Hector RCD Award
Questions and Answers



Am I still eligi­ble if I do not hold a W1 assis­tant profes­sor­ship nor a junior research group leader position at the moment? 

One of the require­ments for the appli­ca­tion is that you are either a W1 assis­tant profes­sor (with or without Tenure Track) or a junior research group leader in the natural or engineer­ing sciences, medicine or psychol­ogy. Unfor­tu­nately, there are no exceptions.

Please find more infor­ma­tion here.

I know that you must have a junior research group like Emmy-Noether Programme (DFG), ERC Start­ing Grant (EU), Federal Ministry of Educa­tion and Research (BMBF) junior research group, Helmholtz Nachwuchs­gruppe (HGF), Max-Planck Research Group (MPG) or Sofja Kovalevskaja Award (AvH). Can I still apply if I am affil­i­ated with a differ­ent program?

The list of awards/research groups eligi­ble is not exhaus­tive but is intended to serve as an example of what kind of positions are compa­ra­ble (scien­tific indepen­dence, own funds outside of own position, ability to super­vise doctoral researchers). In addition, you are also eligi­ble if you hold a W1 (tenure track or no tenure track).

I have already received the formal accep­tance letter and will start my own research group in a few months from now. Would I be eligi­ble to apply for the Hector RCD Award this year even if I have not formally started my position as a junior research group leader/W1 profes­sor yet?

Yes, you are eligi­ble to apply. Please make sure that your group starts by March 2023.

I am in the first year of my junior research group. There­fore, my contract is currently limited to the first funding period pending review and interim evalu­a­tion. At the moment, I don't have any written confir­ma­tion yet, but my insti­tute and I are confi­dent that I will receive funding for the second funding period as well. Is this a problem or can I/my insti­tute explain this accordingly?

This is not a problem. We just need written confir­ma­tion that the neces­sary infra­struc­ture will be avail­able to you for the length of the proposed funding period.

How do you define an “outstand­ing scientist”? 

An outstand­ing scien­tists is not strictly defined by a “summa cum laude” doctor­ate degree. Excep­tional results can be proven by a variety of ways, e.g., awards and grants, publi­ca­tions, patents, outreach activ­i­ties, teach­ing and supervision.

Do I already have to be employed at a German univer­sity or insti­tu­tion at the time of application?

Non-perma­nent employ­ment at a German univer­sity or research insti­tu­tion is a prereq­ui­site for the appli­ca­tion. However, if you are still abroad but have already received the formal accep­tance letter and will start your own research group in Germany by March 2023, you may also apply.

Can I re-apply this year or are reappli­ca­tions excluded?

If you fulfil the require­ment, you are very welcome to apply a second time. Unfor­tu­nately, we can not give you individ­ual feedback or advice on your first appli­ca­tion. However, before apply­ing a third time, we recom­mend that you contact us first.

I have completed by doctor­ate on Septem­ber 15, 2015. How do you calcu­late the 7‑year deadline? 

To be eligi­ble you must have completed your doctor­ate less than seven years prior to the appli­ca­tion deadline, i.e. October 30, 2022. There­fore, you would not be eligi­ble. However, exemp­tions may apply.

Which exemp­tions from the 7‑year deadline may apply?

Exemp­tions can be made for time spent e.g., in clini­cal train­ing, military service or parental leaves (please note that differ­ent regula­tions apply to m/f/x appli­cants). Look here for further details.

I have children. Does this affect the 7‑year deadline?

A female appli­cant will automat­i­cally be granted an 18-month exten­sion for each child born before or after the doctoral award. If you can document a longer parental leave, the eligi­bil­ity period will be extended by the documented amount of actual leave taken until the call deadline. Please submit copies of the birth certificates.

Male appli­cants will be granted an exten­sion by the documented time of leave taken until the call deadline for each child born before or after the PhD award.


Your Appli­ca­tion

Where can I find any templates on the portal?

You have will access to the templates in the portal as soon as you have success­fully regis­tered. The link to the portal is only valid during the official appli­ca­tion period (Septem­ber 1 – October 30). We only provide templates for the support letters by the insti­tute and a template for the exten­sion of the eligi­bil­ity period.

What should I include in my CV? Is there a template?

There is no template avail­able. The CV should not exceed 5 pages and should include: current and previ­ous positions, teach­ing experi­ence, experi­ence in super­vi­sion of students and doctoral researchers since the postdoc phase, acquired third-party funding in k€, an overview of compet­i­tive schol­ar­ships and grants won plus other relevant awards, public engage­ment, and outreach activ­i­ties, patents (if applicable).

Who should write the Letter of Support?

The Letter of Support should be written by the head of the institute.

Does the page count of the disser­ta­tion project proposal also include the relevant liter­a­ture references?

No, the refer­ences do not count towards the page limit.

Is a budget plan also requested (in addition to a timetable and work program)?

No, a budget plan is not required.

Should I provide a detailed list of equip­ment and mater­ial resources needed for the research proposal? If so, where should this be mentioned? 

A detailed list is not necessary.

Is it desir­able or even advan­ta­geous if the doctoral candi­date for the planned doctoral project can already be named? 

No, it is neither an advan­tage nor a disad­van­tage if the doctoral candi­date can already be named.

In which language should I apply? German or English?

You can submit your appli­ca­tion in German or in English.


Appli­ca­tion Process

Is there an advan­tage if I submit the appli­ca­tion before the deadline?

All appli­ca­tions that are submit­ted within the deadline will be considered.

However, we highly encour­age you to submit your documents once they are complete. There are no exten­sions if techni­cal issues prevent you from submit­ting the appli­ca­tion on time.

Will I get a confir­ma­tion that you have received my documents?

You will receive an automatic confir­ma­tion right after submis­sion. Please also check your SPAM.