Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - P.R.I.M.E. (Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience)

With starting the programme P.R.I.M.E. (Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience) in 2014, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) entered a new path in supporting the international mobility of postdoctoral researchers to meet the principles of the European Charter for Researchers. The initiative is designed to support outgoing mobility of researchers of all nationalities and disciplines who plan to continue their career in Germany upon their return. To enhance the career development of early-career scientists, regular counselling is provided by mentors at the German university, the foreign host institution and through DAAD’s information seminars for new fellows. The fellowships combine a 12-month mobility phase abroad with a 6-month reintegration phase in Germany to ensure optimum further integration into the German science system. Funding is provided not through a stipend but through work contracts. Fellows receive an 18-month temporary position at a German university of their choice and are thus integrated into the regular pay scale at German universities which guarantees adequate salaries and social security benefits. Thus DAAD promoted the introduction of employment contracts as a means to fund outgoing mobility of researchers.

The programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Union (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions /COFUND) for a 5-year period (March 2014-February 2019) with up to four application/selection cycles. The funds enable DAAD to allocate a total of 84 fellowships of which 55 have already been awarded in the selection cycles of 2014 and 2015. The remaining fellowships are planned to be allocated in 2016.

Marketing for P.R.I.M.E. is done through various DAAD channels, especially through the programme’s website – which also includes the fellows’ profiles – but also through brochures, flyers, mailings, etc. Furthermore, other external media (e.g. Euraxess database) are being used to publicize this funding instrument. The number of applications is proof for the programme’s attractiveness with more than 300 submitted proposals for the first call in 2014 and about 200 applications, respectively, for the second (2015) and third call (2016).

DAAD is following a course of providing information on the selection procedure and the selection criteria by communicating the funding ratio and forwarding anonymized reviewers’ comments to applicants. Selection for the programme is strictly merit-based and independent of nationality, discipline, age, career breaks, and destination. Each proposal is reviewed by two external experts and by the selection committee which consists of national and international scientists of all relevant disciplines. A robust procedure in handling ethical issues and an appointed subcommittee prevent the violation of ethical principles.

Programme quality is monitored continuously by recording feedback through anonymized surveys conducted among applicants, fellows, mentors at the German/foreign host institutions and the members of the selection committee. Furthermore, fellowship holders report on their progress when returning from their research stay abroad and again when completing the reintegration period.

By the end of the first reporting period only a few of the P.R.I.M.E. fellows had completed their fellowships. However, six fellows have already been appointed to a position as (junior) professor at a German university. This remarkable career development of P.R.I.M.E. fellows is an indicator of their highly successful reintegration into the German and European research system and ensures the best possible use of their newly-gained knowledge for the advancement of the European Research Area.

Reported by



Life Sciences
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top