DOC Selection

The selection procedure for a DOC Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences takes approx. 6-7 months.

The applications of the candidates shortlisted in the preliminary selection procedure are reviewed by international experts. One or two meaningful reviews are sought for each application. The committee’s decision to award fellowships is based on the reviews and the comparative discussion in the committee meeting.

After the evaluation procedure has ended, the reviews are anonymised before being forwarded to each applicant.

It should be noted that due to financial considerations applications have to be rejected despite positive evaluation.

Applicants do not have recourse to legal action.

Selection procedure

The fellowship committee comprises scholars and scientists employed at a university or a non-university research institution in Austria. The committee members are nominated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Universities Austria (uniko).

The applications are assigned to the members of the awards committee according to their fields. Great attention is paid to avoiding potential conflicts of interest. Hence committee members and applicants may not work at the same university or research institute. Furthermore, professional or private relations or rivalry are also taken into consideration, and, if necessary, external experts are called upon to assess an application.

Preliminary selection

In the first selection round, a shortlist of applications will be drawn up that will be evaluated by international experts. This preliminary selection is made on the basis of the scientific quality of the dissertation project. An explanatory statement giving the reasons for the rejection is sent to the applicant.

For the applications that are to be externally assessed, the members of the committee suggest reviewers abroad who seem suitable in the relevant fields. In addition, experts from the database of the Department of Fellowships and Awards can be named. Again, bias and potential conflicts of interest are taken into consideration.

There is no set pool of reviewers; for each application experts are sought who are in a position to judge the application on the basis of their own academic experience or research activities in accordance with the international standards in the field in question. These experts work on a voluntary basis, i.e. they do not receive any financial compensation for this activity.

Applicants have the right to exclude up to three experts from the review process (e.g. due to rivalry or to dispute between schools).

The review process

One or two reviewers are enlisted for each application in the framework of the DOC programme. In the case of interdisciplinary applications embracing several fields of research this number can be increased.

A review consists of a written assessment and a formal evaluation of the academic quality of the research project on a scale from 1–10 (1–2 = inadequate, 9–10 = outstanding):

  • Originality and innovative aspects of the research project as well as relevance of the project to the research field
  • Knowledge of the current state of research
  • Clarity of the research questions (hypotheses)
  • Appropriateness of the methodology (including work plan and timetable)
  • Feasibility of the project (institute’s facilities, academic environment)

Finally, the reviewers are requested to provide a summary stating whether they recommend that the application be funded (with priority), should be resubmitted after revision or should be rejected.

If the written statement does not seem particularly meaningful, another review is sought. The reviewers are requested to state potential conflicts of interest. If conflict of interest is established retrospectively, the review is not taken into consideration.

When a revised application has been resubmitted, at least one of the previous reviewers will usually be asked again for an assessment. The prerequisite for resubmission is that the projekct progress since the first submission and the changes made on the basis of the criticism or suggestions in the review are presented.

Meeting of the fellowship committee

The decision concerning selection of the fellows is made in the meeting of the fellowship committee.

On the basis of the reviews, the members of the committee rank the applications assigned to them and present them to the committee. The applications are dealt with in comparison with one another; the reviews, but also other criteria concerning the academic qualification of the applicant - such as performance at university and duration of studies, publication history, mobility, duration of doctoral/PhD studies - are discussed in detail.

The decision to award the fellowships is made by the entire committee.

Information for applicants

After the committee meeting, all applicants will be informed by e-mail; the reviewers’ written statements will be anonymised and forwarded to the applicants.

Key facts

Value of Fellowship
38,000 Euros annually (before tax)

Length of Fellowship
24 / 30 / 36 months



The road to a fellowship




Upon being awarded a fellowship

General documents

DOC documents