FWF - ESPRIT Career Advancement for Postdocs


for highly qualified postdocs from all disciplines at the beginning of their academic career

Target group

The ESPRIT Programme (“Early Stage Programme: Research, Innovation and Training”) is addressed to highly qualified postdocs from all disciplines at the beginning of their academic career who wish to carry out an independent research project at an Austrian research institute.


ESPRIT aims to foster the career development of researchers from all disciplines by carrying out an independent research project as principal investigator. The principal investigator will be supported in his/her skills and career development by a mentor.

The objectives of ESPRIT are

  • to promote excellent, innovative research,
  • to retain, attract, and win back outstanding researchers and thus strengthen Austrian research institutes,
  • to support outstanding women researchers,
  • to promote career and skills development (develop/establish own research profile based on an independent research project),
  • to enhance career prospects (boost competitiveness through publications, collaborations, and increased visibility).

The FWF also places particular emphasis on the promotion of women.


  • Doctoral degree awarded no more than five years prior to the time of application
  • International scientific/scholarly publications
  • Mentor who will assist the principal investigator in his/her professional and personal career development



36 months (cannot be extended)

Amount of funding

  • Principal investigator’s salary
  • Project-specific costs of €15,000 per year (lump sum) or up to a maximum of €25,000 per year (application must include a justification for the higher amount of funding)



  • Official application is submitted by the Austrian research institute (PROFI)
  • No deadlines, on a rolling basis
  • in English


Processing time

Estimated time of 4 months on average