College of Fellows

New Horizons Fellowships

The aim of the New Horizons Fellowship is to stimulate research at the University of Tübingen, deepen international contacts and broaden research horizons. New Horizons Fellowships are advertised twice a year by the College of Fellows throughout the university.

The next call for applications will be published in spring 2024.

Details on the nomination process and the requirements for the documents to be submitted can be found below.


Geschwister-Scholl-Platz /
Keplerstraße 2
72074 Tübingen
+49 7071 29-77239 [Secretariat]
Contact Persons:
Dr. Niels Weidtman
Dr. Sara Bangert
+49 7071 29-77243

Information about the Fellowship

Funding Format

The aim of the New Horizons program is to invite researchers who have the potential to provide innovative impetus for research in specific subjects and for the university as a whole. The fellows should represent (trans-)disciplinary research perspectives that are not yet firmly established in Tübingen and help to open up new horizons. In line with the University of Tübingen’s internationalization strategy, the fellowships are primarily awarded to international academics. In exceptional cases, the scholarship may be awarded to German academics if their academic career has taken place predominantly abroad or if an excellent fit for the format can be demonstrated.

New Horizons Fellows will work together with researchers based at the University of Tübingen and other international guest researchers in thematic Focus Groups at the College of Fellows (regular meetings, workshops, etc.). The topics of the Focus Groups are aligned with the New Horizons Fellows’ research perspectives. Fellows are invited to the College of Fellows on the joint proposal of at least five academics from the University of Tübingen. Other visiting scholars and young researchers may be invited to participate in Focus Groups. Alternatively, fellows may join existing Focus Groups. The nominating researchers commit themselves to participate in the focus group for the duration of the fellowship.

Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to six months. In justified cases, several shorter stays are possible but must then take place over the course of a year from the first stay. In exceptional cases, short-term stays are also possible, for example as a guest lecture followed by a workshop.

Organisation and Programme Design

The New Horizons Fellows are offered a workplace at the College of Fellows. They are integrated into academic life at the College of Fellows and receive logistical support for their research from the College of Fellows. In addition, fellows will be involved in the academic activities of the departments involved (e.g. by being invited to institute colloquia).

The Welcome Center supports the fellows with visa matters, travel, and accommodation.

The nominators and the New Horizons Fellows undertake to participate in a Focus Group at the College of Fellows, which is oriented towards their thematic interests and brings together academics from the University of Tübingen and other visiting academics, if applicable. Focus Groups meet at least once a month during the New Horizons Fellows’ stay at the College of Fellows and organize events at the College of Fellows (workshops, lectures, etc.) or prepare joint project proposals or publications. On the one hand, these events should provide impulses for the respective subjects or research areas, on the other hand, they should be interdisciplinary and have an impact on the whole university and a wider public.

The following formats are envisaged (additions are possible; which formats can be realized depends on the individual case and in particular the duration of the stay):


  • Preparation and realization of a scientific workshop or a conference at the College of Fellows
  • Public lecture(s)
  • Preparation of a strategy paper on how the topics dealt with in the Focus Group can be anchored at the university in the future
  • Preparation of joint applications for third-party funding


Fellows are invited to contribute their own ideas and suggestions for event formats.

Requirements for the award of fellowships

  • The nominators must convincingly demonstrate how nominees open up ‘new horizons’ for transdisciplinary research (outstanding academic career, proven by relevant publications and international visibility)
  • The nominators must clearly state that a group of at least five researchers at the University of Tübingen is interested in working with the proposed fellow and would like to become involved in a Focus Group. The group of interested parties should be as interdisciplinary as possible.
  • The nominees may not be previous cooperation partners, lecturers or visiting academics of the University of Tübingen. Instead, people should be nominated who have had no or only selective connections to the University of Tübingen.

Financial Support

New Horizons Fellowships can be renumerated as follows:


  • If the fellowship is implemented as a scholarship, the monthly scholarship rate is based on the recommendations of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and currently amounts to € 2,700 for postdocs and € 3,200 for ‘experienced’ academics. In addition, a family allowance of € 276 per month may be granted for partners and spouses (only for stays of at least 3 months; income must be taken into account) as well as a child allowance of € 250 per child for couples or € 400 (for the first child) and € 100 (for each additional child) for single parents. Scholarships are paid to the fellows’ private accounts after submission of the signed personnel form and scholarship agreement. Fellowships are awarded as personal grants in accordance with § 3 No. 44 of the Income Tax Act.
  • If the fellowship is implemented as a visiting professorship, the position will be graded between W1 and W3, possibly with allowances. The prerequisite for a visiting professorship is a leave of absence without pay at the home university.
  • Other funding options are possible in exceptional cases, particularly for short-term stays. Conditions for short-term stays must be agreed individually.
  • Fellows are reimbursed travel expenses for their outward and return journeys in accordance with the State Travel Expenses Act. The reimbursement is settled based on the receipts submitted.
  • For the collaboration of a New Horizons Fellow with a Focus Group, the College of Fellows provides funding of  €5,000 (workshop and/or other events; support staff; catering).

Please note: A fellowship does not constitute an employment relationship and is therefore not remuneration within the meaning of § 14 of the German Social Security Code IV (Sozialgesetzbuch IV). The status of a fellow does not entail any insurance cover. The conclusion of a health insurance policy valid in Germany is required by law and must be proven by the fellows. In addition, it is recommended that fellows conclude accident, liability and term life insurance valid in Germany at their own expense.


Nomination and selection process

Fellows are invited to the College of Fellows on the recommendation of researchers at the University of Tübingen. All academics with a doctorate are eligible to submit proposals. The nominators must clearly state that a group of at least five researchers at the University of Tübingen are interested in working with the proposed candidate and would like to become involved in a Focus Group. The group should be composed interdisciplinary.

The nominating academics undertake to work together in the focus group that the New Horizons Fellows join or that is set up around their research for the duration of the fellowship. They should furthermore integrate fellows into the academic life of their department (e.g. by inviting them to colloquia). The department can provide an additional workplace that may be used in addition to the workplace offered at the College of Fellows.

Nomination Documents:

The following nomination documents must be sent by e-mail to the responsible dean’s office by xxx.


  • Nomination Form (download here)
  • Project outline: In an informal letter of no more than four pages, nominators must convincingly explain how the proposed candidates will open up ‘new horizons’ for (trans)disciplinary research (outstanding academic career, proven by relevant publications and international visibility).
  • In addition to this letter, a meaningful portfolio (CV, list of publications, further references, links to websites, blogs, articles, videos, etc.) must be enclosed with the nomination.


Selection Process:

Nominations are to be sent to the faculties’ dean’s offices, which forward them to the College of Fellows without any further ranking. The Scientific Advisory Board of the College of Fellows prepares a selection decision for the Executive Board under the direction of the Rectorate.


Within four weeks after the end of the funding period, a report on the activities during the funding period must be submitted to the Department for Research and Excellence Strategy without being requested to do so. The report is prepared by the College of Fellows with the participation of the fellows and the involved researchers. In addition, the Excellence Strategy team sends evaluation forms to the fellows and hosts before the end of the fellowships, which are collected, anonymized, and aggregated over six to twelve months in the Excellence Strategy in order to document the success and effectiveness of the program.