FAQ: PNB Individual Grant

Eligibility requirements

  • National and international researchers, who have completed their doctorate can submit a proposal if they are seeking an academic career.
  • There is no age restriction. However, applicants have to be in their early stage of career. Early career researchers in this context are all researchers who wish to sharpen their profile and to further qualify for an appointment to a professorship or another suitable position. Researchers who already finished their Habilitation are not eligible.
  • Applications must be complete, and have to be written either in English or German.


–  CV (4 pages maximum)

–  copies of academic certificates and documents

–  list of publications

–  contact details of two potential references

–  outline of the proposed research project tailored to the research profile of the chosen university (4 pages,    Arial, 11 pt)

–  employer’s declaration

–  letter of support from a professor of the selected host university


Curriculum Vitae (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. The CV must not exceed 4 pages. The list of publications is excluded from these 4 pages and can be attached separately.

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 committee members.

Yes, you should definitely show these times 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 with your application. However, doctoral candidates who are close to completing their dissertation (including the oral defense) may still apply. In this case, you must include at least a written confirmation with your application certifying that you have submitted your dissertation. The date of the oral defense should also be scheduled, if possible. Should the applicant be awarded with a grant, the doctorate must be completed before the start of the Individual Grant.

Questions concerning the application process

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

All applicants receive notification of an award or a rejection in writing from the PNB.

Questions concerning the selection process

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 committee members.

In case the PNB will need more information these experts may be contacted. The PNB does not expect a letter of reference from these experts as part of the application. The PhD supervisor can generally be specified as one of the two references.

The proposals are reviewed by a specially established national selection committee. They are distributed equally among experts in the field located at the four universities of Brandenburg as well as external experts. In addition, a balanced gender ratio and a diversity of disciplines within the selection committee is taken into account.

The proposals are rated based on the academic excellence of the applicants, as well as on the originality and quality of the project. The selection committee 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.

The success rate for a PNB Individual Grant depends on the yearly budget of the PNB and is generally above 10%.


There is no template, however, the font should not be smaller than Arial, 11 pt, with line spacing of no less than 1.1. The research project must not exceed 4 pages including a possible list of publications.

Yes, a timeline can be included in 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 a TV-L 13 position (24 months maximum) at the respective host university. Candidates are exempt of teaching obligations. However, you are free to teach courses if you are interested.

In addition to the salary, the positions include an allowance of €1.000 per year 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.

Yes, please mention the desired funding period in your application. You can choose between a minimum duration of 6 months and a maximum duration of 24 months depending on your proposed project. The description of your research project must indicate the desired time frame.


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 an Individual Grant position within the PNB 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 funding is restricted to a period of 2 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 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 in time.

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

Yes, applicants can apply with two hosts simultaneously. Ideally, a collaborative project between the two hosts should be proposed.

No, this is not possible at the present time.

Absolutely, reviewers and possible hosts must be different entities.