Sofia Kovalevskaja Award

Funding source: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Funding: own position, postdocs, PhD students, equipment, travel, etc.; 1.65 million € in total

Duration: 5 years

Eligibility: PhD with distinction within the last six years; top-ranked junior researcher currently living abroad (must have lived outside Germany for a minimum of 12 months in total in the 18-month period prior to the submission deadline)

Deadlines: Once a year at the end of July


The Sofia Kovalevskaja Award is granted to young exceptionally promising researchers from abroad in recognition of outstanding academic achievements. The award is intended to enable them to embark on academic careers in Germany by establishing their own research group at a research institution in Germany.

The program is open to scientists from all countries who completed their doctorate with distinction less than six years ago.

The award amount will allow the winners to finance their research group at the university or non-university research institution of their choice in Germany and also to cover their living expenses. Award winners will be selected solely on the basis of their academic qualifications.

Main application requirements:

  • Cutting-edge academic achievements documented by a comprehensive list of independent refereed publications
  • 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.
  • 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).

If you want to apply for the Sofia Kovalevskaja Award with MPS as host institution then the best ways is to identify a senior scientist or director at the MPS active in the field of your planned research proposal (please check the research pages on our website) and contact her or him.

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