Fulbright-Cottrell Award

Start of award funding July 2022

Program Description

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 the idea of the U.S.-based Cottrell Award, which was 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 2022 in Tucson, Arizona), where the German awardees are included in the nation-wide (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 2021 Cottrell Scholar Conference, held online, 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 to improve instruction within the applicant’s respective department/program, and at improving 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 forward-looking teaching and 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, and should also have strong international experience in scientific research (collaboration in an international environment and work as members of diverse teams).


In view of the research-centered and publication-oriented (international) scientific community, research has 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 young 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, 2022.
  • 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 in May 2022.

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) who are working at a German university/research institute with teaching responsibilities in the core programs (Bachelor/Master) of chemistry, physics or astronomy.

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/institute at which the project is hosted during the entire award period (3 years)

Application Procedure & Deadlines

The application period for the 2022 Fulbright-Cottrell Award concluded in January 2022, and we informed all applicants of the outcome in May.

Information about application procedures and deadlines for the 2023 Fulbright-Cottrell Award will be available on this website in autumn 2022.

Please note Fulbright Germany’s data protection declaration and the data protection notice on your application.


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