2019-2020 Academic Year

Volkswagen Foundation Exchange

If you are a recent or upcoming PhD graduate in Humanities or Social Sciences at Washington University, you are eligible to apply for the Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow Award in Germany for the upcoming academic year. Two recent PhD graduate students will be supported for one year of postdoctoral research in Germany, at the institution of their choice. Additionally, this reciprocal arrangement allows for two German postdoctoral fellows to study at Washington University for one year. The deadline for completed applications is February 1.


The Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Program in Germany was established in 2011 to foster transatlantic relations between the United States and Germany. The exchange provides an opportunity for Arts & Sciences doctoral graduates to study with experts in their field, enhancing their credentials, and also serves to enrich the academic programs in the humanities and social sciences at Washington University.



  • Washington University PhD in the Humanities or Social Sciences awarded between May 2016 and May 2019.
  • PhD candidates must have a dissertation defense scheduled by the application deadline and an expected May graduation.
  • Dissertation director must confirm graduation date.
  • Not currently employed in a tenure-track position.

Application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your research program and how the postdoctoral position will contribute to long term scholarly or future research plans
  • Project description
  • C.V.
  • Letter of reference, preferably from dissertation advisor
  • Most recent draft of all available dissertation chapters
  • Letter of invitation from German investigator


  • Successful applicants will be appointed as Washington University/Volkswagen Foundation Postdoctoral Fellows.
  • Stipend of $50,000 paid over 9 months (September - May), $5,000 travel support, and $3,000 research fund, plus Washington University postdoctoral benefits, including healthcare.
  • Health coverage options and costs are available here (Wash U HR website/Benefits/ Postdoctoral Research Appointees).
  • Fluency in German language is NOT a prerequisite for the appointment, provided it is not necessary for the scholarly project.


submission deadline: February 1

Submit completed application materials by email to: Patti Curtis, Office of Dean William F. Tate 

submit application here