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Pre-Doc Award

Excellence in Research and Supervision: Promoting a New Generation of Researchers

One of the many responsibilities of postdocs is mentoring and supervising doctoral candidates. The Pre-Doc Award aims to advance young scholars, to improve the mentoring and supervisory skills of postdocs, and to stimulate innovative research.

The Pre-Doc Award offers promising pre-doctoral candidates and postdocs an opportunity to work in tandem on a research project. The goal of this collaboration is for the pre-doctoral candidate to have produced a successful scholarship application for doctoral studies and/or for the postdoc to have developed a successful application for third-party funding, including a doctoral position.  As a result, qualified graduate students are able to transition quickly and with financial security to the doctoral phase. The award consists in providing employment in the form of a 19-hour per week position as a research assistant (Wissenschafliche Hilfskraft, WHK). 

The Pre-Doc Award was introduced as part of the effort to implement the staff development concept adapted by Leipzig University in May 2017. In addition to facilitating the transition of graduate students to doctoral studies, participation also strengthens the career prospects of postdocs that are on the way to academic independence, by providing them with crucial experience mentoring and supervising dissertation projects.

The award is coordinated by the Research Academy Leipzig.


Dr. Nicole Koburger

Email oder +49 341 97-37185


Pre-Doc Award 2019: Application procedure completed

Following the successful testing of the Pre-Doc Award in 2017, the Rectorate decided on 11 October 2018 to continue the programme for an initial period of three years. The selection process for 2019 has now been completed. Submissions of projects are no longer possible. From July 2019 onwards we look forward to receive your applications for the funding period 2020. A call for submissions and a handbook with further information will be published here in due course and made known through various channels.

As an orientation, you will find the call for submissions and a guideline with further information for the current round here.

Pre-Doc Award 2019/2020

In March 2019, support began for the second tandem cohort of the Pre-Doc Awards of the University of Leipzig. An interdisciplinary jury selected 20 projects from the high-quality proposals submitted. We are pleased to welcome young researchers from various disciplines again this year.

For more detailed information on the selected projects, winning teams, and 2019/2020 award events.