They said they would get back to me in December, but I was starting to doubt, as today is effectively the last working day of the year for those few Germans who aren't already on vacation. But I got the email this morning.
I've been invited to give a short talk on my research to the committee deciding which applicants will be invited to form Research Groups. The interview will be mid-February in Berlin, and I should know very shortly after that if my application was successful.
This means I have a month and a half to write a talk, make impressive figures and graphs, and so forth. The hardest part for me in writing the talk is figuring out who my audience is. The committee that wants to interview me is from the Human Sciences Section. This includes institutes focusing on anthropology, economics, art-history, law, religious and ethnic studies, linguistics, sociology, the history of science and the study of cognition. It also includes demography, evolutionary anthropology and a fair bit of other natural sciences. I can't simply give the same talk to a group of biologists and demographers that I would give to a committee of lawyers and ethnographers. I don't yet know if the committee as a whole will be judging my talk, in which case I have to assume a great diversity of background, or if they will have a smaller group of specialists assigned to each talk. I can give a good talk either way, but not both simultaneously. I've got some thinking to do.