The “Docks for Postdocs!” programme is aimed at postdoctoral scholars (postdocs) without an employment position or funding from the University of Bamberg or other German and foreign universities who nonetheless have ambitions to remain active in academia via a project career at the University of Bamberg. Postdocs have the opportunity to apply for a third-party funded project through the University of Bamberg. During the application phase, programme participants are visibly associated with the university, and this increases their chances for a successful application. This association takes the form of a “TRAc Starter Project” within the framework of “TRAc Projects”. Additionally, programme participants receive counselling from the Trimberg Research Academy (TRAc) and coaching support from scholars with third-party funding experience.


  • Association with the University of Bamberg
    • Representation on the TRAc website
    • Access to the University of Bamberg’s infrastructure
    • University of Bamberg working facilities
  • Application Assistance
    • Advisory services provided by TRAc and the university’s Research Funding and Transfer Division (Z/FFT)
    • Coaching support from a University of Bamberg scholar in your field who has successfully obtained substantial third-party funding from renowned funding institutions
    • TRAc support in organisational matters
    • Courses teaching key competencies for project application and implementation
    • Individual career coaching on request
    • Inclusion in informal mentoring structures within your field at the University of Bamberg via institutes and academic centres

Application Process


Applicants contact a subject representative with extensive experience of third-party funding as a potential coach. This expert assesses the project outline and decides whether he/she would like to take on the role of a coach in the application phase. In the event that funds are successfully acquired, the coach receives a share of the overhead budget (if provided by the third-party financer) after the start of the research project for further use upon application.


Following the assessment by the subject representative (coach), the university board of management issues a decision on the funding. The criteria for the acceptance or rejection of an application are:

  • the applicant's previous outstanding academic achievement (including the final dissertation assessment, academic awards, distinguished publications, previous acquisition of third-party funds)
  • a project idea relevant to the current state of research
  • the likelihood that the proposed project will receive funding
  • the feasibility of the planned third-party funded project


The commencement and duration of a "TRAc Starter Project" is arranged individually for each participant. The duration reflects the amount of time usually required to apply with respective funding agencies for third-party funding - from the application preparation and submission process until the issue of a final decision. This generally ranges from three months to a maximum of one year. This period can be extended, particularly if

  • the period between successful third-party funding acquisition and the start of the project must be bridged (by up to a maximum of one year);
  • a third-party financer suggests that a submitted application be revised and that this revised version has a distinct chance of being approved (by a maximum of up to one year);
  • work has had to be interrupted due to family-related responsibilities (maternity leave, parental leave, caring for relatives).


In the event of successful acquisition of third-party funding, a participant’s employment at the University of Bamberg is covered by project funds, provided he or she fulfils the necessary requirements.


An  application can be submitted at any time via the application form.


  • A completed doctoral degree with an above average final mark
  • A detailed concept for preparing a third-party funding application for an independent research project
  • Agreement to work on site in Bamberg for a considerable proportion of the project
  • Commitment to intensive coaching in the application phase by a professorial member of the University of Bamberg with extensive experience of third-party funding  

Application Materials:

  • Brief statement of motivation
  • Project outline (max. 3 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form, including, where applicable, information on previous acquisition of third-party funding
  • Sample list of your published work, organised in project-relevant publications (max. 5) and the most important other publications (max. 10)
  • Doctoral certificate/transcript
  • Letter of recommendation from the coach which includes an assessment of the quality of the intended third-party funded project
  • Additional documents relevant to an assessment

Please contact the TRAc postdoc consultants with any further enquiries: postdoc.trac(at)