Green Talents Competition 2021 - German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


Trainings & Fellowships Conferences Creative Ideas Tech & IT

Location (s):

  • Germany


Become a Green Talent, promote your sustainability research in Germany and gain exclusive access to a remarkable network of excellent young researchers.


Striving for international cooperation in sustainability research

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) hosts the prestigious ”Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development” to promote the international exchange of innovative green ideas.

The award, under the patronage of Minister Anja Karliczek, honours young researchers each year. The winners come from numerous countries and scientific disciplines and are recognised for their outstanding achievements in making our societies more sustainable. Selected by a jury of German experts the award winners are granted unique access to the country’s research elite.

Are you an up-and-coming scientist with inventive ideas and a strong focus on sustainable development? Does your research have the potential to change the world?

We challenge you to convince our high-ranking expert jury and become one of the 25 Green Talents of 2021! The award is open to all disciplines as long as they are related to sustainable development.

How can I apply?

Applications can only be submitted via an online tool. Documents that are sent to us by email cannot be accepted. Please note that applications cannot be changed once they have been submitted nor can any missing document be handed in after the deadline.

What is in it for me?

The prestigious Green Talents programme offers you the unique opportunity to become part of an exceptional world-wide network of outstanding young minds and leading German institutions. The first part of the prize consists of an invitation to a two-week Science Forum in Germany, where you will be introduced to renowned research facilities and have individual meetings with experts (individual appointments). Here you will learn about potential collaborations and experience the country’s excellent research infrastructure at close hand. In addition, a workshop on research and funding opportunities will provide you with further information for your future research stay in Germany. The journey will culminate within a festive award ceremony hosted by a high-level representative from the BMBF.

You will have the opportunity to return to Germany for up to three months to conduct a research stay at an institute of your choice the year after the Science Forum. Learn more about how the Green Talents story continues for the awardees when they return to Germany for their research stays.

The Science Forum and the extended research stay will be fully-financed by the BMBF.

Organising the research stay

The research stay must be conducted in 2021 and should last between a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks. It is not possible to conduct the research stay at two different organisations/institutions/companies or to split the time of the stay.

Generally, all research facilities in Germany associated with sustainability research are eligible for funding. The awardees need to choose the host by themselves and obtain official confirmation of supervision from the host organisation. In addition, a research plan that has been coordinated with the host is required before funding for the research stay can be granted.

After the stay, the participants have to submit a report, summarising the key results of their work during this period as well as an outlook on future collaborations.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Applicants must meet the following mandatory requirements:

  • Enrolment in a master’s or PhD programme or a degree (master’s/PhD) completed no more than three years before the end of the application process
  • No more than three years of professional work experience (this excludes professional work experiences gained within the scope of an academic degree)
  • Strong focus on sustainable development and an interdisciplinary approach in any field of sustainability research
  • Proven excellent command of English
  • Significantly above-average grades
  • Not a German citizen nor a resident of Germany (individuals therefore not eligible to apply: German passport holders as well as anyone living in Germany at the time of application even if the residence is temporary)

No exceptions to these requirements can be accepted. Ineligible applications will automatically be disqualified.

The Green Talents Competition focuses on outstanding young scientists who are active in the field of sustainable development. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) fosters interdisciplinary approaches in this regard. This year's competition is held under the banner "Smart Green Planet – Solutions for a Sustainable Future". Applicants can therefore come from any scientific field closely related to sustainability research.

Can we apply as a team?

This programme is directed at and looking for outstanding individuals with exceptional personalities. We look at an individual's research potential and their passion for what they do and where we think this might take them some day. Fortunately, everyone is different and it is this uniqueness that we want to embrace. It is therefore not possible to apply as a team. In addition, it is not only about what you do now but also about what your aspirations are for the future. This is why we do not fund projects but aim to foster individual development.


Deadline: May 23, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

What does the funding include?

When selected as a “Green Talent”, you will be invited to a two-week Science Forum in Germany (which takes place in October). This means that the BMBF will cover your travel expenses (to/from Germany and during the trip) as well as your meals and accommodation during the Science Forum. Costs for health insurance and visa fees cannot be covered and must be paid by the participants.

We will cover the round trip to Germany and back to your country of residence and also provide a monthly allowance when you return for your research stay the year after the Science Forum. This allowance is intended to support you during your stay and will be sufficient for accommodation, insurance, food and your daily needs. However, it is not intended to support your research.

Find your Dream Opportunity Abroad!

Search from 4642 opportunities in 189 countries