Elite Network: Our funding program at a glance

Our funding program at a glance

The Elite Network of Bavaria is an initiative of the Free State of Bavaria to support talented young students and researchers. Our unique, internationally oriented and carefully coor­di­nated and attuned funding programs support talented young academics from around the world in every stage of their academic career – from leaving school through to the postdoc phase – and offer Bavarian uni­versi­ties the opportunity to expand their range of teaching and research.

Our funding lines offer the best conditions for research and study

The Elite Network of Bavaria comprises five coordinated and attuned pro­gram lines: the Max Weber Pro­gram, Elite Graduate Pro­grams, International Doctorate Pro­grams, the Marianne-Plehn-Pro­gram and Junior Res­earch Groups. Talented young stu­dents at Ba­va­rian universities can become a member of the Elite Network of Bavaria at any time bet­ween leaving school and postdoctoral study.

The Max Weber-Program allows us to support talented young students through a Max Weber Scholarship. The Elite Graduate Programs are Master’s programs which offer high-achieving and motivated students the ideal conditions for study: with an inter­na­ti­onal and often inter­disciplinary approach and an emphasis on research, Gra­duate Pro­grams also feature an innovative concept and excellent student supervision.


The International Doctorate Pro­grams
 of the Elite Network of Bavaria facilitate doc­toral study at an internationally elite level and include a professional position at the university during the doctoral phase.

Outstanding doctoral stu­dents can alter­na­tively apply for the Marianne-Plehn-Program with a part-time employment of 25% at any uni­ver­sity in Bavaria.

Porträtfoto: Prof. Dr. Peter Strohschneider

The Elite Network of Bavaria creates spaces in which an attitude of alert readiness can develop to be productively irritated by other scientists and their other knowledge.

Prof. Peter Strohschneider

By sup­porting Junior Research Groups, we offer attractive career prospects for postdocs from around the world.

Bavarian universities also benefit from our range of fun­ding programs. They can apply to set up Elite Graduate Programs and In­ter­na­tional Doctorate Programs, thereby ex­pand­ing their program of research and study at the highest level with courses that extend well bey­ond con­ven­tional structures and disciplines.

Our members form a strong community

We believe that an active exchange and net­work­ing between our members across fun­ding programs should be at the heart of our Elite Net­work. With their ideas, in­qui­si­ti­ve­ness and variety of 4 intercultural back­grounds and biographies, our members form a vibrant net­work.

More than 15 years’ experience operating the Elite Net­work of Bavaria has taught us that, also after the graduation celebration, whether active or alumni, our members form a strong community and a vibrant Net­work. With this in mind, we not only provide the ideal conditions in which to research and study, but also offer platforms for a high-level aca­de­mic exchange of ideas and views as well as more informal net­work­ing events.

Examples include: hosting the Elite Network of Bavaria FORUM, an interdisciplinary and very in­te­res­ting series of lectures, allowing up to 20 members to take part in the world-famous Lindau Nobel Lau­rea­te Meeting, holding various soft skill seminars for our members and, last but not least, organising our long-standing foot­ball tour­na­ment, the EliteCup.

Porträtfoto: Pei-Hsuan Huang

The people I have encountered through the Elite Network of Bavaria and the experiences it has afforded me have changed how I see the world.

Pei-Hsuan Huang

Photo of

Our aspiration: outstanding quality

We aspire to offer talented young academics from around the world the best conditions for research and study as well as an attractive network. To achieve this, we evaluate our funding lines on an ongoing basis and work to improve them with our expert bodies, the International Commission and the Advisory Board.

We also regularly evaluate our program as a whole; the last such eva­lu­a­tion was con­duc­ted in 2017 by a Commission under the leader­ship of Prof. Birgitta Wolff, President of the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main. In its final report, the Commission de­scri­bed the Elite Network of Bavaria as “utterly exemplary in terms of support for gifted and elite stu­dents”. The report also stated: “The Free State of Bavaria has hereby set clearly visible mile­stones in the academic landscape.”

The overall funding provided to the Elite Network of Bavaria is in excess of €20 million per year.