Career Bridging Grants

You are a Ph.D. student or a postdoc planning your next career step? You would like to apply for external funding to finance your own position but need to financially bridge the time up to the potential funding start?

The Career Bridging Grant closes financial gaps between two career steps for candidates currently working at or aiming to work at TU Darmstadt. It provides short-term financial support for highly qualified candidates, who apply for funding with good prospects of success. The Career Bridging Grant secures financial support during the application process and thus facilitates a smooth transition to the next career step.

Who can apply? Postdocs as well as advanced doctoral candidates…
  • …whose individual funding runs out before the start of the next funding period.
  • (A) … of TU Darmstadt, who prepare a proposal for individual third-party funding for a postdoctoral position at TU Darmstadt (staying).
    Application form A
  • (B) … from external institutions (national and international), who prepare a proposal for individual third-party funding for a postdoctoral position at TU Darmstadt (incoming). Due to travel restrictions in the context of the COVID pandemic, a remote onboarding at TU Darmstadt as a grant holder of Career Bridging Grant can be considered under certain circumstances.
    Application form B
  • (C) … of TU Darmstadt, who prepare a proposal for individual third-party funding for a postdoctoral position at another (national or international) institution (outgoing).
    Application form C
Please note: In all three cases, it is assumed that the proposal will be written at a department of TU Darmstadt.
What we offer Financial support for the duration of max. 12 months during transition phases (Ph.D. to postdoc, postdoc to postdoc and postdoc to junior research group leader).

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 €
  • postdoc to junior research group leader: expected grant of 2.100 €
For researchers coming to 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, B or C
  • 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 planned research project, incl. structural involvement in institution, time schedule of proposal preparation (max. 5 pages)
  • CV
  • graduation certificates (copies)
  • letter of acceptance from research group/professor you are going to stay with during the Career Bridging Grant – In case of considering an onboarding remotely (incoming) please explain your personal situation and give reasons why you cannot onboard in person. Please further explain how your research work can be organized remotely. The letter of acceptance from your host professor at TU Darmstadt must include a statement that the professor/research group agrees with a remote onboarding.
  • statement about financial situation, incl. proof of non-existing funding options for the proposal period (e.g. expiring employment contract or stipend)
  • 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 proposal any time. The proposals get evaluated twice a year (cut-off dates in spring and autumn). Next cut-off date will be 15 November 2020.

We are looking forward to receiving your proposal.

Please send your proposal electronically as one PDF file to

Funded by HMWK Studienstrukturprogramm