© Philipp Scheffler/DWI


Photo of Dr. Sabine  Müller
Dr. Sabine Müller
Section A: Humanities and Educational Research | Research Careers
Leibniz Association
Chausseestraße 111
10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 / 20 60 49 - 686

Opportunities for international collaborations and careers

Researchers working in Leibniz Institutes collaborate with academic partners worldwide; the institutes themselves are globally active. The Leibniz Institutes, Leibniz Research Alliances and Leibniz ScienceCampi independently select their international collaboration partners. The Leibniz Association is also actively engaged in attracting the best researchers around the world to work in and with Leibniz Institutes. The proportion of international academic staff was 22 percent in 2017; the proportion of international doctoral students was 27 percent, and post-doctoral researchers 31 percent.

International partners of the Leibniz Research Alliances and ScienceCampi

Both the Leibniz Research Alliances and the Leibniz ScienceCampi offer excellent opportunities for international networking activities.

Leibniz Research Alliances combine the complementary areas of expertise of different Leibniz Institutes in order to tackle major social challenges. For international collaboration partners, these research alliances represent a particularly appealing format. They enable targeted interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations with a wide range of Leibniz institutes, their experts and concomitant resources.


Healthy Ageing — joint research interests of Germany and Japan

20 Leibniz Institutes founded the Research Alliance “Healthy Ageing” in order to research the fundamentals of ageing through interdisciplinary projects and, in the process, pool resources and know-how. The alliance involves biologists, physicians, psychologists, educational researchers, sociologists, spatial planners and economists. As part of research projects, the alliance collaborates with universities and is currently expanding its international network. Its associated partners include the Colombia Aging Center at the Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. The Research Alliance “Healthy Ageing” is currently initiating a collaboration with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) in the form of a Leibniz workshop.

Science 2.0 — representing the interests of academia at the European level

The Leibniz Research Alliance “Science 2.0” involves 37 infrastructure providers and research institutes and looks into the effects of the “participatory web” and its completely new forms of communication, collaboration and open discourse on academia and society, as well as on research and publication processes. The key areas of research are “New Working Habits”, “Technological Development” and “User Behaviour Research”. The overarching goal of this Leibniz Research Alliance consists in establishing Science 2.0 within the academic community as a new and transdisciplinary research topic. During its current phase, the alliance is also advising political decision-makers and research-funders at the national and European level with regard to the design and establishment of research funding programmes for “Science 2.0”, “Open Science” and related topics. The “Open Science Conference” with European and international participants annually brings together researchers and decision-makers.

Leibniz ScienceCampi combine university- and non-university-based research and allow universities, Leibniz Institutes and other partners to collaborate in a thematically focused way. These centres of excellence involve foreign partners in their work in a variety of thematically focused ways.


Leibniz ScienceCampus Plant-Based Bioeconomy – a regional centre of excellence with international standing

As an initiative of the Leibniz Association, this Leibniz ScienceCampus brings together the most comprehensive German expertise in plant-based bioeconomy. Together with four Leibniz institutes – the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), and the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – as well as the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, six additional non-university-based and university-based partners here conduct basic and applied research into a plant-based bioeconomy in collaboration with international partners and the commercial sector.

To conduct research at a Leibniz Institute

In order to work as a researcher at a Leibniz institute or to collaborate with it, it is recommended that you contact the respective institute directly. The website of the Leibniz Association provides an overview of all the member institutes, Leibniz Research Alliances and Leibniz ScienceCampi.

Doctoral study at a Leibniz Institute

The Leibniz Graduate Schools offer an outstanding environment for doctoral study. It is also possible to complete a doctorate at a Leibniz Institute without being a member of a graduate school. Here too, we recommend contacting the respective Leibniz Institute directly.

Post-docs at a Leibniz Institute

Post-doctoral researchers working at a Leibniz Institute are generally funded either internally by the institute or externally. Externally funded researchers will have successfully applied to a funding body beforehand. The funding body will provide them with a salary or scholarship, and in some instances pay their travel costs. An overview of German and European research funding bodies can be found here.

Posts and scholarships

Numerous vacancies and internal scholarship programmes at Leibniz Institutes offer researchers the opportunity to pursue their qualification or research work at a Leibniz Institute, use the institute’s resources and exchange ideas with experts in their field. Potential candidates can specifically search for vacant posts on the Leibniz jobs board and also make direct enquiries at the Leibniz Institute of their choice.

The Leibniz-DAAD-Research Fellowship Programme for international post-docs

To live in Germany for a year and conduct research at a Leibniz Institute – this is what the Leibniz Association and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offer in the form of a research scholarship: every year, the Leibniz-DAAD Research Fellowship Programme grants 15 post-doctoral researchers from Europe and elsewhere a year-long research residency at a Leibniz Institute of their choosing. The fellowships are awarded according to criteria of academic excellence, without any consideration of country, subject or gender. The Leibniz-DAAD Research Fellowship Programme is aimed at qualified post-doctoral researchers from around the world who obtained their doctorate less than two years ago. The scholarships are funded by the Leibniz Association’s strategy fund and supplemented by the DAAD as well as the successful candidates’ chosen Leibniz Institute.

International graduate schools

The Leibniz Graduate Schools offer doctoral study within an excellent and international research environment. At the international graduate schools, junior researchers are given intensive group support and provided with access to national and international networks.

The graduate programmes of the Leibniz ScienceCampi offer a stimulating environment for doctoral study and the early post-doc phase. Here, junior researchers can conduct interdisciplinary research within their field, and have access to outstanding researchers and resources.

Leibniz Chairs

With the “Leibniz Chairs” instrument, member institutes can recruit outstanding international researchers to work at Leibniz Institutes.