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P.R.I.M.E. for Postdocs

P.R.I.M.E. - Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience

With P.R.I.M.E., the DAAD supports postdocs during an international mobility phase and a subsequent re-integration into the German science system. The program is characterized in particular by the fact that the support is implemented in the form of temporary posts.

Postdocs are responsible for their own application to this program.

However, the German university must issue a confirmation that it will employ the applying postdoc for the duration of the funding period. Therefore, the involvement of the supervisor and the International Office of the Chemnitz University of Technology in the application process is mandatory! Please submit the required documents (see below) to the International Office using the TUCcloud by 10 August 2020 at the latest!

Comprehensive information and all application documents for this funding program can be found on DAAD's website. There is also a collection of FAQs.

At this point we summarize the most important information about this program:

The program is aimed at postdocs who see their long-term career prospects in Germany.

This program is open to anyone who

  • has above-average academic qualifications (a very good result of the doctorate)
  • has completed his or her doctorate before the start of funding
  • is supported by a mentor at the German university

The program is aimed at postdocs of all nationalities, no matter where they currently reside.

The support in P.R.I.M.E. comprises a 12-month phase abroad plus a 6-month re-integration phase in Germany, for a total of 18 months.

The combination of the stay abroad and the re-integration phase in Germany is mandatory. The return phase is an integral part of P.R.I.M.E.

If at the beginning of the funding period, the recipient is not yet integrated into the German social security system, the funding period begins with a one-month stay in Germany, followed by 12 months abroad and 5 months of re-integration in Germany.

All countries are eligible for the stays abroad, Germany is excluded. Within one country, stays at different scientific institutions are possible. The stay can also be spread over several countries.

For stays in countries not belonging to the European Union or associated countries, applicants must

  • be a national of one of the EU Member States or associated countries or
  • be able to demonstrate at least 5 years of full-time research activity in an EU Member State or associated country immediately before the application deadline

Between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2020, applicants must not have lived and/or worked in the target country for more than 12 months in total!
This rule does not apply to applicants who have stayed in a country to obtain refugee status under the Geneva Convention.

The central component of the sponsorship is regular employment at a German university. The fellowship comprises

  • an employment contract at a German university limited to 18 months
  • pay grade 13 (TV-L)
  • level allocation on the basis of professional experience
  • a monthly international surcharge according to the zone level of the destination

The DAAD concludes a grant agreement with the German university for the funding of the salary and the international surcharge as part of project funding.

In addition, fellows receive

  • a travel allowance according to the destination country
  • if applicable, a travel allowance for spouse/partner and children if they accompany the fellow abroad for at least one month

The travel allowance is paid to the fellow by the DAAD directly.

In order to apply to P.R.I.M.E., both formal and organizational requirements must be met. Please note that this is a highly competitive program; only 12 to 15 percent of applications were approved in previous funding rounds. If an application does not meet the requirements, it will be formally rejected.

Formal eligibility to apply

  • above-average scientific aptitude
  • evaluation of the doctorate with at least magna cum laude/very good
  • if the doctorate is not graded, the decision is up to the DAAD Selection Committee
  • the doctorate is completed before funding begins
  • applications in the final phase of the doctorate are possible
  • for applicants living abroad: there must be an intention to continue their career in Germany after the re-integration phase
  • binding acceptance of the rules of good scientific practice and the Ethics Issues Checklist of the program

Please also note the requirements for choosing the destination country - see eligible countries.

Organizational eligibility to apply

  • hosting German and foreign institution(s) are identified
  • the host institution in Germany is a university or university of applied sciences
  • confirmation of the employment for the applicant must be provided by the German university
  • German host university appoints a mentor
  • the letter of invitation of the German host university outlines long-term perspectives for the applicant's research activities
  • foreign host institution can be a university, non-university, or industrial research institution
  • the foreign host institution must confirm and explain its support for the research project and provision of infrastructure in the letter of invitation

Start of funding

  • between 1 May and 1 September 2021
  • later start of funding only possible in justified exceptional cases in agreement with the DAAD

Postdocs who are already in a permanent employment relationship with the German host institution are excluded from applications!

The DAAD does not provide any financial support to the foreign host institution!

The following criteria are taken into account in the performance-based selection of postdocs to be funded:

  • previous achievements, i.e. technical and other qualifications
  • quality of the proposed research project
  • personal development foreseeable by the proposed project
  • long-term career planning

Please note the detailed information on the selection criteria in the P.R.I.M.E. call for proposals. The DAAD has also compiled comments on previous applications which will help you to assess your chances in this program.

The selection process takes into account whether applicants aspire to a certain degree of independence in their research priorities after their doctorate and whether they are willing to venture into a new field of research. Applications with the previous university as the host institution are possible, but remaining in the working group of the doctoral supervisor may have a negative effect on the chance at P.R.I.M.E.

The DAAD provides the following schedule for P.R.I.M.E.:

  • application deadline: 31. August 2020
  • selection results: end of February 2021
  • orientation seminar for grantees: 15 and 16 March 2021
  • the earliest start of funding: 1 May 2021
  • the latest start of funding: 1 September 2021

The German host university must complete and sign the form "Declaration of the German university on the employment of the applicant in case of funding in the Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (PRIME) program" (available in German only). In order to obtain this signature, applicants must submit the documents listed under Application Documents including the route sheet by 10 August 2020 to the International Office at the latest. Please use the TUCcloud. The International Office coordinates the signature process.

In order to apply for this funding program

  • you fill in the online application form in the DAAD Portal
  • you generate the form for the expert report via the DAAD Portal
  • your supervisor sends the expert report by post to the DAAD
  • your supervisor will forward all necessary documents to the International Office so that the confirmation of Chemnitz University of Technology can be made on the declaration form of the German university (see application deadlines)
  • the International Office will provide you with the signed declaration form of the German university
  • you submit all application documents in PDF format online via the DAAD Portal

The DAAD Portal is usually opened for applications 6 weeks before the application deadline. Please switch to the English language version. If you have not yet worked with the DAAD Portal, you should familiarize yourself with this application in good time. The DAAD provides information on how to register with the portal as well as information on how to apply via the DAAD Portal.

The application documents in this program must be submitted in English. Exceptions apply to the certificates and confirmation of the German university. Please download all attachments in PDF format into the DAAD Portal.

Please note that the DAAD will only accept the expert report using the form generated in the DAAD Portal.

The expert report is sent to the postal address of the DAAD:

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V.
Referat ST 43 / PRIME
Kennedyallee 50
53175 Bonn

The application documents consist of the online application form in the DAAD Portal, your attachments to the application, and the expert report from your supervisor.

The annexes to the application include:

  • gap-free CV
  • summary of the research project with a working title and an indication of keywords (max. half a page)
  • a detailed description of the research project (7 to 8 pages without bibliography)
  • timetable for the research project
  • binding declaration of the hosting German university
  • letter of invitation from the German host
  • letter of invitation from the foreign host
  • certificates of the last two academic degrees with a list of grades
  • if the doctorate is not yet completed: declaration by the doctoral supervisor on the expected date of completion of the doctorate
  • publication list
  • mention of the most important publications (min. 1 to the max. 3 publications) and reasons for their selection
  • summary of the dissertation (1 to 2 pages)
  • explanation of other technical, professional, social activities and, if applicable, personal situation (optional)
  • form Ethics Issues Checklist
  • language certificate for the foreign phase, if the working language is not German or English
  • Checklist Application Documents
  • confidential expert report/reference letter (see below)

Applicants without German nationality must also submit an official language certificate confirming their knowledge of German. Exceptions apply to

  • applicants from countries where German is an official language
  • applicants who have lived in a German-speaking country for at least one year continuously since beginning their studies
  • applicants who can credibly demonstrate that English language skills alone are sufficient for the implementation of the project

In case of stays at several scientific institutions abroad, please indicate all planned institutions in the application form and submit letters of invitation from all planned institutions.

Your supervisor should submit the expert report to the DAAD by post. The postal address is:

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V.
Referat ST 43 / PRIME
Kennedyallee 50
53175 Bonn

You will receive confirmation of receipt via the DAAD Portal as soon as the report has been submitted to the DAAD.

For detailed information on the application documents, please refer to the call for proposals.

Incomplete applications will not be admitted to the selection procedure.

First, the DAAD carries out a formal application review. The DAAD will inform applicants of the results approximately 6 weeks after the application deadline.

This is followed by the evaluation procedure, which is carried out for each application by two independent, external reviewers of the respective discipline.

Finally, an interdisciplinary selection committee classifies the applications on the basis of the external evaluations and the assessment of the commission members. This will result in a ranking of successful candidates and replacement candidates, taking into account the funds available. 

The selection will be made on the basis of the documents received; there will be no personal interview of the applicants.

Approximately one week after the selection meeting, all candidates will receive the selection result; approximately two months after the selection meeting, feedback with a summary of the most important comments of the reviewers will be given. 

All successful applicants will attend an orientation seminar on 15 and 16 March 2021 in Bonn. All applicants should make a note of this date without already making travel reservations. 

The German hosting universities will be informed as soon as the recipients have declared their acceptance of the funding. The host university then submits the application for project funding to the DAAD for the persons to be funded.

The tandem of postdoc and supervisor will clarify the recruitment modalities with the Human Resource Department.

  • P.R.I.M.E. is fully financed, therefore no own or other third-party funds may be brought in!
  • Simultaneous funding in this program and from projects of the DAAD program funding, which were acquired through the TU Chemnitz, represents inadmissible double funding and is therefore excluded!
  • Those who receive funding can also apply in the DAAD lecture and congress travel program if required (websites available in German only).
  • If additional funds are required compared to the financial planning from the application, the German university can apply for subsequent approval.
  • The host professorship is responsible for the handling of the funds. The DAAD provides information and hints (available in German only) on this.


The program is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Union.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, we will be happy to assist you!


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