Application and Selection Procedure: 'Freigeist' Fellowships


With its funding initiative 'Freigeist' Fellowships, the Volkswagen Foundation promotes research projects that open up unknown territory and new perspectives across disciplines. Above all, it promotes 'Freigeister': the creative minds needed for such ideas.

Application and Selection Procedure

Submit full proposal online (in English). Approximately 80-100 applications are typically submitted by the deadline. 

Examination by the Volkswagen Foundation's funding team: Do applications meet the program criteria and formalities?

Written assessments by the international and interdisciplinary Freigeist Peer Review College with approx. 40 reviewers (two written evaluations per application)

At a joint meeting, the review panel discusses the applications on the basis of the submitted documents. Approx. 15 applicants will be selected to present their project.

The project is presented to the review panel and discussed with the reviewers. The expert panel then makes funding recommendations to the Foundation.

Final decision of the Foundations's Board of Trustees (June / July)

The Volkswagen Foundation's Freigeist Fellowships are aimed at outstanding junior researchers who wish to carry out research at the boundaries between established fields of research.