FAQ for German Chancellor Fellows

Which things have to be done prior to the stay in Germany?

Our guidelines offer a checklist with all the important steps.
We should also like to draw your attention to the web portal EURAXESS Germany. Under Daily life you will find general information regarding your stay in Germany.

What do I have to do after my arrival to Germany?

Our guidelines offer a checklist with all the important steps.

How do I find an apartment in Germany?

Finding accommodation in Germany is often difficult and time-consuming. The housing situation varies considerably according to region and the availability of accommodation is very limited in some areas. Thus the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation strongly recommends fellows to address the question of accommodation, preferably in writing, with host institutions in Germany and the Foreign Students’ Advisory Offices, International Offices or Welcome Centres directly, well before arrival. The appropriate form is available on the Foundation's website.
Fellows must state clearly how many family members will accompany them to Germany and during which period of time. Fellows should take into account that up to 40% of the monthly fellowship goes toward renting accommodation in Germany. To make it easier for Fellows to find accommodation, particularly during the initial period of the stay in Germany, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation strongly recommends that fellows who wish to come to Germany with their families should first travel alone and only send for their families when they have found adequate accommodation.
Please also see the information under Accommodation in the web portal EURAXESS Germany.

How can I find a place at kindergarten for my kids?

You will find the respective information under Childcare and schools in the web portal EURAXESS Germany.
Costs for appropriate childcare and accommodation must be borne by the fellows themselves.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation strongly recommends fellows to wait until after the language course and the introductory seminar before bringing their children to Germany at the beginning of their stay at the host institute. If at all possible, accommodation near the host institution should be found before the family enters Germany.

How can I find a place at school for my kids?

You will find the respective information under Childcare and schools in the web portal EURAXESS Germany.

Am I obliged to take part in the intensive language course at the beginning of the fellowship?

Fellows with no or little knowledge of the German language are granted a three-month course; attendance at the course is mandatory for two months (August and September), the third month in July is highly recommended. Fellows with a very good, but still improvable knowledge of the German language participate in a two- resp. one-month course; fellows with an excellent knowledge of the German language can be exempted from the obligation to participate in an intensive language course.

Do I have to participate in all the activities in the German Chancellor Fellowship Programme?

It is obligatory for German Chancellor Fellows to participate in all the programme activities (introductory seminar, study tour, final meeting), in the intensive language course at the beginning of the fellowship (duration determined by the Humboldt Foundation) and in the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting. You should adjust your long-term planning accordingly.

Is my marital partner allowed to take part in the events organised by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation?

Martial partners and children who accompany fellows during their fellowship stay are also invited to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting (cf. guidelines A.2.4.).
The rest of the programme of events (introductory seminar, study tour, final meeting) is exclusively for fellows; neither marital partners nor children are able to participate.

Do I have to take out a health insurance for Germany?

From the very first day, German Chancellor Fellows and accompanying family members must be covered by medical insurance providing adequate coverage in Germany for the entire duration of their stay in Germany. For detailed information, please refer to our guidelines (B.10.) and to the information on our website.
Please also see the information under Health insurance in the the web portal EURAXESS Germany.

What is the amount of my fellowship?

The amount of the fellowship is €2,150, €2,450 or €2,750 per month. The fellowship amount includes a mobility allowance (cf. guidelines A.3.4.) and a subsidy towards the cost of medical and liability insurance (cf. guidelines A.3.7.). Depending on the funds available, the size of the monthly fellowship reflects, in particular, the fellow's academic and professional qualification and status as well as the professional experience. Decisions on the amount are made by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Are the mobility allowance and the insurance subsidy paid in addition to the fellowship amount?

The fellowship amount includes a mobility allowance (cf. guidelines A.3.4.) and a subsidy towards the cost of medical and liability insurance (cf. guidelines A.3.7.).

Do I get financial support for the participation in conferences?

During the fellowship (not during the language course) fellows receive a mobility allowance of €100 per month with each fellowship payment. The mobility allowance constitutes a supplement for expenses in connection with necessary conference attendance and/or research travel, archive and library visits, etc. in Germany and abroad. Additional travel and/or conference allowances cannot be granted. For further information, please refer to our guidelines A.2.4..

Am I allowed to have additional earnings?

Fellows are obliged to inform the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of any additional earnings (salary or income from employment or self-employment in Germany, German or foreign fellowships). Any additional earnings exceeding the upper limit for "marginal" part-time employees (the so-called "Verdienstgrenze für geringfügig Beschäftigte", currently €450 per month) will be offset against the instalment of the fellowship. Any type of employment yielding additional earnings which exceed the so-called "Verdienstgrenze für geringfügig Beschäftigte" must be approved in advance by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation which will examine whether this additional employment endangers the objective of the fellowship (cf. A.1. and A.1.9. in our guidelines); in such cases the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation reserves the right to terminate or suspend the fellowship. Utilisation of other fellowships financed by German public funding is not allowed.

Do I have to pay taxes and social security deductions in Germany?

Since German Chancellor Fellows are not employees, carrying out the project is not classified as gainful employment under the terms of German Income Tax Law. Consequently, the monthly fellowship payments are not considered as earned income and are not subject to social insurance deductions. Fellowships of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are exempt from taxation under Article 3, No. 44 of the German Income Tax Law. The laws in the fellows’ own countries may include special regulations on taxing fellowships. If in doubt, you should consult a tax accountant in your own country (cf. guidelines B.11.).

Which status do I have at my host institute as a fellow?

During the stay in Germany, fellows carry out their projects in cooperation with hosts they have chosen themselves. They are neither employees of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation nor of their host institution. However, since they make regular use of the facilities made available by their hosts and host institutions, they must comply with the rules and regulations generally applicable at the respective institutions. In Germany, too, university institutes and other institutions often have staffing and financial problems. To avoid misunderstandings, we urge you to clarify with your host the practical aspects of your cooperation with the research and support staff of the institution as well as the possibility of using equipment, PC, telephone, fax, etc. at the earliest opportunity. Host institutions are obliged to ensure the same levels of safety and occupational health for fellows as they do for other staff working at the institution (cf. guidelines B.8.).

Is my marital partner allowed to work during my stay as a fellow?

Those intending to engage in regular employment need a work permit (exceptions: EU citizens from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, Great Britain and Cyprus, as well as EEA citizens (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and Swiss citizens). Marital partners of fellows who wish to take up employment must inform the German consulate of this prior to departure for Germany and apply for the respective residence permit (indicating "employment permitted"). The actual work permit must be applied for at the Employment Office.
We would like to draw your attention to the site Dual Career in the web portal EURAXESS Germany.
Please also see the Information for women academics and families for further information.

Do I get financial support for my family, if accompanying me during my stay in Germany?

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation can grant, provided that the budget situation allows, allowances and/or a subsidy towards health and personal liability insurance for marital partners and minor children who accompany the fellow during the sponsorship period for at least three months (without interruption). Furthermore, the Humboldt Foundation offers fellows a number of options to support them in raising their child or children. For further conditions and details please see the application form and further information on our respective website.
Please also see the Information for women academics and families for further information.

Is it possible to postpone the fellowship?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to postpone the German Chancellor Fellowship.

Is it possible to interrupt the fellowship?

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation requires fellows to pursue work in Germany for the period of the fellowship and not to be absent from their host institution for periods exceeding 14 days (continuous or accumulative) in total. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation must be given immediate written notification of any circumstances demanding a longer period of absence from the host institution (also due to illness). Prolonged periods of absence from the host institution require the approval of both the host and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. For further details, please refer to our guidelines A.1.9..

When and under which circumstances may I apply for an extension of my fellowship?

If the envisaged project cannot be completed within the time available, extensions of the fellowship (usually immediately succeeding the fellowship) for up to three months are possible on application. Decisions on extensions are taken by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation on the basis of professional necessity and the funds at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s disposal. Extensions can neither be granted for work on a new project nor for work on a new theme which has developed from the original project. Applications for extension should be submitted to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 3 to 4 months prior to the end of the fellowship. Under certain circumstances, an extension of the fellowship may also be applied for in the context of further benefits for families (cf. A.3.5.3.1. and A.3.5.3.2. in our guidelines). For further details, please refer to our guidelines A.1.3. and our website.

Is it possible to change the originally planned project?

The German Chancellor Fellowship is awarded in order to carry out a project which has been chosen by the fellow and agreed upon with the host. On principle, it is not possible to make changes to the project proposal on the basis of which the Selection Committee has made its decision.

Does my host receive financial support for my stay?

Budget allowing, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is able to grant a subsidy towards research costs (cf. guidelines A.3.8.) to hosts of foreign fellows in Germany. The subsidy is intended as a contribution to covering project-related costs, including administrative costs directly ensuing from the project. During the sponsorship period, the subsidy amounts to €500 monthly. Before the sponsorship period begins, hosts will receive a form for the purpose of informing the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of the host institution's relevant bank account.

Which rules do I have to observe concerning the exploitation of research results?

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation considers it important that research results achieved under the auspices of the German Chancellor Fellowship be published. Please refer to our guidelines A.4. for further information.

Can I find information on equal opportunities on the Humboldt Foundation's website?

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation campaigns for equal opportunities for men and women in research, particularly with regard to young families. We have compiled our FAQs concerning this subject under Information for women academics and families.

Contact

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Sponsorship and Network Department
Jean-Paul-Str. 12
53173 Bonn
Germany

info(at)avh.de

Further Information