Fulbright-Cottrell Award

Start of award funding July 2023

Program Description

** For info on the award-affiliated workshop taking place in Dresden, June 12-14, 2023, please visit the Building Bridges Fulbright-Cottrell workshop website. **

With its Fulbright-Cottrell Award, the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin (Fulbright Germany) offers a unique opportunity for researcher-educators in the fields of chemistry, physics and astronomy. The award recognizes outstanding scientists who strive to integrate their research and teaching activities, regarding them as interdependent.  The Fulbright-Cottrell Award thus follows in the footsteps of the U.S.-based Cottrell Scholar Award, initiated in 1994.

The Fulbright-Cottrell Award provides funding of 63,000 € to successful German applicants for a three-year project that combines pioneering research and creative teaching within their respective fields. The award also includes an additional 5,000 € for participation in the annual Cottrell Scholar Conference (next taking place in July 2023 in Tucson, Arizona), where German awardees are included in the North American (and international) network of Cottrell Scholars and alumni:ae. This component of the award allows Fulbright-Cottrell Scholars to engage with transatlantic scientific communities, establish lasting personal connections, and receive acknowledgment for the quality and innovation of their research programs and academic leadership skills. The 2022 Cottrell Scholar Conference exemplifies the degree to which this inclusive community of scientists is flourishing across continents.

Project Criteria

Submitted projects should include a research proposal and a corresponding teaching program, with the aim of simultaneously implementing both components over the course of three years at a German university. The proposed research should describe a fundamental problem and enhance the current knowledge and understanding in the applicant’s field. The teaching program should aim not only to improve instruction within the applicant’s respective department/program, but also to enhance students’ academic success.

The submitted projects will be judged by their quality and innovation, feasibility, and long-term perspective. In addition to scientific excellence, proposals should also reflect the applicant’s knowledge of pedagogic concepts, and make use of imaginative, forward-looking teaching and thoughtful learning methodologies. Applicants are encouraged to implement their projects with students in the earlier stages of their academic development.

Candidates should demonstrate independence in research (publications, etc.) and teaching, have strong international experience in scientific research (collaboration in an international environment and work as members of diverse teams), and exhibit interest in both gaining from and contributing to award-related transatlantic exchange.


Considering the research-centered and publication-oriented nature of the international scientific community, research has likewise traditionally played an important role at German universities. High performance in teaching has often taken a lesser priority.

The U.S.-based Cottrell Scholar Award confronted this challenge by recognizing outstanding early-career university “teacher-scholars” in the fields of chemistry, physics and astronomy. This prestigious award is conferred annually by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) in Tucson, Arizona – with a focus on the U.S. and Canadian scientific communities. Read more…

Grant Benefits

  • Funding for a three-year research and teaching project in the amount of 63,000 €, which will be provided in two installments. The official start date of the award is July 1, 2023.
  • Travel expenses up to 5,000 € for transatlantic flights from Germany to at least two Cottrell Scholar Conferences in Tucson, Arizona. Costs will be covered as incurred, starting on July 1, 2023.

The awards will be administered by Fulbright Germany, with funds provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Junior group leaders and habilitated researchers (including junior professors, Juniordozent:innen, and Privatdozent:innen) working at a German university/research institute with teaching responsibilities in the core programs (Bachelor/Master) of chemistry, physics or astronomy are eligible for the award.

Equal opportunity, diversity, inclusion, and educational equity are among the fundamental principles of Fulbright Germany. Applications are open to all individuals regardless of gender, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, social status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Fulbright Germany encourages applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups to apply for all of its scholarships, programs, and other activities.


  • German citizenship
  • In addition and exceptionally, other citizenship if applicant’s “center of life” (Lebensmittelpunkt) is in Germany
  • Completed doctorate in chemistry, physics or astronomy
  • Proven primary affiliation with a German university/research institute at which the project is hosted during the entire award period (3 years)

Application Procedure & Deadlines

The application period for the 2023 Fulbright-Cottrell Award has concluded. All applicants will be contacted by April 2023, following the selection. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

Please note Fulbright Germany’s data protection declaration.


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