Call for Applications

The Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship Program is a globally competitive fellowship program for early and mid-career researchers aiming at improving the learning, development and living conditions of children and youth or contributing to one of the Jacobs Foundation’s thematic priorities. This includes, but is not limited to educational sciences, psychology, economics, sociology, family studies, media studies, political sciences, linguistics, neurosciences, and medical sciences.

Fellowships are awarded to the most highly talented and innovative young scholars and mid-career researchers. Funds from Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowships are awarded directly to the fellow’s institution and may be used over a three-year period by the fellow to partially cover the fellow’s salary and for any activity supporting the fellow’s research, such as assistant salaries, equipment, technical assistance, professional travel, or trainee support.

Scholars who engage in interdisciplinary work on individual development and learning of children and youth, and who seek to combine genetic, epigenetic, neurobiological, behavioral and social levels of analysis, are particularly encouraged to apply.

Besides providing fellows with independent and competitive funding, the program offers a wide range of non-financial benefits. Fellows are encouraged to interact with each other and make use of the Jacobs Foundation’s Conference Center Marbach Castle at Lake Constance (Germany) for short-term group retreats and workshops. Networking and alumni events will enrich the fellowships.

Fellows are selected on the basis of their research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become leaders in the scientific community through their contributions to the field of child and youth development. International relevance of the fellow’s planned work, the alignment of planned projects with the goals of the Jacobs Foundation, and the willingness to identify with our aims and to engage actively with us will also be selection criteria.


Independent and Competitive Funding:Jacobs Early Career
Research Fellowship
Jacobs Advanced
Research Fellowship
Target GroupHighly talented young scholars.

The Ideal candidate has obtained his/her PhD no more than 7 years ago.
Most innovative mid-career researchers.

The Ideal candidate has obtained his/her PhD no more than 15 years ago.
Funding amount150,000 CHF400,000 CHF
Funding period3 years3 years
Number of fellowships per year7–112–3
Funds may be used to cover own salaryYes, up to 50%Yes, up to 25%
Overhead / indirect costsup to 10% of total amountup to 10% of total amount

How to Apply

The following two documents must be submitted online in one PDF document until 18 March 2018, 23.59 CET for an eligible candidate to be considered for a Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship:

  • The candidate’s curriculum vitae including a list of the candidate’s scientific publications;
  • A statement by the candidate describing his or her significant scientific work and immediate research plans, and how these relate to the mission of the Jacobs Foundation (2 pages, 10pt, incl. references).

A confidential recommendation letter from a department head or other senior researcher supporting the candidate and describing his or her qualifications, initiative, and research, should be sent directly to


After review of preliminary applications, a selected number of candidates will be asked to submit a detailed full application by 1 July 2018. Candidates will be interviewed via Skype in September 2018, and selected candidates will be notified in December 2018.

Please submit your application using the Online Application Form 2019-2021.  Incomplete applications and applications not submitted via the online application form will not be considered.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Formatting requirements.
    Research statement: 2 pages, 10pt, including references
    CV and recommendation letter: no formatting requirements or limits of length
  • Application deadline
    The application and the recommendation letter have to be submitted until 18 March 2018, 23.59 CET.
  • Is the 10% overhead fix?
    The 10% overhead will come on top of the funding amount (i.e. 165’000 CHF in total for an Early Career Research Fellowship / 440’000 CHF in total for an Advanced Research Fellowship). The amount of the overhead is not negotiable.
  • I get an error message uploading the application materials.
    If you receive an error message in the application procedure, please try to reduce the size of the file to be uploaded. You can only upload PDFs and not more than one document.
  • I have been on maternity leave(s).
    Regarding maternity time we apply good common practice (i.e. you may deduct 1 year per child in calculating the time since PhD). We will, however, take the number of years since PhD into account in the comparative evaluation of proposals.
  • How strict is the 7/15 years since PhD rule?
    The 7/15 years are an orientation value, not a strict rule. Given the fact, that we accept applications from different academic systems, we do apply maximum flexibility. We will, however, take the number of years since PhD into account in the comparative evaluation of proposals.
  • I have not yet received my PhD., can I still apply?
    By the time the fellowship is awarded (i.e. end of November 2018), you need to have completed the PhD. Please note, however, that you will have to compete with other candidates who are 2-6 years post PhD. You might, therefore, want to wait for a few more years to gain some more experience before applying.


  • Can I apply together with other researchers?
    No, the fellowship is awarded to an individual researcher. Joint applications are not possible.
  • Do I have to be employed?
  • Yes, at the start of the fellowship, candidates will have to be employed at a university or other research institution, but not necessarily on a permanent contract or with 100%. The funds for the fellowship have to be administered by this university or research institution.
  • Can I move to another institution during the fellowship period?
  • Is there a geographical focus?
    The fellowship program has an international focus and is open to researchers from all nationalities.
  • When does the fellowship start?
    Duration of the Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship is three years, starting on January 1 and ending on December 31 three years later.
  • Do I have to send a budget?
    No, we do not need a budget for the application.