TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme for Postdoctoral Researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa

TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme for Postdoctoral Researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa

Postdoctoral researchers from sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, can go on a ‘Cooperation Visit’ lasting three months to an institute in Germany.

The TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme provides postdoctoral researchers from sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, with the opportunity to make a three-month ‘Cooperation Visit’ to a research institute in Germany. Such visits must be undertaken within 12 months of the award.

The aim of the visit is to initiate research collaboration between African and German scientists with the ultimate goal of developing longer-term links, perhaps through other Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, or German Research Foundation) programmes.

DFG will cover travel expenses and provide subsistence costs for the stay in Germany. The administration and financial operation of TWAS is undertaken by UNESCO in accordance with an agreement signed by the two organizations.


  • Applicants need to hold a PhD obtained not earlier than 2018; however, for female applicants the year limit for the PhD can be extended by two years per child, i.e. for a woman with one child the PhD year would be 2016 or later.

  • Applicants must be nationals of a sub-Saharan African country, including South Africa, and hold a research position in sub-Saharan African country.

  • Applicants already on site in Germany are not eligible.

  • Applicants with an established collaboration with the intended host are not eligible. Examples of established collaboration include one common publication with the host Professor; a previous visit to the host laboratory; meeting of applicant and supervisor at a conference; the host Professor was previously the applicant’s MSc or PhD supervisor.

  • Previous recipients of a TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visit cannot reapply. For a second visit, the German
    host can apply for funding under the DFG Initiation of International Collaboration Programme.

  • All academic fields will be considered.

    Application Procedure

    While filling in the online application, applicants also need to upload the following documentation:

  • Scanned copy of your passport, even if expired (page with your name and surname);

  • A recent invitation letter from a German host:

  • Maximum two pages on the host institution’s letterhead paper,

  • It should contain the proposed time of the visit (up to 3 months) and should refer to the proposed cooperation;

  • It should be made evident that the applicant and the proposed host have mutually agreed on the research proposal that will be submitted;

  • Confirmation that the necessary research facilities are available;

  • Two reference letters from senior scientists familiar with your work. The letters need to be on headed paper and signed;

  • Copy of the PhD certificate;

  • Evidence of proficiency in either English or German;

  • Supporting statement from the Head/Director of the applicant’s home institute: it must confirm that the Head/Director is favourable to the application and that the applicant will be granted leave to take up the cooperation visit in Germany if awarded.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme for Postdoctoral Researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa

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