Post-doc possibilities in Estonia

Text by Lauri Laanisto

Estonian Research Council announced a new research mobility program Mobilitas Pluss (link). This is a rather competitive measure for post-docs (but also top researchers) who would like to come to Estonia for some research. Project duration should be between 1 to 2 years; and deadline for applying is April the 29th.

Our work group would welcome anyone who would like to apply for post-doc in plant ecology and physiology in our department. I personally have couple of topics to propose, which are related to plant polytolerance to abiotic stress (see this paper for more insight) and intraspecific or within-species variability regarding abiotic polytolerance. But or course, also other topics are available as well.

Anyway, if there are serious candidates, please contact me: laanisto at ut dot ee

Below is the full information for the post-doc (link as well):


Mobilitas Pluss post-doctoral researcher grant


Programme activities are carried out by the Estonian Research Council (ETAg) in accordance with Decree No. 1.1-2/15/481 of the Minister of Education and Research of 30 December 2015. It lays down the conditions for the provision of grants under the ‘Internationalisation of research and support for mobility and the next generation’ or Mobilitas Pluss programme.

The budget for Mobilitas Pluss is 35 373 770 euros, 83.5% of which is covered by the European Regional Development Fund.

The programme aims to:

  • improve the international visibility of Estonian research, business and higher education and Estonia’s attractiveness as a destination country for study and research;
  • strengthen the international competitiveness of Estonian researchers and research performing organisations, including companies;
  • support opportunities for Estonian research institutions and companies to collaborate with transnational research organisations and networks, including through synergy with Horizon 2020 actions;
  • expand international collaboration and professional development opportunities for the state, R&D institutions, higher education institutions, companies, students and academic staff by improving intersectoral and international mobility and cooperation (opportunities). 

What do we support?

We support researchers who have earned their doctoral degrees abroad in coming to Estonia for post-doctoral research. We expect to bring approximately 100 post-doctoral researchers to Estonia through at least five calls for proposals.

What is the objective for the post-doctoral researcher grant?

The grant is provided with the aim of balancing and encouraging the circulation of minds whilst supporting opportunities for completing post-doctoral research, an important stage in research careers. The Estonian state attaches importance both to international researchers coming to Estonia to work and to the return of Estonian researchers who have gone abroad to study, in order to facilitate the application in Estonia of knowledge and experience acquired abroad and expand career options for researchers at the beginning of their career paths.

As a result of the activity, more researchers with international experience, including foreign researchers, will be working in Estonia than is the case now. Furthermore, post-doctoral research and international research experience will become a natural ingredient of research careers in Estonia.

What is the grant amount?

The amount of the grant depends on the amount of personal research grants issued for post-doctoral researchers from the state budget and is defined in Annex 2 to the decree on Mobilitas Pluss. The grant is subject to an own contribution requirement of 5% by the host institution.

The amounts are:

34 650 €/per year for experimental projects

31 710 €/per year for non-experimental projects

6500 € in the first year of the project for relocation support


What are the requirements for the applicant?

Final recipients of post-doctoral researcher grant include R&D institutions, companies or higher education institutions hiring post-doctoral researchers who have come from abroad. Post-doctoral researcher grant is aimed at both Estonian residents and foreign nationals who have defended their doctoral degrees at universities abroad. The duration of a post-doctoral researcher grant is up to 2 years but not less than 1 year. The Estonian Research Council is entitled to introduce additional requirements for the final recipient when announcing calls for proposals.

A post-doctoral research project has to have a supervisor. The supervisor should hold an Estonian doctoral degree or a corresponding qualification from abroad and be a member of staff at the host institution.

When may a grant be applied for?

The first call for applications is scheduled to open on 1 April 2016 and the deadline will be 29th of April. We will publish the application instructions and application form on the day of the announcement of the call at the latest .

What are applications evaluated on?

An application meeting the requirements is evaluated by the evaluation committee at ETAg involving independent experts. Applications are evaluated on the following selection criteria:

  • impact of the application on the objectives for the action;
  • scientific quality of the application (including the research capabilities of the institution, methods, expected results etc.);
  • rationale for and cost-effectiveness of the application;
  • applicant’s capability to carry out the project (track record of the post-doctoral researcher);
  • impact of the application on horizontal issues.

Applications are evaluated on a scale of 1 (non-satisfactory) to 5 (excellent). Evaluation is provided with the precision of 0.5 points. The cumulative score is made up of the weighted average for the selection criteria. Weights for each selection criterion are indicated in the evaluation instructions. Evaluation of applications will result in a ranking. Applications meeting the requirements are subject to funding based on the ranking, until the funds allocated for the call have run out. Applications with a cumulative score below 3.5 will not be funded.

In the case an application has received an affirmative funding decision, we will conclude a trilateral grant agreement between ETAg, the host institution and the post-doctoral researcher.


Tiina Loit
Mobilitas Pluss Programme Consultant (Tallinn)
+372 731 7359


Oskar Otsus
Mobilitas Pluss Programme Manager
+372 731 7350
+372 5306 5302
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3 Responses to Post-doc possibilities in Estonia

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