I want to apply for a researcher position. This is the homepage I am refering to.

Now I have serious trouble to understand this part of the eligibility criteria:

Early-Stage Researchers will, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.

At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date.

Concerning the first part:

"Researches will [...] be in the first four years of their research career." What does this mean? Is researches career refereing to a PhD programme? I just graduated and got my master of science degree, but I have not yet started a doctoral programme.

Concerning the second part:

"Researches must not have carried out their studies in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date." What does this mean? I studied in my master programme in Berlin for the last 2-3 years. So I started my studies in 2011 and I finished them and I am still living here. So does this mean that I cannot apply for those projects where the host organisation is settled in Berlin? So that would mean I cannot apply for project no. 13?

2 Answers 2


As for the second part: no, you cannot apply for a project in Berlin. This programme apparently wants people to move somewhere other than where they studied.

As for the first part, I have no way of knowing what counts as "research career", nor what "full-time equivalent" means in Germany (full-time student equivalent or full-time job equivalent?) I would guess that you need to be currently in a doctorate program and/or involved in some research.


This seems like a research grant offer. As for the first part of your question. The answer is yes. Most research grants and fellowships are given to PhD students alone and the fact that it states the first four years and not having a doctoral yet implies that is also the case here.

As for your second part, Most third-party organizations offering research fellowships require you not to have started on a different research subject for a specific time prior to applying for the grant. I believe what they are asking is, if you want to be eligible for the grant, you must be prepared to devote most of your time to the relevant subject and it should not be considered a side project. Although the second part could also refer to other criteria which I am not familiar with.

  • It doesn't say "first of four years", it says "in the first four years " Jan 29, 2015 at 14:09
  • That is what I meant, thank you for pointing it out. Jan 29, 2015 at 14:11
  • Ok thanks, but I write them an email, to make things clear.
    – user107896
    Jan 29, 2015 at 14:16
  • 1
    +1 .. you must be prepared.....side project.
    – Misti
    Jan 29, 2015 at 16:30

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