HHU StartJUNOResearch AbroadStaying abroad during doctoral studies

A research stay abroad during doctoral studies

Conducting part of the research work abroad during a doctoral studies allows researchers new insights into their own research field, an exchange with scientists from other cultural backgrounds, the collection of data and/or the learning of new working methods which enrich their own projects.
Research stays abroad should be planned and prepared in good time. Such visits for a limited time period mostly result from researchers’ own personal contacts or their supervisors’ existing contacts. If no such contacts exist, researchers can apply on their own initiative for a research stay or a research internship. Opportunities to take part in a 'Summer Internship Programme' or a 'Summer School' are sometimes advertised directly by the research institutions responsible. In addition, HHU has a number of undefinedcooperation agreements with higher education institutions and research institutions at which guest visits are possible.

General information on preparing your research stay abroad

You can find general information on how to prepare your research stay abroad in the undefinedEuraxess Mobility Portal. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has compiled specific information on individual countries. Please enquire at your country´s Foreign Office about entry and visa regulations applicable in your target country.

Regarding all further information and requirements, you should please enquire at your host institution abroad.

Financing your research stay abroad

Having decided to go abroad, there is the question of how to finance your visit. We have listed the most important funding schemes for you here. You can search in scholarship databases for other programmes according to your own criteria.

Language certificates

When applying for funding it is most often necessary to proof the language proficiancy for the language of the destination country. At the undefinedHHU Language Center you are able to receive language certificates for the German Academic Exchange Servive (DAAD) and for the "Bundesvertretung der Medizinstudierenden in Deutschland" (bvmd). Please pay attention to registration deadlines and dates. For all other certificates please contact the test centers directly.

Recognition of your research stay abroad by HHU

Before commencing your visit, you should discuss with your supervisor to what extent a stay abroad can be suitably integrated into the doctorate phase. There is also the possibility to undertake a Joint PhD. A Joint PhD leads to attainment of the doctoral degree which is jointly conferred by two universities.

Information for researchers with an employment contract at HHU

Stays abroad lasting up to three months must be registered as official journeys. Cost accounting is governed by North Rhine-Westphalia's "Travel Costs Act" (Landesreisekostengesetz). The costs for the research stay abroad can also be financed within the framework of the research project or a scholarship if possible. For a research stay abroad, staff must take out overseas health insurance themselves (Please note: Not travel health insurance). Stays abroad within Europe are generelly coverd by the German health insurance. Please take the European Health Insurance Card with you.
During the research stay as well as the outward and return journey, researchers have undefinedaccident insurance cover through the relevant industrial insurance association (Berufsgenossenschaft).
In the case of visits abroad lasting over three months, supplementary agreements must be arranged in addition to your contract of employmentat HHU. Please contact undefinedHHU's Personnel Department for this ahead of time.

Information for researchers with alternative sources of finance

A scholarship does not give reason for an employment relationship, i.e. neither the University nor the organization awarding the scholarship becomes your employer. The scholarship is tax-free and not subject to obligatory social security contributions. As a scholarship holder you therefore have neither pension, nursing care or unemployment insurance nor health or accident insurance. Some sponsors offer the possibility to take out accident insurance cover in the framework of a supplementary or group insurance scheme.
Doctoral researchers who are enrolled as undefineddoctoral candidates at HHU also have accident insurance cover for their scholarship-funded research stay abroad through the University / the relevant industrial insurance organization. It is particularly important to note here that this is linked to in-house and subject related work at the University, i.e. if a researcher is employed for a temporary period in another organization (e.g. in an enterprise in the framework of an internship), then accident insurance must be through this employer. Please contact us in good time - we are happy to help you further.

Insurance during your stay abroad

Further tips on social security and different types of insurance to safeguard your research stay and your stay abroad in general can be found in the undefinedEuraxess Mobility Portal.


Dr. Uta Brunner

Junior Scientist and
International Researcher Center (JUNO)
Heine Research Academies
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Gebäude 16.11.
Ebene 04 Raum 33
Universitätsstr. 1
40225 Düsseldorf
Tel.: +49 211 81-13564
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