Einstein BIH Visiting Fellows

1.    Funding objectives
BIH Visiting Fellows are top-level scientists working abroad and recruited for continuous activities as visiting scientists at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and its partners, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC). They are leading researchers in their field of the life sciences.1 The fellowships are not conceived for the classic visiting professors coming for an uninterrupted guest stay of one to two semesters (based frequently on taking leave) but for scientists remaining employed by and active at their home institution abroad while simultaneously contributing to the life sciences in Berlin on an ongoing basis.

Funding is aimed in particular at the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellows setting up a working group at BIH and coming to Berlin for work stays several times a year in order to supervise the working group on location, be available to early career scientists and, in addition, develop cooperation with BIH and its partner organizations in the medium and long term. The overarching funding objective is to strengthen BIH, Charité, and MDC by providing suitable excellent individuals and enhancing the international visibility of the life sciences and medical research in Berlin.

Einstein BIH Visiting Fellows can be hosted by either leading scientists themselves or by experienced postdocs (e. g. research group leaders, junior professors, assistant professors) of BIH, Charité, and MDC. Anyway, the collaboration with die Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow and the joint scientific project has a long-term approach.

Stiftung Charité supports the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellows with funds from its Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt. The program is run in cooperation with the Einstein Foundation Berlin. On its part, the Einstein Foundation Berlin offers Einstein Visiting Fellowships independently of their subject and without a focus on BIH.

In addition, Stiftung Charité has the program line “Humboldt Research Fellows at BIH” to recruit established as well as early career scientists for the BIH. Moreover, with the “BIH Visiting Professors” Stiftung Charité provides funding for temporary guest stays (3 to 9 months) of top-level scientists without subsidies for the working group itself. BIH Visiting Professors can come from abroad but in contrast to Einstein BIH Visiting Fellows and Humboldt Research Fellows from Germany as well.

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1 oriented on “R4 – Leading Researcher” career level in accordance with the European Commission’s definition. Cf. European Commission:  Towards a European Framework for Research Careers. Brüssel 2011. Hyperlink

2.    Funding volume
An Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow is supported with a total of up to 150,000 euro a year. The funding period is three years. An application for funding for a further two years may be submitted.

The Fellows may hold the title of “Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow” during the funding period.

3.    Application of funds
Funding may consist of

  • personnel funding for members of the working group to be set up (including for a postdoctoral researcher supervising the working group in Berlin),
  • material resources for the research project as well as
  • appropriate expense allowance/compensation for the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow in accordance with the rules for the institution of the applicant and oriented on the qualification and the position of the Fellow at home.

BIH, Charité, or MDC guarantees that it will provide suitable workspace including the necessary infrastructure for all members of the working group.

There are no contractual agreements between Stiftung Charité and the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow. All necessary arrangements are to be made directly by the applicant, the host, and the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow.

4.    Eligibility requirements and potential hosts
Applications have to be submitted by scientists who are heading a CharitéCenter, an Institute or a Clinic at Charité or who are heading a research area or a research team at MDC. They can host the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow and the working group by themselves or nominate a scientist in their particular center, institute, clinic, research area, or research team as a host. A nominated host has to be a scientist who is not necessarily leading but experienced in her or his academic field (e. g. research group leaders, junior professors, assistant professors).2 In any case, the collaboration with die Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow and the joint scientific project is expected to be sustainably designed. There can be further co-applicants.

The proposals are made respectively for the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellowship candidate and therefore have to be coordinated with her or him. The Fellowship candidate has to be a leading scientist.3

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2oriented on “R3 – Established Researcher” career level in accordance with the European Commission’s definition. Cf. European Commission:  Towards a European Framework for Research Careers. Brüssel 2011. Hyperlink
3 oriented on “R4 – Leading Researcher” career level in accordance with the European Commission’s definition. Cf. European Commission:  Towards a European Framework for Research Careers. Brüssel 2011. Hyperlink

5.    Application and assessment criteria
The application consists of

  • information about the nominated Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow and on her or his academic reputation (incl. CV and list of publications) as well as about the planned research project,
  • an explanation of the significance for the institution of the applicant and the host including

    • statements on the frequency and length of the planned  stays in Berlin,
    • the focus and size of the planned working group in Berlin,
    • an explanation of measures planned to integrate the Fellow in Berlin’s research landscape,
    • a description of the research project the Fellow and the host are planning,
    • a description of the intensity of existing or completed research cooperation with the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellowship candidate,
    • an explanation of the contribution to enhancing teaching and
    • an explanation of the administrative and organizational support to be provided by the institution of the applicant as well as

  • an explanation of the significance for cooperation between the BIH and the Fellow’s home institution in the medium and long term.

The Fellow is expected to come to Berlin at least three times a year for a work stay of several weeks or once a year for a work stay lasting more than five months.

Proposals are to be made using the application forms (first application) provided by Stiftung Charité.

6.    Renewal application
It is possible to apply for the continuation of funding for two more years with a total of up to 150,000 euro a year. The same rules and regulations apply as for the first application. A renewal application requires to have the same applicant and the same Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow than the first application. Usually, the renewal application should be submitted in the third year of the first funding period. The renewal application consists of

  • a review of the first three-year funding period,
  • an explanation of the significance of funding for two more years for the institution of the applicant and the host including by analogy with the first application, and
  • an enhanced explanation of the significance for cooperation between the BIH and the Fellow’s home institution in the medium and long term.

Proposals are to be made using the application forms (renewal application) provided by Stiftung Charité.

7.    Follow-up funding
At the end of the three or – in case of a successful renewal – five years of funding, the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow and her or his host can apply for a follow-up funding at Stiftung Charité. The follow-up funding is supposed to integrate the fellow in Berlin in the long-term and with attracting conditions even after the actual funding of the fellowship.

The follow-up funding presupposes that the working group established in the last years by the first and, possibly, renewal funding is able to continue its work by other financial resources, especially by successfully raising competitive third-party funding from other sponsors, and to develop its former project scientifically. The necessary third-party funding to continue the working group must be at least 150,000 Euro a year. Subject to this condition, it is possible to apply for the follow-up funding for the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow.

The follow-up funding for the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow depends on the country of her or his home institution and amounts up to

  • 15,000 Euro a year for a fellow from Europe, and
  • 30,000 Euro a year for a fellow from outside Europe.

In particular, the follow-up funding can be used to pay the Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow appropriate expense allowances/compensations and travel reimbursements. By analogy with the first and renewal funding, this must be carried out in accordance with the rules for the institution of the applicant. The fellow may continue to hold the title of “Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow”.

It is possible to apply for follow-up funding each year that the external funding to continue the working group is demonstrably available but not more than for three years at once. The follow-up funding can be applied repeatedly under the same conditions.

Proposals are to be made using the application forms (follow-up funding) provided by Stiftung Charité.

8.    Selection procedure
First and renewal applications have to be submitted to Stiftung Charité. They are formally reviewed first. A statement by the BIH Board of Directors is taken into account. The Einstein Foundation Berlin subsequently conducts a selection procedure consisting of several phases and gives funding recommendations to the Stiftung Charité. The funding decision is taken by the Academic Advisory Council of the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt appointed at Stiftung Charité.

9.    Deadlines / dates

January 15, 2018

Application deadline (First and renewal applications)

September/October, 2018

Announcement of funding decision / approval

November 1, 2018

Earliest possible start of funding

10.    Contact
Dr. André Lottmann
Head of Science Funding
Stiftung Charité
Karlplatz 7
10117 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 570 - 509
Fax:      +49 (0)30 450 7570 - 959
E-Mail:  lottmann@stiftung-charite.de  
Internet: www.stiftung-charite.de

 

Funding decisions

2018-2020

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Südhof, USA, Stanford University, Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Rosenmund (Charité), Research project: “1. The functional relevance of RIM and RBP in presynaptic calcium channel localization and trans‐synaptic synapse function. 2. Electrophysiological and ultrastructural characterization of human induced neurons lacking RIM‐BP.” (Renewal application, till 2019)
  • Prof. Dr. Edvard Ingjald Moser, Norwegen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Host: Prof. Dr. Dietmar Schmitz (Charité), Research project: "Role of the parasubiculum in interregional theta-synchrony in spatial navigation"
  • Dr. Michael Sieweke, Frankreich, Centre dImmunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), Host: Prof. Dr. Klaus Rajewsky (Max-Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine), Research project: “Engineered macrophages for cellular ther-apy“ (Renewal application, till 2019)
  • Prof. Dr. Viola Vogel, Schweiz, ETH Zürich, Host: Prof. Dr. Georg N. Duda (Charité), Research project: "Mechanobiology of Tissue Growth and Regeneration"

2017-2019

  • Prof. Dr. Brian Kobilka, USA, Stanford University, Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Spahn (Charité), Research project: "In silico GPCR: 'A computational microscope to determine receptor – G protein coupling specificity and functional selectivity' "
  • Prof. Dr. David Gutmann, USA, Washington University School of Medicine, Host: Prof. Dr. Helmut Kettenmann (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine), Research project: "Biology and treatment strategies of low-grade gliomas"
  • Prof. Dr. Mario Nicodemi, Italian, Università di Napoli Federico II, Host: Prof. Dr. Ana Pombo (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine), Research project: "Understanding chromatin folding and gene regulation in disease associated genomic rearrangements"
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Guenther Tullius, USA, Harvard Medical School, Gastgeber: Prof. Dr. Johann Pratschke (Charité), Forschungsprojekt: "Vascular Composite Tissue Allotransplantation (VCA): an integrated, multidisciplinary Basic and CLinical Research Program for abdominal wall, hand, and uterus transplantation"
  • Prof. Dr. David J. Mooney, USA, Harvard University, Gastgeber: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg N. Duda (Charité), Forschungsprojekt: "Biomaterial based strategies to stimulate in situ tissue formation for bone and muscle regeneration" - follow-up funding

2016-2018

  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Bodmer, USA, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Host: Prof. Dr. Silke Rickert-Sperling (Charité), Research project: “Congenital Heart Disease: expanding the developmental genetic network by utilizing the Drosophila heart to model patient genomic aberrations"
  • Prof. Dr. Bassem Hassan, Belgium, VIB / KU Leuven, Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Rosenmund (Charité), Research project: “The developmental basis of neuronal circuit wiring variability and its contribution to behavior"
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Müller, USA, The Scripps Research Institute, Host: Prof. Dr. Thomas Sommer (Max-Delbrück-Centrum for Molecular Medicine), Research project: “Mechanotransduction in health and disease"

2015-2017

  • Prof. Dr. Florian Sennlaub, France, Institut de la Vision, Host: Prof. Dr. Olaf Strauß (Charité), Research project: “Signaling at the blood/retina barrier in the recruitment of macrophages and accumulation in retinal disease”
  • Dr. Michael Sieweke, France, Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), Host: Prof. Dr. Klaus Rajewsky (Max-Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine), Research project: “Control of macrophage numbers by endogenous self renewal mechanisms“

2014-2017

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Südhof, USA, Stanford University, Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Rosenmund (Charité),
    Research project: “The role of RIM and RBP in presynaptic function and human neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders”