President’s Welcome Award

Mentorship program for doctoral candidates

Schlossgarten in Erlangen
Erlanger Schlossgarten mit Blick auf die Orangerie (Bild: Walter Weiss)

What is the President’s Welcome Award?

Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, Präsident der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, President of FAU (Image: FAU/Thomas Einberger)

The award includes one year of “carefree life” in the new apartment complex “The Brucklyn“ in Erlangen. Thanks to a close cooperation with The Brucklyn, FAU will be able to provide free housing for the first year of the candidates’ stay.

Moreover, FAU will take care of enrolment fees for two semesters, German language courses and general support. It is also possible for international professors to propose a talented student for the award.


During the course of their first year, the doctoral candidates will be invited to joint activities and workshops. They will meet up with the president in a quarterly jour-fixe.

Apartment (Image: The Brucklyn)

To make their experiences visible to other young researchers around the world, the awardees will be asked to report about their work and their first steps of living and starting a doctoral project in Germany through a vlog (Video-Blog) on Instagram. Of course, you will not have to deal with that job alone! You will be supported with a science communications training as well as continuous coaching and support in social media communication and video production through experienced science communicators.

The science communications training is not only for free – it is a plus for your further career as dissemination has grown in importance immensely in the eyes of funding institutions such as DFG or ERC.

After six to eight months, a documentary video “Living and doing research in Germany” will be compiled using material from the vlogs, interviews with the awardees, their academic mentors and the president of FAU.



Why apply for the President’s Welcome Award

  • Level-up your doctoral career
  • Be mentored by the university’s president himself
  • Develop valuable networks with scientific and industry partners
  • Enjoy one carefree year of living in Bavaria (free housing, no enrolment fees)
  • Visit German language courses for free
  • Dive into science communications in a free training

How to apply?

You are from abroad and about to apply for one of the doctoral positions currently available at FAU, and would like to go for the President’s Welcome Award as well?

Then write a short motivation letter (approx. one page) why YOU are the candidate that will best contribute to FAU’s strength in innovation! Send it to

FAU president Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger will choose three winners.

Why pursue your scientific career at FAU?

Scientists in a laboratory
Image: Uwe Niklas

FAU is the place to be for talents who would like to start their scientific and academic careers at an outstanding university rich in tradition and strong in research. We help talents from all over the world to fulfil their potential and become part of a growing, global community of innovative researchers and entrepreneurs.

FAU strives to promote open-minded, independent individuals whose research helps to shape tomorrow’s world, whether contributing to AI, medical progress, science or to the humanities. As a full-spectrum university we are at the forefront of driving innovation and setting knowledge in motion. The Office of Research Career Development and the Graduate Centre provide information on doctoral degrees, postdoctoral research, habilitations and junior professorships for all faculties and offers advice and support to doctoral candidates, postdoctoral researchers and habilitation candidates.

A peek into the doctoral experiences of the first awardees

In the fall of 2021, our fist three President’s Welcome Award candidates started their journey. A year later, three further candidates followed. In the videos below, they shared with us typical working days, trips to cities, Christmas markets and old castles, food explorations and also their motivation to work here. Have a look!


About Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

The Kollegienhaus.
Bild: FAU/Kurt Fuchs

Founded in 1743, FAU is proud of its history and to be the intellectual home of many talented minds. It is a strong research university with an international perspective and one of the largest universities in Germany, with around 38,000 students, about 260 degree programmes, 4,000 academic staff (including more than 660 professors), 210 million euros (2019) third-party funding, and 500 partnerships with universities all over the world. Teaching at the University is closely linked to research and focuses on training students in both theory and practice to enable them to think critically and work independently. The research itself also strikes the perfect balance between a theoretical approach and practical application.

With its Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology, the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering, FAU offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary research. FAU’s values of innovation, diversity and passion are the key to its consistent success in national and international rankings. FAU is ranked #1 in Germany among the world’s most innovative universities and #14 worldwide.

Living in Bavaria – The place to be for bright minds

Studentin mit Getränk in der Hand
Image: FAU/David Hartfiel

Pursue your career in the heart of Europe! As a part of Bavaria, Franconia is an intriguing mix of cities with a long history, beautiful nature and a vibrant innovation ecosystem. FAU’s two main sites, the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg, are located at the heart of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region.

Both Erlangen, a bicycle-friendly city with 100,000 inhabitants, former home of the Huguenots as well as a key location for Siemens, and Nuremberg, a city with a population of half a million and a metropolitan flair, have their own unique charms.

The opera, theatre, cabaret and museums, various sporting and leisure activities along with a lively pub scene and night life, offer plenty of opportunities to relax after a day in the lecture theatre, lab or library. The mixture of academia, innovative companies, art and culture makes the region the perfect place for creative minds, keen athletes and nature lovers.

In fact, it’s the place to be for bright minds who want to combine a career and a life!