Postdoctoral Fellowship – Politics of Inequality


Call for applications open now!

2-year Postdoctoral Fellowships are for all those in the early stage of their career who plan to develop and implement an independent research project.

Within the Synergy Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme we open the possibility to (academic) partners to apply. This programme allows two researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds to work on a single project, each contributing their own topical or methodological expertise, while having the opportunity to sharpen their individual research profiles. Each researcher will be awarded an individual Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The Zukunftskolleg provides them with a professional infrastructure and an appropriate workplace for conducting research. Each fellow receives an annual research allowance, e.g. for funding research assistants or equipment. Furthermore, the Zukunftskolleg gives financial support for start-up, consumables and travel costs, and assists in developing academic skills.

Each fellow is a member of both a university department and the Zukunftskolleg. Additionally, fellows of the Zukunftskolleg can be affiliated to the Clusters of Excellence at the University of Konstanz: “Politics of Inequality“and the “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour“. Furthermore, one Cluster-Zukunftskolleg Fellowship related to the study of collective behaviour can be funded by the “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” directly. An additional Cluster-Zukunftskolleg Fellowship can be funded by the Cluster of Excellence “Politics of Inequality” for projects investigating the political causes and consequences of inequality. 

A mentoring committee supports each fellow in her/his career development. This committee consists of an experienced researcher from the Fellow’s research field within the university department, as well as an advanced Research Fellow of the Zukunftskolleg.

Fellows have a work contract with the University of Konstanz and are expected to have their place of residence in Konstanz. They participate actively in the regular weekly meetings (Jour Fixe) of the Zukunftskolleg and have an opportunity to teach.

Postdoctoral Fellows profit from all support measures available at the Zukunftskolleg: 

In order to be eligible, candidates must fulfill all eligibility criteria:

– applicants should be in possession of a doctoral degree granted between October 16, 2018 and December 31, 2020. Earlier graduation dates can be accepted in case of maternity/paternity leave, or working contracts outside academia
– candidates must not hold a permanent professorship, or have a habilitation or equivalent (Venia legendi).
Candidates with their own position funded by another program, which can be transferred to Konstanz, are also eligible
– applicants must propose a research project that ties in with a discipline represented at the University of Konstanz. Applicants should contact potential mentors (Local Academic Partner) among the researchers at the University of Konstanz in order to ensure appropriate affiliation. Support from a department strengthens the application
– International experience in teaching or research, and a strong interest in interdisciplinary topics are desirable

If you have any questions concerning the eligibility criteria, please check our FAQ.

  • develop and implement their research project;
  • work together, mutually advise and support each other and build in this way a vibrant community of scholars;
  • contribute proactively to the Zukunftskolleg community (e.g. organize Scientific Retreats, Day Trips) and participate in its events – especially the weekly Jour fixe;
  • report on a regular basis and contribute to the yearly institutional reports. Additionally, a final report on your activities and achievements at the Zukunftskolleg is expected within 6 months of completing your fellowship;
  • indicate the membership of the Zukunftskolleg and the source of financial support in publications and any other presentations and outreach activities originating from research projects undertaken within the Zukunftskolleg.

Call for applications open now! Applications should be submitted via our online application portal. Application deadline is 15 October 2020.

The following documents are required to submit the application:

  • a complete application form
  • motivation letter (1 page max)
  • project outline (5 pages max)
  • curriculum vitae
  • copies of all relevant degree certificates
  • writing sample (30 pages max)
  • two letters of reference

Please find detailed information on the application process and FAQ here.

The applications are selected in a multi stage process

  1. Eligibility check and pre-selection
  2. International external peer-review
  3. Decision by the recruitment committee

Since it is the community of fellows that makes up the Zukunftskolleg, applicants are assessed not only for their academic achievements, but also for their personal, social and method-related abilities. The selection of fellows is organized as a highly competitive process involving intra-disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary evaluation. Criteria include diverse knowledge and qualifications such as leadership and teamwork skills, teaching or management experience, mobility and independence.

The candidates’ achievements should be in line with their “academic age”, so that they have a realistic prospect of being appointed professors.

 1. Eligibility check and formal pre-selection 

In order to be eligible for application, candidates must fulfill all of the eligibility criteria listed above. Applications that do not pass the eligibility check will not be further considered. Subsequently, a first evaluation takes the quality of the proposal, the applicant’s track record, and the suitability of the research proposal to the University of Konstanz into consideration.

Applicants are informed whether they have passed the eligibility check and whether their applications are forwarded for peer review.

2. International external peer-review 

In the second stage, the best applications are forwarded to external experts who evaluate the research project and CV. Peer reviewers are distinguished experts in the same area of research as the proposals they assess, thus guaranteeing a high level of competence in the evaluation process. Peer reviewers are asked to comment on the quality of the research proposal, the long-term potential of the project, and academic performance, skills and competence relevant to an interdisciplinary setting.

3. Decision by the recruitment committee

In the final step, the recruitment committee discusses all peer-reviewed applications. Please note that the recruitment committee has access to all applications, even to those that have not passed the eligibility check. The Recruitment Committee will meet  to decide which candidates will be offered the Postdoctoral Fellowships.

  • 15 October 2020: Deadline in the calls for application for 2-year and 5-year Fellowships
  • 14 December 2020: First pre-selection and decision which candidates will be sent to external peer-reviewers. The candidates receive an information about the outcome per e-mail.
  • 4-5 February 2021: 
    • Final decision on the winners of the 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowships
    • Decision on which candidates will be invited to the selection workshop in Konstanz
  • 18-19 February 2021: Selection workshop in Konstanz and final decision on the winners of the 5-year Research Fellowships

In order to follow up career reintegration after the initial fellowship, all 2-year Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to apply for external funding during their stay as well as for 5-year Research Fellowships.

Have a look at the career pathways of former fellows here.

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