FAQ: PNB Research Group

Eligibility requirements

  • National and international researchers, who have completed their doctorate and have already 2 years of postdoctoral experience can submit a proposal if they are seeking an academic career.
  • There is no age restriction. However, the doctorate (date of the oral defense) must not have taken place more than 6 years ago.
  • Researchers who already finished their Habilitation are not eligible.
  • Applications must be complete, and have to be written either in English.


  • CV
  • copies of academic certificates and documents
  • publication list
  • list of conducted courses/lectures
  • list of externally funded projects (third party funding)
  • contact details of at least two unbiased referees without common publications during the last two years. These referees have to be outstanding experts in the applicant’s research field.
  • outline of the proposed research project tailored to the research profile of the chosen university (8 pages maximum, Arial, 11 pt)
  • employer’s declaration (see form)
  • letter of support from the group leader/Professor of the chosen department of the host university

Questions concerning CV

There is no template, however, the font should not be smaller than Arial, 11 pt, with line spacing of no less than 1.1.

In the course of the proposal submission, review and decision-making process, the CV passes through the same stages as the proposal. The CV will be forwarded as submitted, i.e. including all information, to external reviewers and panel members.

Yes, you should definitely include these leaves in your CV.

Yes, long-term illnesses of at least three months per year can be listed in your CV. If applicable, state the period of illness as well as periods of academic inactivity, part-time work or restricted work. You should provide information how your academic work was affected by the illness, it is not necessary to provide details of the disease itself.

Yes, you must include a doctoral certificate together with your application. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate two years of postdoctoral research.


The current average processing time for an application is about 4 months.

All applicants will be notified by the PNB head office of an award or a rejection.


In the course of the proposal submission, review and decision-making process, the CV passes through the same stages as the proposal. The CV is forwarded as submitted, i.e. including all information, to external reviewers and panel members.

Complete proposals will be externally reviewed by experts and points are given based on a set of predefined criteria. This evaluation assesses the

  • quality of the project
  • qualifications and expertise of the applicant
  • the quality and uniqueness of the objectives and work plan
  • the feasibility of the proposed project

A ranking list will be composed based on these results and the most promising candidates will be invited to an (online) interview.

The selection panel consists of 5 members: 4 representatives of the Brandenburg universities (one from each of the four universities) and one external expert who will meet in person. This panel will examine the reviewer’s selection, assist in the online interviews and will ultimately identify the one project, which will be recommended for funding. A balanced gender ratio and a diversity of disciplines within the selection committee is taken into account.

The proposals are rated based on academic excellence of the applicants, as well as on the originality and quality of the project. The selection panel reviews the proposals on the basis of a set of criteria. Points are awarded for different criteria.

An overall score is determined for each proposal. Only proposals that have scored the highest number of points will be recommended for funding.


There is no template, however, the font should not be smaller than Arial, 11 pt, with line spacing of no less than 1.1.

Yes, a timeline can be included in the description of the research project.


Yes, the PNB offers a lot of flexibility. If a possible candidate is still employed in another short-term position, the beginning of the PNB contract can be flexible.

The PNB offers a full time contract for the group leader (PI) for a TV-L 14 position for 4 years at the respective host university. In addition, there is funding for scientific staff – for a maximum of three TV-L13 positions for three years.

In addition to the salary, the PI will receive a total allowance of €2.000 for research purposes, mobility, scientific events, or similar. If you need additional research funds, these have to be provided by your host university. However, you should discuss this with your host before submitting your application.

The successful PI of the PNB research group receives funding of up to  € 250.000 per year for a duration of 4 years, which includes the positions of the PI as well as hired scientific staff.


Organizational support regarding visa, insurance, housing, etc. will be provided by the host university.

Typically, the use of funding should be initiated within six months of the proposal being approved, if possible. Depending on the situation, the PNB can provide some flexibility.

If you hold a PNB research group and are offered another position during the funding period, the funding remains available for the remainder of the funding period, as long as this position contributes to further career development. If you leave the German / international research system entirely, the funding provided from the PNB will come to an end.

No, your proposal will not be treated or reviewed differently because of this. Please note, however, you may not accept parallel funding. Please inform the PNB immediately if, during the review process, you decide to accept funding from another organization.

PNB research group funding is restricted to a period of 4 years. However, if your host university will provide continued funding your contract can be extended.

You will need to locate your project at one of the universities in Brandenburg. Before you submit a proposal, you need to identify a host university in Brandenburg that will accept you. This university must provide an assurance to this effect when the proposal is submitted (see employer’s declaration, letter of support).

Applicants must get in personal contact with a possible host institute at one of the universities in Brandenburg themselves. In case of no available contact details, please refer to the homepages of the respective universities. The PNB is not involved in the process of finding a host.

The applicant is responsible to get the employer´s declaration form filled out by the central adminstration of the host university in time.

The letter of support has to be written by the dean/group leader/Professor of the host institution who is willing to support the applicant. It is primarily intended to emphasize the quality, uniqueness, and suitability of the applicant’s project at the host university as well as the applicant’s aptitude.

No, this is not possible at the present time.

Absolutely, reviewers and possible hosts must be different entities.