, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 171–190 | Cite as

Funding of young scientist and scientific excellence

  • Stefan Hornbostel
  • Susan Böhmer
  • Bernd Klingsporn
  • Jörg Neufeld
  • Markus von Ins


The German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Emmy Noether Programme aims to fund excellent young researchers in the postdoctoral phase and, in particular, to open up an alternative to the traditional route to professorial qualification via the Habilitation (venia legendi).

This paper seeks to evaluate this funding programme with a combination of methods made up of questionnaires, interviews, appraisals of the reviews, and bibliometric analyses. The key success criteria in this respect are the frequency of professorial appointments plus excellent research performance demonstrated in the form of publications. Up to now, such postdoc programme evaluations have been conducted only scarcely.

In professional terms, approved applicants are actually clearly better placed. The personal career satisfaction level is also higher among funding recipients. Concerning publications and citations, some minor performance differences could be identified between approved and rejected applicants. Nevertheless, we can confirm that, on average, the reviewers indeed selected the slightly better performers from a relatively homogenous group of very high-performing applicants. However, a comparison between approved and rejected applicants did not show that participation in the programme had decisively influenced research performance in the examined fields of medicine and physics.


Young Scientist Publication Activity Citation Rate Bibliometric Analysis Funding Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Hornbostel
    • 1
  • Susan Böhmer
    • 1
  • Bernd Klingsporn
    • 1
  • Jörg Neufeld
    • 1
  • Markus von Ins
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Research Information and Quality AssuranceBonnGermany

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