Your bridge to a successful career in life sciences

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The Aventis Foundation is an independent non-profit foundation headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It has founded a research award for postdoctoral researchers in the field of life sciences, to help them successfully establish themselves in their academic field, pursue innovative approaches and boost their chances of gaining full professorship. The Aventis Foundation wants to provide individual support to talented researchers, enable them to conduct their own independent research at the earliest possible stage and encourage them to pursue bold and unconventional ideas.

Endowment and Target Group

For the second time, the Aventis Foundation will give its postdoctoral award to talented researchers in the field of life sciences.

Each Aventis Foundation Postdoctoral Award is endowed with a subsidy amount of € 100,000. For 2020, the Foundation will select up to three winners. The awards will be given to young academics with a doctorate or habilitation, junior professors and tenure- track-professors or research group leaders who aim for an academic career but do not yet hold full and permanent professorship. The award specifically promotes innovative approaches in life sciences:

  • biochemistry
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • medicine
  • pharmaceutical studies

each of which may be combined with mathematics and IT.

Each year’s awards will be granted in cooperation with scientific institutions like universities and research institutes. For 2020, the Foundation will partner with Goethe University Frankfurt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Technische Universität Darmstadt and Heidelberg University. Accordingly, researchers employed by these universities will be eligible to apply for the award this year.

Usage of Subsidy Amount

10% of the prize money will go directly to the award winners as a personal grant that may also be used for personal expenses. The remaining 90% can be spent freely for personal and material costs and other expenditures as long as these fall within the scope of the respective research projects. The grant shall be spent within three years from its conferral. Prior expenses are not eligible for compensation. The money shall not be used to finance the researcher’s own position. If the award winner happens to leave the partner institution, the prize money can not be transferred. Remaining funds shall be used to finance the continuation of the research projects at the partner institution or be reimbursed to the Aventis Foundation. All equipment and devices purchased will be fully owned by the partner institution.


>>> Application deadline: May 31, 2020 <<<

Candidates can apply directly via the Foundation’s application portal, excluding legal recourse. They will be asked to submit personal information (such as contact data, curriculum vitae, PhD conferral date, current employment status, career goals) and information on their academic research (field, unit, current position, field description, project outline). They will be able to upload three publications as well as a letter of recommendation from the supervising professor or dean’s office.

Additional information on the application documents and process can be found on the Aventis Foundation’s official project blog

Selection Criteria and Procedure

Applications submitted on time will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Qualification and potential of the applicant
  • Level of innovation and quality of the scientific projects pursued by the applicant
  • Value added to the applicant’s academic development

The applications will be reviewed by a jury of experts recruited from the Foundation’s board of trustees, involving additional advice from external consultants. Applicants may be invited to personally present their project proposals.
The final funding decisions will be made by the Aventis Foundation’s board of trustees and board of directors.


The award winners are required to report annually on the progress of their scientific work. The reports shall be published on the project blog and presented in a way that is comprehensible for inclined nonprofessionals and advanced high school or university students. They are further required to submit a final comprehensive report.