Support for Early Career Researchers within Collaborative Research Centres

In brief

Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs, Sonderforschungsbereiche) can offer PhD students and junior researchers opportunities to pursue an outstanding research programme that crosses the boundaries of disciplines, institutes, departments and faculties. The relevant university may also offer further opportunities for training its doctoral researchers, for example within a structured doctoral programme. Highly qualified and renowned postdoctoral researchers can also take on the leadership of a project or a junior professorship within a CRC.

Who can apply?

PhD students and junior researchers with

  • an outstanding university degree equivalent to a German Master’s degree or doctorate in a relevant subject
  • excellent English language skills

Type and extent of funding

Work contract or fellowship. A work contract offers a salary based on the collective agreement for public sector employees of the German states.


Work contracts and fellowships are usually limited to 2 to 3 years.


CRCs usually advertise vacancies and fellowships publicly, and the details can be found on their websites. Applications should be submitted to the coordinator of the respective CRC. An up-to-date list of all CRCs is available on the programme website. Vacancies and fellowships are also advertised on the DFG’s website (see link below).

DFG research funding

Here you will find all you need to know about DFG funding programmes.

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