Programme statutes

APART-GSK is a funding programme for excellent junior scholars in the humanities and the social and cultural sciences (GSK) in the first post-doc phase of their careers. The programme seeks to offer opportunities for extraordinary young researchers on the path to scholarly independence to acquire open-topic funding by themselves and with their own research ideas.

Greater use should be made of the opportunities for the humanities and the social and cultural sciences to contribute to societal innovations. Core topics in the humanities and the social and cultural sciences such as demography, migration, the labour market, digitalisation, but also cultural heritage, religion or identity and gender issues shape our society and require intensive, scholarly discourse.

Applicants should use innovation concepts of dissemination and discussion in order to help stimulate exchange between scholarship and society, make the latest research findings accessible for society, and contribute to social innovation.

The funding is intended to assist its beneficiaries in reaching a level of scholarship that will enable successful application for career-track positions or high-level grants (e.g. START programme, ERC Starting Grant).

Target group

Applications are invited from post-docs from Austria and abroad up to a maximum of three years after receipt of their doctorate who can already demonstrate outstanding publications.

The project can be undertaken at any suitable Austrian research institution. Part of the period under funding can be spent abroad.

The funding programme also includes the opportunity for networking and mentoring and part of the funding can be used annually for training such as ERC applications and other national and EU programmes.

Application requirements

  • max. three years after receipt of doctorate
  • prior experience abroad or stay abroad within the framework of APART-GSK funding (for a maximum duration of half the fellowship) desired
  • Research project should be interdisciplinary or involve innovative content/methodology

Applicants who can demonstrate experience in (research) areas relevant to the project will be given particular consideration.

Recognition is given to time taken out for childcare of up three years per child: further exceptions are made in the case of disabilities/illness or military or civilian service. Exceptions must be discussed with the Department of Fellowships and Awards prior to application.

Stay abroad

It is possible to include a stay abroad for a maximum duration of half the funding period within the framework of an APART-GSK Fellowship.

Duration of funding

The fellowships are awarded for a period of min. 24 and max. 48 months.

If childcare duties can be demonstrated for at least one child under 7 years of age, the fellowship can be taken up on a part-time basis. In this case the duration of the fellowship can be extended for a maximum of half the approved time. 

Level of funding

The level of funding (= personnel costs) amounts to EUR 70,000 gross/gross per annum.
Each year, additional funding amounting to a maximum of EUR 12,000 can be applied for in order to finance project-specific travel and materials expenses (e.g. publications in open access journals, coaching or personal development courses, etc.).

In the event that the beneficiary is employed at a university of a non-university research institute in the framework of the fellowship, overhead costs to the tune of 20% of personnel costs will be paid.


Applicants are entitled to apply for other (funded) positions. Notification of such applications and information on their outcome must be provided in writing to the Department of Fellowships and Awards of the Austrian Academy of Sciences however.

Proper use of funds

If accepted for an APRT-GSK Fellowship, the fellow is obliged to focus his/her work on the research project. Additional employment (e.g. teaching, tutorials) are permitted if they contribute to the aims of the programme and do not amount to over ten hours per week.  Exceptions to this regulation must be discussed with the Department of Fellowships and Awards.

Fellows who fail to adhere to the conditions of the fellowship due to their own fault are obliged to return the funding.


The funding is paid in annual instalments either directly to the fellow (“Neue Selbstständige”) or to the university or non-university research institute in Austria at which the fellow is employed.  Employment within the framework of the funding programme is conditional on confirmation by the director of the institute that in the event of a fellowship being awarded a workspace will be available.

There can be no payment of the fellowship for any period before its commencement.


At the halfway stage and at the end of the fellowship, a project report and publications produced within the framework of the project are to be submitted.

The reports are evaluated by the members of the selection committee from the relevant fields.

Selection process

The selection process for an APART-GSK Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences takes around six months.

The candidates’ applications that make the shortlist are reviewed by international experts.  At least two reviewers are consulted per application. The candidates ranking highest on the basis of the reviews within a given specialist field are invited to interviews with at least two members of the committee with relevant expertise. The committee’s decision to award fellowships is based on the reviews and the interviews.

Upon completion of the review procedure, the reviews are anonymised before being sent to each applicant.

Please note that due to budgetary circumstances applications have to be rejected despite receiving positive reviews.

The committee’s decision is final.

Assessment criteria

Applicant’s academic qualifications and development prospects

  • publications
  • special successes, distinctions, awards
  • (international) mobility
  • (international) cooperation with other scholars or working groups (including in other disciplines)

Scholarly quality of the proposed project

  • originality and relevance to the field
  • clarity of research questions
  • appropriateness of methodology
  • feasibility of the project – incl. work plan and timetable

Legal status

The Austrian Academy of Sciences does not exert any influence on the content and organisation of the research proposal.  The criterion for funding or its continuation is the fellow’s fulfilment of his/her own research plan.

All research activities undertaken by the fellows are for their own exclusive benefit. The fellows are not obliged to undertake any work for the benefit of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences does not acquire any rights to the research results by funding the fellowship, nor does it exert any influence on the nature of the fellows’ cooperation with research institutions and research groups. The design and organisation of collaboration with third parties is the sole responsibility of the fellows.



[As of January 2019]