Career Bridging Grants

You are a Ph.D. student or a postdoc planning your next career step? You would like to write and submit a proposal for external funding to finance your own position at TU Darmstadt, but need to financially bridge the time up to the potential start of the external funding? In short, you need financial support in the near future during the application process for external funding for a position at TU Darmstadt?

The Career Bridging Grant closes financial gaps between two career steps for candidates who are currently conducting research at TU Darmstadt or who intend to do so in the future. The Career Bridging Grant provides short-term financial support for highly qualified candidates, who are preparing their next scientific career phase at TU Darmstadt by submitting an individual external application, whose previous (position) funding has expired at the requested start of the Career Bridging Grant and who are applying for third-party funding for their own position at TU Darmstadt with good prospects of success. The Career Bridging Grant secures financial support during the application process for external funding and thus facilitates a smooth transition to the next career step.

External funding can be provided by programmes of the German Research Foundation (DFG Temporary Positions for Principal Investigators, Emmy Noether Programme, Walter Benjamin Programme), the European Union (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action) or national programmes of other countries.

Who can apply? Postdocs as well as advanced doctoral candidates…
  • … whose individual funding runs out before or while the next funding period.
  • … who conduct research (A) at TU Darmstadt with external funding, e.g. a fellowship (current and former wiss. Mitarbeiter:innen at TU are not eligible , unless the applicant has previously acquired his/her current position which is externally funded such as DFG Eigene Stelle, Marie Curie Fellowship) and would like to spend the next scientific career phase at TU Darmstadt too (staying).
    Application form A (opens in new tab)
  • … who conduct research (B) at an external (national or international) institution (type of financing does not matter) and would like to spend the next scientific career phase at TU Darmstadt (incoming).
    Application form B (opens in new tab)

Please note: In both cases, it is assumed that the proposal will be written at a department of TU Darmstadt.
What we offer Financial support for the initially duration of max. 6 months during transition phases (Ph.D. to postdoc, postdoc to postdoc and postdoc to junior research group leader). A prolongation by a further max. of 6 months is possible if the application for third-party funding had been submitted within the first granted 6 months while Research Mentoring at TU Darmstadt had been consulted (bridging the waiting period for a decision on third-party provider).

The level of support granted depends on your research experience and the planned individual external funding:
  • advanced Ph.D student/postdoc to (next) postdoc: expected grant of 1.800 €/month.
  • postdoc to junior research group leader: expected grant of 2.100 €/month .
For researchers coming to TU Darmstadt:
  • a broad range of research and career opportunities at one of Germany’s top universities of technology
  • an inspiring and professional environment for your research
  • access to research support programmes at TU Darmstadt (e.g. Ingenium qualification programme and networking programme)
Please hand in (as one PDF file)
  • application form A (opens in new tab) or B (opens in new tab)
  • information about the individual external funding you plan to apply for: funding programme, funding period, institution, where research project will be conducted (1 page)
  • summary of the planned external funded research project that you intend to prepare during the Career Bridging Grant, incl. information on the structural integration at the TU/department and schedule for the application OR summary of the already submitted application for an external funded research project at the TU Darmstadt incl. proof of submission, incl. information on the structural integration at the TU/department and the planned research activity during the waiting period/Career Bridging Grant (max. 5 pages)
  • CV
  • graduation certificates (copies)
  • a substantive letter of support of the professor you are going to stay with during the Career Bridging Grant, including a confirmation of the possibility to use the necessary research infrastructure for the Career Bridging Grant project (one document, max. two pages)
  • statement about financial situation, incl. proof of non-existing funding options for the proposal period
  • Ph.D. certificate or proof of Ph.D. submission/ statement from your supervisor that the Ph.D. will be completed within the next 6 months. Please note that the Career Bridging Grant can begin at the earliest in the month following the defense of your dissertation.
  • certificates/ proof of scientific excellence (publications, awards, scholarships)
How we select The competitive selection process is organized by TU Darmstadt. Applications will be reviewed by scientific committee Postdoc Career Programme. The committee meets twice a year.

The most important selection criteria are:
  • scientific excellence (publications, awards, scholarships)
  • scientific quality of planned research project
  • determination and motivation of young researcher
  • chances of success of external funding acquisition
Next steps You can hand in your application any time. Your application get evaluated twice a year (cut-off dates in spring and autumn). Next cut-off date is May 15th, 2024.

Please send your application electronically as one PDF file to .