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Research stays abroad for postdoctoral researchers

Conducting part of the research 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.

You can find general information on how to prepare your research stay abroad in the Euraxess Mobility Portal. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has compiled specific information on individual countries. Please enquire at your country's Federal Foreign Office about the current entry and visa regulations applicable in your country of destination. For all further information and requirements, please contact your host institution.

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. For job offers within all research fields you can search through the Euraxess Jobportal.


When applying for funding it is often necessary to proove sufficient skills in the language of the destination country. At the HHU 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 the registration deadlines. For all other certificates please contact the respective test centers directly.  

In the framework of a German employment contract, stays abroad lasting up to three months must be registered as official travel.

For stays abroad of more than 3 months, additional agreements must be made to your employment contract at HHU. For this, please contact HHU's HR Department as soon as possible. In any case, you have accident insurance cover through the industrial insurance scheme. 

For your stay abroad, you must take out an overseas health insurance. This is not to be confused with a travel health insurance, which is not sufficient. If your stay abroad is within Europe, it will generelly be covered by your German health insurance. Please bring your European Health Insurance Card with you. During your research stay as well as the outward and return journey, you will have accident insurance coverage through the relevant industrial insurance association (Berufsgenossenschaft). 

Academic, scientific, artistic or vocational training undertaken abroad does not fall under German legislation governing short-term contracts for researchers (WissZeitVG Article 2, Paragraph 5, Sentence 2).


A scholarship does not establish an employment relationship, i.e. neither the university nor the scholarship provider becomes your employer. The scholarship is tax-free and not subject to social security contributions. As a scholarship holder you therefore neither have pension, nursing care, unemployment insurance nor health or accident insurance. Some scholarship providers offer the possibility of taking out accident insurance via the scholarship provider's supplementary/group insurance schemes.

Further tips on social security and different types of insurance to cover your research stay abroad can be found on the Euraxess Mobility Portal. There you will also find information about your rights and the possibilities to transfer social security benefits within the European Union. 

For stays outside the EU, it is advisable to take out an extra insurance coverage.


Junior Scientist and International Researcher Center

Building: 16.11
Floor/Room: 42-48
+49 211 81-13564;13405

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