Welcome Centres
(initiative closed)

International researchers can feel at home at German universities

From 2006 to 2011, in cooperation with the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and the Stifterverband, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation ran the ideas competition “Welcome Centres for internationally mobile researchers”. The aim was to send a signal and generate models that would drive the creation of professional service structures to support internationally mobile researchers in Germany.

Welcome Centres are a central point at a university offering wide-ranging advisory and support services for visiting researchers and their families. They not only help them to feel at home at German universities but also enhance Germany’s pulling-power as a research location. Moreover, they allow universities to have a better overview of their visiting scientists and scholars from abroad, which helps them to develop their profile for foreign researchers.

In 2006, 2008 and 2010, German universities were able to take part in this ideas competition. Over the three rounds, 13 strategies were selected which received funding to establish or extend service structures. By the second round, the success of the competition had already made itself apparent right across the country: Many universities were inspired by the competition and the strategies it generated to establish their own Welcome Centres. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation therefore looks back with great satisfaction on this successful initiative.

In the wake of the ideas competition, non-university research institutions also started to work on joint models of collaboration and there was also considerable interest in the strategies internationally: the first delegations have already paid visits.



Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
Strategic Planning Division
Jean-Paul-Str. 12
53173 Bonn Germany

Tel.: +49 228-833 271
Fax: +49 228-833 114

Further Information