Oberwolfach Leibniz Fellows (OWLF)

 Junior post-doctoral researchers who are applying as an Oberwolfach Research Fellow (OWRF) can additionally apply for a Leibniz Fellowship. The focus of this fellowship is to support outstanding mathematical junior researchers in the realization of own research projects during an important period of their scientific career.

It is the intention of this program to enable shorter but more intensive research phases with a perspective exceeding the duration of the stay at the MFO. The possibility to visit Oberwolfach Workshops in the own field of research during an OWLF stay is a plus of this program.

Scholarship support and cooperation with universities and research centres

For Leibniz Fellows, the MFO offers a scholarship support (optional, up to a postdoctoral financing, depending on an existing position), including full board and lodging. The fellowship at the MFO can be combined with a postdoc position elsewhere.


A special importance is given to the cooperation with universities and research centres from which both sides can benefit: The Oberwolfach Leibniz Fellows by a longer funding and by a close cooperation with a research group in the own field of scientific research. The research centre by a partial financing and by the attraction for outstanding scientists that is given by the cooperation with the MFO. Recognized institutions offering their own postdoctoral programs do have the possibility to propose candidates to the MFO for a common funding, that will find special consideration by the MFO’s selection process.

General remarks

Concerning the possible research areas of mathematics, accommodation, EDI policy, application, evaluation, decision, scheduling and publication of results, please see the OWRF website.

In particular, please note that the OWLF stay should also be realized within one year after the decision on the proposal (as in OWRF). In case of force majeure (e.g. travel problems because of the pandemic) this deadline can be extended to two years. Afterwards the approval expires and the research stay has to be re-applied for.

Specific conditions concerning applications to Leibniz Fellowships in addition to OWRF applications

  • Allowed OWRF group size is 1-4 if at least one researcher applies for Leibniz Fellowship (OWLF)
  • Ph.D./doctoral degree of OWLF applicants has to be not more than 5 years ago
  • OWLF applicants submit a research project for a common research stay of 4-12 weeks
  • The other OWRF applicants without OWLF support are collaborators in the project for a stay of 1-4 weeks each.
  • An OWLF research project can be splitted in 1-3 periods of minimal length of 4 weeks (all to be realized within one year) if the applicants apply for this option.

In particular, the splitting allows short breaks with trips to a nearby university/institute or to a conference in connection with the research.

Thus the OWLF support is very versatile and flexible, allowing 1-4 post-docs an intense research stay with a complementary number of OWRF collaborators during the project:

  1. Individual persons, realizing a larger project (e.g. revision of the dissertation prior to its publication, finalization of a large research project)
  2. Small groups of two to four persons (also from different countries), applying for a common project or for a project with related subjects that can be realized during a common research stay at Oberwolfach.
  3. Applications of postdocs together with an established senior researcher (e.g. the advisor of the dissertation), who will also stay at the MFO for shorter periods.
  4. Support of research stays in order to conduct a large project (e.g. for a Heisenberg fellowship of the DFG or of other, also international, funding institutions or universities)
  5. Common funding of postdocs together with universities, Max-Planck-Institutes and other research centres so that the total duration of the fellowship will cover a period of at least one year.

Format of an OWLF application

On the basis of the prepared OWRF application, every applicant for a Leibniz Fellowship should submit in addition (in English)

  • OWRF application form*
  • A short description of own research (1-5 pages)
  • Copies of 1-4 most significant papers
  • 2 letters of recommendation (to be sent directly to the MFO by the respondents)

also as pdf-documents by e-mail to the Vice Director of the Institute, preferably by e-mail to owrf@mfo.de.

History and Acknowledgement

Please find some impressions from Oberwolfach Leibniz Fellows of the past years in the list of the fellows.

We are grateful to the Leibniz Association which supported the program from 2007 to 2009 within the competition funding of the "Pakt für Forschung und Innovation". Since 2010, the program is financed within the regular budget of the MFO.


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Download Poster


* IMPORTANT: Please do not use "Apple Preview" to fill the Application Form. It will corrupt the pdf file, even if it looks correct in "Apple Preview". We recommend using Acrobat Reader instead.