FAQ for applicants


Please check for further information the eligibility criteria, application guidelines and requirements.


Who can apply for the PFP?

Highly qualified and motivated early-career scientists of all nationalities

 - who hold a doctoral degree no longer than 3 years or will receive their doctoral degree by the start of the program

 - who are fluent in written and spoken English

 - who have not been recruited to the Center for more than 6 months

are welcome to apply for the PFP.


How can I apply for the PFP?

The application period starts in October 2018. Please submit your completed application form exclusively via the online application portal. The submission deadline is November 30, 2018, 23:59 Central European Time (GMT+1).

Important notes:

- All entries on the application form must be in English.

- Documents shall be uploaded as pdf files.

- You can save your application form during the application period.

- Submission of your application is only possible if all required fields and documents marked with * are filled in or uploaded. Non-required fields and documents are optional but we recommend that you fill in these fields and upload the appropiate files. The more information you provide, the better we will be able to assess your application.

- Once all information has been filled in, click the "Preview and submit" button. Check the preview of your application and click the button again to finally submit your application. You will not be able to change your application after this, but you will be able to check the status of your reference letters.

- Contact your referees and make sure that they provide their reference letters via the application portal by December 7, 2018, 23:59 Central European Time (GMT+1) at the latest.


What documents do I need for my application?

Please prepare the following documents as pdf files:

- Curriculum Vitae (CV) including your personal details, current position, education, interest, experience, skills: not longer than 2 pages

- List of publications and presentations

- Certificates: doctoral degree, bachelor´s degree, master´s degree, diploma etc.

- Certificate of proficiency in English (recommended for non-native speakers)


The following documents must be entered into the description fields:

- Research project proposal for up to 3 research subjects, list of project-related publications and motivation for each research subject: altogether up to 9000 characters including spaces

- Letter of motivation regarding your interest in doing a postdoc at Helmholtz Zentrum München, in participating in the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program as well as in pursuing a scientific career: up to 4000 characters including spaces



Do I need my doctoral certificate to submit my application?

No, you can submit your application without your doctoral certificate but a confirmation that you have handed in your doctoral thesis at a university must be submitted in this case. The doctoral certificate must be handed in latest at the start of work at the Center.


Is an English language certificate required for the application?

An English language certificate is not mandatory but recommended for non-native speakers.


How can I check if my referees have sent their letters of recommendation?

You can check the status of your letters of recommendation in your account. If your referee has provided the letter, a color code (changes from red to green) will indicate that the letter has been submitted.


When will I know if I am invited to the Interview Days in Munich?

Invitation emails will be sent out approx. 4 - 6 weeks after the application deadline.


When will the Interview Days in Munich take place?

The Interview Days will take place 8-10 weeks after the application deadline. Candidates will give scientific presentations and will have structured interviews with the appointing committee. Accommodation will be provided by Helmholtz Zentrum München and travel expenses will be reimbursed (receipts must be provided).


When will I be notified about the decision of the appointing committee?

You will receive an email with the decision of the appointing committee within 2 weeks after the Interview Days.


When will the PFP start?

The hiring procedure of future fellows must be completed by August 1, 2019, because the program will start in mid-August 2019 with the first joint training module.


How long is the duration of the PFP?

In total, the PFP will take 3 years but the training modules will be scheduled during the first 2 years of the program.


How much is the salary of a fellow?

Fellows will receive a fully funded postdoctoral position for 3 years (usually TVÖD EG13).


What kind of visa do I need?

For the interview days you need to apply for a "Schengen Visa Type C". For stays of more than three months or stays leading to gainful employment in Germany you will have to apply for a "National Visa Type D". Further information can be found here.


How to handle visa formalities?

Invited or accepted candidates will receive an official invitation letter from the Center together with a letter for the German embassy from the Guest Office. This letter must be submitted to the German embassy or a German consulate in your home country together with your visa application. Issuing a visa may take anything from several days to 2 months, depending on the country of origin and circumstances. In case of any isues, the Guest Office will provide assistance.


Do I need a Resident Permit as a postdoctoral fellow?

To stay in Germany every foreign postdoc needs a residence permit (for details see Auswärtiges Amt). This is not a requirement for candidates of member states of the European Union. The Guest Office will provide administrative support with regard to visa formalities for citizens from non-EU countries.



 If you have further questions or problems please contact us at postdoc@helmholtz-muenchen.de.