DAAD 2024 Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (PRIME) Funding Program

The DAAD Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (PRIME) funding program offers an exceptional opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to advance their careers through international mobility.

This program’s goal is to support researchers with temporary positions at German universities, providing a pathway for those who envision their long-term professional future in Germany. By facilitating independent research stays abroad, funded through temporary employment at German universities, DAAD PRIME ensures that postdocs gain valuable international experience.

A key component of the program is the mandatory return phase, designed to reintegrate researchers into the German science system, thereby strengthening their qualifications for a continued career in science. Backed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the DAAD PRIME program is a critical initiative for fostering global scientific collaboration and career development.

DAAD PRIME Funding Program Details

Application DeadlineAugust 30, 2024
Duration18-Month Employment contract
Funding TypePartially Funded
SponsorGerman Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Benefits of DAAD PRIME Funding Program


The first key benefit of the DAAD PRIME program is that it provides funding for an 18-month employment contract at a German university. This contract is set to support researchers complete a 12-month research stay abroad, followed by a return phase in Germany.

Keep in mind that, during the 12 months abroad, researchers may combine stays at multiple research institutions in one or several countries.

Funding Duration:

  • Total Period: DAAD PRIME offers funding for a comprehensive period of 18 months to ensure sufficient time for both international research and reintegration into the German academic system.
  • Research Abroad: The first 12 months are dedicated to conducting research abroad. This allows postdoctoral researchers to immerse themselves in international research environments, collaborate with global experts, and expand their academic and professional networks.
  • Return Phase in Germany: The final 6 months will be the return phase. This is included in the funding cycle of 12+6 for reintegration, knowledge transfer, and continued research in Germany.
  • Alternate Schedules: If there are any alternative schedules, DAAD can approve those schedules if required by scientific, insurance, or residence law needs, ensuring compliance with various requirements while benefiting from the program.
  • Social Security Integration: This is mandatory for participants, ensuring access to essential benefits and protections. The integration phase will take a month in Germany before 12 months abroad and a 5-month return phase (funding cycle 1+12+5) to comply with social security regulations and provide a smooth transition.
  • Status Determination: This is done by local statutory insurance, ensuring proper coverage and compliance with local insurance laws during the stay abroad.

Requirements for DAAD PRIME Funding Program


  • This program is open to applicants with above-average qualifications from all faculties.
  • To be eligible you must have completed your doctorate with excellent results before the start of funding.
  • Nationality and Residency: No restrictions on nationality and current residency. However, certain restrictions may apply based on nationality and place of residence when choosing the destination country for the stay abroad (refer to application requirements for details).


  • Scientific Record: You need to have an excellent scientific record, including at least one publication (co-authorship is accepted).
  • Doctorate Completion: Make sure you’ve completed your doctorate with excellent marks before the funding starts. If your doctorate isn’t graded, the DAAD selection committee will decide. You can apply during the final stages of your doctorate, but it’s not recommended.
  • Time Limit: You can apply up to six years after completing your first doctorate. Parental and care periods are taken into consideration.
  • Mobility Rule: You’re free to choose any country (except Germany) for your research stay, as long as you haven’t lived or worked in that country for more than 12 months in total during the three years before the application deadline of 30 August 2024. Time spent seeking refugee status under the Geneva Convention isn’t counted.
  • EU Nationals and Residents: If you’re an EU national, resident citizen, or have 3 years of full-time equivalent research experience in the EU before recruitment, you can spend your research stay outside the EU. Otherwise, you’ll need to stay within the European Union for the 12-month “abroad” phase.
  • Intention to Return: If you’re living abroad, you should state your intent to continue your research career in Germany after the return phase.
  • Employment Status: You won’t be eligible if you already have a permanent employment contract at the prospective host institution for the intended research activity.
  • Program Commitment: Both the research stays abroad and the return phase in Germany are mandatory parts of the program.
  • Ethical Compliance: By applying, you agree to follow the “Rules of Good Scientific Practice” and the program’s ethical guidelines.
  • Re-application: You can re-apply only once, within a maximum of 2 years, after consulting with the PRIME team. Be sure to label and explain any improvements in your project proposal on an extra page.

DAAD PRIME Funding Program Selection Process

If you meet the above eligibility requirements, then you should also take note of the selection process for this program. It starts from application results to when funding will start.

  • Formal Eligibility Check Outcome: Approximately six weeks after the application deadline, all applicants are informed about the outcome of the formal eligibility check.
  • Review Process: Applications entering the review process are independently reviewed by external experts, and scientists from the relevant subject area.
  • Interdisciplinary Selection Committee: The interdisciplinary selection committee assesses the final rating based on external reviews, creating a ranking list. The number of successful applicants and reserve candidates depends on available funds.
  • Selection Criteria: Personal interviews are not part of the selection process. Decisions are based solely on the submitted documents.
  • Result Notification: Applicants receive a result notification (funding, reserve list, rejection) about two weeks after the selection committee meeting. Approximately two months post-selection, applicants receive feedback summarizing important reviewer comments.
  • Orientation Seminar: Successful applicants attend a virtual orientation seminar before the fellowship begins. This seminar provides further details about the fellowship implementation process.
  • Fellowship Acceptance: After successful candidates accept their fellowships, DAAD notifies their German host universities. The universities then apply for DAAD project funding to finance the fellows’ positions.
  • Funding Start: Following DAAD approval, funding can commence no earlier than 01 June 2025.

Schedule/Application Timeline

Call AnnouncementMay 2024
Application Deadline30 August 2024
Selection ResultMid-March 2025
Orientation Seminar for New FellowsMarch/April 2025
Earliest Starting Date01 June 2025
Latest Starting Date01 November 2025

Application Documents

Here are the application documents needed to apply for the 2024DAAD PRIME funding program

  1. Completed application form
  2. Comprehensive curriculum vitae in tabular form without gaps, specifying durations (e.g., MM / YY – MM / YY) –EU Standards
  3. Career plan (max one page) detailing how the PRIME funding will enhance your scientific development
  4. Research project summary/abstract (half page max) with a clear title and keywords for reviewers’ understanding
  5. Detailed research proposal (7-8 pages max, excluding references) with emphasis on quality, relevance, methodology, and host suitability. Include improvements if reapplying.
  6. Realization schedule (e.g., Gantt chart) for work abroad and in Germany
  7. Binding declaration from the German host university (form 1, Word/PDF ) for a temporary position under the TV-L E13 framework and within the framework of the DAAD funding program.
  8. Invitation letter from German host detailing support, mentorship, and career prospects (form 2, word/pdf).
  9. Invitation letter from foreign host explaining support and mentorship
  10. Certificates of two recent academic degrees with transcripts, or an explanation if transcripts are unavailable. Include translations if not in German or English.
  11. Publication list categorizing peer-reviewed works and books, with marked important publications and reasons for selection. Provide URLs or upload individual articles.
  12. A short summary of the doctoral thesis (1-2 pages)
  13. Completed and signed ethics issues checklist to assess potential ethical impacts of the research project
  14. Language certificates if the project requires specific language skills
  15. Checklist of application documents
  16. Confidential letter of recommendation from a university professor with the corresponding recommendation form.

How To Apply

If you meet all the requirements, then follow these steps to apply:

  1. Go to the DAAD application portal. You can access it by clicking on “Stipendiendatenbank für Deutsche.”
  2. Fill in the required fields such as “Fachrichtung” (subject of your research), and “Zielland” (country of the period abroad), and select the “Programme für Promovierte” program.
  3.  Follow the instructions for registering on the portal. Make sure to choose English as the portal language.
  4. If necessary, activate the compatibility view of your browser to ensure smooth navigation.

That’s all! For more detailed information on this program, visit the DAAD website.

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