a letter of motivation (max. 500 words)
  3. a CV
  4. a publication list
  • Project Proposal: Please describe the research questions you intend to work on during your stay at the Wissenschaftskolleg. You are entirely free to determine what research to pursue during your Fellowship. You may come here to think and take stock of your past research, formulate new exciting questions, plan your next experiments, or prepare to start your first post as an independent group leader. Fellowships may also be used to write a book. In your statement, you may want to include: a short general introduction to your field of research, your broad research aims and aspirations, the questions you would like to work on during your Fellowship, your ideas on how to solve these questions, and your plan’s relevance for your field and beyond. You may also indicate how it will advance your field of research and the urgency of your intended project. Please keep the broad picture in mind, because your application will be read by the scientific committee consisting of researchers from various life scientific disciplines. You may also want to indicate why you think this project is particularly suitable for the College for Life Sciences and why the time is right to undertake this project and how it will benefit you at this specific point in your career.
  • Letter of Motivation: Please describe your motivation and reasons for applying for this particular fellowship as well as your expectations regarding your stay. We are seeking highly motivated individuals with vivid intellectual curiosity who excel in their fields and think outside the box. Please explain why you think you are suited to hold a fellowship in such an interdisciplinary environment and describe your expectations and how the College and the Wissenschaftskolleg might benefit from your presence.
  • Your CV: Please provide us with information concerning your education, current and previous positions, awards, and any other academic activities (memberships in scientific organizations, speaker invitations, etc.).
  • Publications: Please provide a list of up to 5 of your most important publications, as well as a list of all publications.

Selection Process

Applicants are selected by the program’s Scientific Committee, based on the applicant’s academic excellence, achievements, and promise, as well as the quality, significance, and interdisciplinarity of the proposed research project.

Reviews from peers in relevant disciplines support the process.

Applicants are notified by e-mail of the outcome of the selection process at the end of February.

Potential candidates will be invited for a final interview either in person or via video call in the presence of the whole selection committee. Fellowships are awarded in February and can be started at the earliest in September and at the latest in April of the following year.

Application date
3-6 months
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, History, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences : Management and Public administration, Gender studies, Identities, gender and sexuality, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Pedagogic & Education Research, Information and Communication Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Sociology
Other : Biology, Chemistry, Medicine, Physics, mathematics and engineering