Senior Fellowships at the Zukunftskolleg

Every year the Zukunftskolleg issues a call for application for Senior Fellowships. The aims of the open calls are to create a vibrant intergenerational community at the Zukunftskolleg and to facilitate focused dialogue and productive collaborations across disciplines. This application is open to researchers from in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, who are active and enjoy the exchange and collaboration with the younger generation.

Senior candidates must demonstrate a track record of significant and original research achievements, have at least seven years of independent academic work experience and enjoy the exchange and collaboration with the younger generations. Applicants will be required to describe how their proposed work will contribute to research conducted at the Zukunftskolleg. Special attention will be paid to the envisaged collaboration with a current Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg.

Within the Synergy for Seniors Programme we open the possibility to (academic) partners to apply. This programme allows two researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds to work together with a Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg and contribute with their own topical or methodological expertise. Fellows apply individually but state clearly that they wish to work together. Each researcher will be awarded an individual Senior Fellowship.


The Senior Fellowship will be awarded to up to three researchers for the year 2020/21. The duration of the award is no less than 3 months and not more than 12 months, depending on the work plan submitted. Upon agreement the fellowship can be divided into two to three research stays.

The Zukunftskolleg’s follows the maxim “no loss, no gain” when deciding upon the financial details of the Fellowship. Senior Fellows receive a monthly honorarium, the size of which will be decided after consultation with the fellow and a consideration of relevant circumstances.

The successful Senior Fellow can apply during the fellowship for financial support (co-funding) from the Zukunftskolleg, for example for student/research assistants, consumables and workshops.

The Senior Fellows are expected to spend their fellowship in residence, to work on the proposed project, and to participate actively in the academic life at the Zukunftskolleg. Please note that field trips or archival research during the Fellowship is possible only to a limited extent.


The Senior Fellowship is open to established researchers with an outstanding research record and who have at least seven years of independent academic work, emeriti included. Next to the excellence in the research field, documented by publications and awards, the applicants must have extensive experience in supervision and mentorship of early career researchers. Furthermore, applicants will need to identify a local host amongst the current fellows of the Zukunftskolleg with whom they intend to team up during the fellowship.

Application procedure

All applications and required documents must be submitted in English and in single-PDF file to:

Application materials include the following:

  1. Motivation letter;
  2. Curriculum vitae: containing the education; academic employment history; honours and awards; supervision and mentorship of early career researchers; university, professional and society service;
  3. Publication record and a list of the 5 publications considered as the most important by the applicant;
  4. Project proposal describing the ideas on how the fellowship will contribute both the applicant as well as his/her younger Fellow partner in particular and the Zukunftskolleg’s community in general, a schedule for the planned activities and the expected output (max. 5 pages including references);
  5. Letter(s) of cooperation from the hosting Zukunftskolleg Fellow(s);
  6. Two letters of recommendation.


The application for the Senior Fellowship will close on December 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM (CET).

The fellowships may begin as early as 1 April 2021, but no later than 1 June 2021

Application date
3 to 12 months
Social sciences