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Funding Programmes and Initiatives for Internationally Mobile Postdocs

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Hans-Dieter Daniel, Jana Bobokova und Rüdiger Mutz

Funding Programmes and Initiatives for Internationally Mobile Postdocs

Perceived Impacts on Individuals, Institutions and Society. An exploratory study.

What are the impacts of long-term international mobility funded by selected initiatives and programmes of the Volkswagen Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that postdoctoral researchers of all academic fields and their hosts perceive at various levels, and how sustainable is the cooperation between former fellows, hosts and host countries? The focus of the study was not limited to positive benefits and aspects of added value but it explored the whole range of impacts, including the negative ones. Moreover, the impacts were investigated from two perspectives, namely that of the fellows and that of their hosts. Finally, neither a comparison of the programmes and initiatives, nor of the foundations, nor an evaluation of the effectiveness or performance of the funding was intended.

 

 

Background and research questions

What are the impacts of long-term international mobility funded by selected initiatives and programmes of the Volkswagen Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that postdoctoral researchers of all academic fields and their hosts perceive at various levels, and how sustainable is the cooperation between former fellows, hosts and host countries? In order to investigate this question as comprehensively as possible, a multi-perspective approach was applied. It encompassed three programme modes, several levels of impact analysis and two target groups. These are explained in the following paragraphs in more detail. Seven programmes and initiatives for individual (not project) funding, i.e. funding of postdoctoral research stays abroad offered by two research funding institutions in Germany, namely the Volkswagen Foundation (VWS) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) were selected. In terms of the Volkswagen Foundation, it is the funding initiative “Post-doctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutes in the U.S. and Germany” (H-INC, H-OUT) and the “Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa” (KfT). As regards the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, it is the funding programme “Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme” (HFS), the award programme “Sofja Kovalevskaja Award Programme” (SKP), and the funding programmes “Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship Programme” (FLP) and the “Georg Forster Research Fellowship Programme” (GFP).