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Call for Applications: 2-year Junior Fellowships within the “Young Academy for Sustainability Research”

(c) Paula Prekopova via

Call for applications

The Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) is the University of Freiburg’s international research college. The Institute supports innovative research projects through individual fellowships and group formats. It is at the centre of a very active research community and enjoys an international reputation for academic excellence.


The Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Freiburg, Germany

 supported by the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation



 2-year Junior Fellowships within the
“Young Academy for Sustainability Research”

between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2023

Application deadline: March 14, 2021


The University of Freiburg is going to launch the “Young Academy for Sustainability” in spring 2021 with the objective of hosting the world’s finest post-doctoral talents to undertake frontier research in the field of sustainability at the University of Freiburg. The “Young Academy for Sustainability Research” is funded by the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation and provides two 2-year anchor junior fellowships, including an attractive salary, a research cost contribution and conference grants as well as other benefits.

The fellows will have the opportunity to live in a vibrant city, work at a leading global university, and conduct research in an academic community that strives for excellence and impact. The Fellowships offer a unique opportunity for outstanding junior researchers who wish to make major contributions to the emerging field of sustainability science and related grand societal challenges.

The fellowships are addressed to post-doctoral scholars who wish to make major contributions to the emerging field of sustainability science. Specifically, the proposed projects should address one, but preferably several of the following cross-cutting thematic areas: (1) environmental risks; (2) adaptation, vulnerability, and resilience; (3) innovations for sustainability; (4) systemic transitions to sustainability; (5) power, responsibility, and sustainability. In their proposals, applicants are asked to briefly describe how their interdisciplinary research can lead to internationally recognized impact and how it contributes with new impulses to the above-mentioned thematic areas.

Typical candidates will be exceptional postdoctoral scientists who must have demonstrated outstanding intellectual quality. Original and innovative ideas to tackle emerging, complex problems and the courage to open new research frontiers are essential. The all-important selection criteria are the academic excellence of both the applicant and the project proposal.  Applicants must have a completed PhD plus one to six years post-doctoral experience at the time of the application deadline.

Successful applicants will become FRIAS fellows with all the corresponding rights and obligations for the requested funding period. Fellowships include a two-year full time employment contract with the University of Freiburg. Selected candidates will receive a salary according to grade TV-L E13 (the standard rate for junior scientific staff at German universities, approximately 70,000 € per year pre-tax (depending on personal conditions around 30-35 % tax and social security payments will be deducted)). As part of their employment contract, the fellows are covered by national insurance (unemployment, pension, health and accident insurance).

Each fellow will receive a travel allowance to cover the costs of the inbound and outbound journey, an annual research cost contribution of € 4,500 and conference support of € 1,800 per year.

Career guidance is offered to each Junior Fellow. Since one of the aims of FRIAS is to foster cross-disciplinary communication, full-time presence at FRIAS is mandatory.

FRIAS unites research in the humanities and social sciences, the natural and life sciences, engineering, and medicine. The Institute supports academic exchange across existing boundaries: between disciplines, between different cultures and countries, between established and younger researchers. Furthermore, FRIAS engages in activities opening the research community to society and politics. Fellows will be part of this community and profit from the lively research environment of the university and its eleven faculties. Each successful fellow will join a research team of his/her choice at the University of Freiburg.

The Institute provides its fellows with modern office space and an up-to-date infrastructure. Fellows have full access to all library services from one of the leading German university libraries. Special attention is given to fellows who plan to come to Freiburg together with their families. FRIAS makes every effort to provide tailor-made solutions with regard to suitable accommodation, child care and educational facilities.

Electronic applications (Formatting: font Arial, 11 pt, line spacing 1.5, all margins 2.5 cm)

in English including

  • a short motivation letter (max.1 page)
  • a research proposal detailing the specific aims to be pursued (max. 6 pages)
  • a CV (max. 2 pages)
  • a list of publications (max. 2 pages)
  • a list of references (no letters of recommendation are required at this stage)

in one single PDF-file should be sent to by March 14, 2021; 24.00 h CET.


Information on the Young Academy for Sustainability is provided at:

More information on FRIAS is available at:

For further details, please contact:


Data protection:

The University of Freiburg takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. We process your personal data in accordance with statutory provisions. Please consider the data protection information in accordance with Art. 13/14 as part of the application at the University of Freiburg:

If you decide to send us an application, we will process your application data in order to contact you or to be able to assess whether you have the suitability, aptitude and professional capability for the advertised fellowship for which you are applying.

The provision of personal data is necessary for the lawfulness of the application and selection procedure to be conducted. We can only assess your suitability for a fellowship if we receive your information or personal data on your qualifications. The absence of relevant personal data in the application documents may result in the application not being considered for the award of a fellowship (Art. 13(2)(e) GDPR).