With the Pre-Doc Award, we at Leipzig University support graduates in preparation for doctoral research as well as postdocs in their ability to supervise doctoral candidates. During the funding period, recipients shall jointly develop a doctoral research project and acquire funding for it.

The call for applications for the 8th cohort of the Pre-Doc Award is currently open. You can submit your application until 20 June 2024.

enlarge the image: A bright room with a lot of people sitting on chairs. At the front, Prorector Prof. Glaeser welcomes the new awardees to the Kick-Off event.
Kick-Off Event for the 7th Cohort in October 2023, Photo: Christian Hüller.

Strategically Promoting Early Career Researchers

The Pre-Doc Award is overseen by the vice-rectorate for talent development and offers postdocs and doctoral researchers with a very good degree the opportunity to jointly plan a research project. Against the backdrop of our University Development Plan (HEP), it pursues the following goals:

  • Fostering early career researchers early on
  • Strengthening postdocs’ supervisions skills
  • Supporting qualified graduates in their swift transition to a financially secure doctoral phase
  • Strengthening interdisciplinary networks among early career researchers
  • Stimulating innovative research.
  • Contract start
    1 October (flexible)

The Pre-Doc Award year consists mainly of the tandems’ individual project activities. In addition, we offer the following skills development and networking events for the entire cohort.

  • Kick-off
    Meeting each other, information, presenting the doctoral projects, networking
  • Workshops
    Examples: scientific writing, leadership & supervision, scholarship application writing, grant writing
  • Exchange meetings
    Opportunity for peer exchange
  • Final symposium
    Expert lectures, presenting the project status, certificate handover, conclusion

The Pre-Doc Award helped me to recruit an excellent student for my research group and to keep her for her doctorate.

Dr Christina Weinberg, 2017, 2019 and 2020 cohort

Supporting Research Tandems

We support 12 to 15 tandems a year. The Pre-Doc Award involves a predoc and a postdoctoral researcher working together in tandem. Target group-specific information about the programme is available here:

The Pre-Doc Award lets you:

  • Enjoy a year of financial security, so that you can concentrate on securing funding for your doctorate
  • Refine your doctoral project with the help of your postdoc
  • Make contact with other Pre-Doc awardees and reap the academic or social benefits for your doctorate

Your support as a pre-doc:

  • A contract as a graduate assistant for 19 hours per week for 12 months
  • Potential financial support for travel, conferences and self-organised workshops related to the Pre-Doc Award funding phase
  • Workshops and networking

Generally, support begins on 1 October and ends twelve months later.

Your goals for the year of funding:

  • Securing a doctoral scholarship or supporting the postdoc in their application for external funding in order to co-finance your doctoral position
  • Developing the doctoral project further with the help of your postdoc tandem partner

Have we sparked your interest?

Then get in touch with suitable postdocs!

By participating in the programme, you will strengthen the skills all successful postdocs need in the world of academia:

  • Acquisition of external funding
  • Supporting and supervising doctoral candidates
  • Attracting early career researchers with a focus similar to your own
  • Establishing a network within and outside the University
  • Applications for research prizes and awards.

Your support as a postdoc:

  • A preferred candidate with one year’s funding and the prospect of joining your own working group in the long term
  • The opportunity to practice supervising and guiding prospective doctoral researchers
  • Workshops and networking.

Your goals for the year of funding:

  • Securing external funding to cover the predoc’s doctoral project or supporting the predoc in applying for scholarships
  • Subject-related and methodological support in the preparation of the doctoral project
  • Exchange with other awardees
  • Analysing the supervision experience and developing your own skills on an ongoing basis.

Have we sparked your interest?

Then speak to suitable candidates for the Pre-Doc Award!

Three pre-doc tandems have already been featured in the University Magazine: Dorothea Schmidt and Dr. Hatem Elliesie, Franz Beensen and Dr. Verena Schneider, Sabine Pawellek and Dr. Hagen Wulff (German versions only).

Receiving the Pre-Doc Award gave me the opportunity to look for funding together with my tandem partner and to work on my doctoral thesis at the same time.

Janett Thielemann, 2017 cohort

 Andrea Lösel

Andrea Lösel


Grundsatzreferat/ Strategische Projekte
Straße des 17. Juni 2, Room 106
04107 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97 - 34997
Fax: +49 341 97 - 35009

Office hours
Monday All-Day

 Matthew Cummins

Matthew Cummins


Vice-Rector for Talent Development: Study and Teaching
Straße des 17. Juni 2, Room 106
04107 Leipzig

 Cornelia Kristina Averdunk

Cornelia Kristina Averdunk


Vice-Rector for Talent Development: Study and Teaching
Johannisallee 21, Room 218
04103 Leipzig

You may also like

Graduate Academy Leipzig

Read more

Opportunities for Doctoral Research

Read more

Guidance and Organisation (German)

Read more


Read more

Postdocs (German)

Read more