If you are a prospective leader in climate protection or climate-relevant resource conservation in your home country – a non-European developing or transition country, apply for a Funded Research from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to partake in a 12–24-month project in Germany.

Scholars will work on projects that focus on combating climate change, adaptation strategies, preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, or on the sustainable use of the seas and oceans.

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2021.


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For Scholars in the program, the following benefits will be offered:

  • A monthly fellowship grant of €2,170, €2,470 or €2,670 in the program line for prospective leaders (depending on individual training and career level)

A monthly fellowship of €2,670 in the programme line for postdoctoral researchers

  • Personalized support system during the stay in Germany
  • Extra financial support for 
    • accompanying family members,
    • travel expenses,
    • a German language course
  • A three-week introductory event to connect with other climate protection fellows, visit businesses and research institutions, and attend cultural events in Germany
  • Extensive alumni sponsorship, in particular to support long-term connections with your cooperation partners in Germany over the duration of your entire professional career
  • In addition, host institutes will receive a monthly allowance for research costs of 
    • 800 euros for projects in the natural and engineering sciences, or
    • 500 euros for projects in the humanities and social sciences.


To be eligible for application, the applicant must: 

  • Be a residing citizen of a non-European developing or transition country, and have been predominantly working there
  • Have completed a first academic degree (Bachelor or comparable degree) no more than 12 years from the deadline
  • Have initial experience in a leadership role and corresponding leadership skills
  • Be a prospective leader with extensive professional experience (at least 48 months)
  • Be a postdoctoral researcher with a successfully completed doctorate in climate protection or climate-related resource conservation and have been published in academic journals and by academic publishers peer reviewed to international standards
  • Be proficient in English or German or both.
  • Explore questions in the natural or engineering sciences or address legal, economic, health-related or societal aspects of climate change.


  • If you are a prospective leader you will do a one-year research-related project in Germany as part of your fellowship.

If you are a postdoc, long-term academic research (12-24 months). 

  • This scheme is subject to the allocation of corresponding funds to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  • You are ineligible to apply if you have previously received funding from the Humboldt Foundation.

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Application Instructions

Before applying,

  • Ensure you agree to the details of your independently developed research-based project with your chosen academic host.
  • Learn more about the program.

To apply, 

  • Submit the necessary application documents to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online only.
    • Research-based project: Outline the project you have developed yourself and agreed with your intended host prior to applying. 

The following criteria are crucial for selection:

  • a convincing choice of methods; 
  • clear focus and feasibility; 
  • relevance to the fields of climate protection or climate-relevant resource conservation; 
  • feasibility of conducting the project at the chosen host institution; 
  • practicability of the communication strategy
  • An extensive statement including confirmation of support from your host in Germany
  • Two letters of recommendation (not more than 12 months old) from individuals who can provide information on your professional, personal and/or academic background
  • Click here to Apply. 
  • The online application form contains links where the letters of recommendation and statements can be uploaded. 

Forward these links to the relevant individuals as soon as possible.

Confirmation emails will be sent as soon all the required documents have been received by the organizers. 

  • Send enquiries/questions by email to info@avh.de before submitting your application.

About the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation International Climate Protection Fellowship

The AvH Foundation International Climate Protection Fellowship is aimed at prospective leaders and postdocs with climate expertise from non-European developing and transition countries, working academically or practically in climate protection or climate-relevant resource conservation.

During the fellowship, projects should focus on combating climate change, adaptation strategies, preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, or on the sustainable use of the seas and oceans. 

Sustainability topics relating to natural resources, resource-efficient consumption or urban development are also encouraged.

The program awards up to 15 International Climate Protection Fellowships to prospective leaders and up to 5 to postdoctoral researchers annually. 

The fellowships are funded through the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The fellowship facilitates the mutual exchange of knowledge, methods and techniques with hosts in Germany.

Key Dates and Order of Program

The deadline for submission of applications is 1st March, 2021.

By early July, the Selection Committee aims to issue invitations to suitable candidates for a multi-day selection meeting.

Also by July, Candidates who are not invited to attend the Selection Meeting and their respective hosts will receive a notice of rejection. 

Applicants will be selected for the fellowship based on merit. 

Approval or rejection of an application is always directly related to the qualifications of the applicants. 

Evaluations will be made based on applicants’

  • academic and professional development and performance to date, 
  • leadership experiences as well as the expert reviewers’ information regarding the applicant’s leadership skills and future potential. 

Also, assessment criteria such as the quality, originality and relevance of the applicant’s proposal for issues of climate change as well as opportunities for collaboration with the chosen host institute that will arise from the proposal.

The multi-day selection meeting will be held in Germany by September where applicants will have the opportunity to present their proposals. 

An independent Selection Committee will choose the fellowship recipients at this meeting.

The Humboldt Foundation does offer individual feedback to all rejected candidates who attended the Selection Meeting.

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Babajide is a content writer and site admin at Camberene. He majored in zoology and is also a tech enthusiast proficient in the use of python, R and other data analytics tools.

Babajide is looking into using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the near future.