Support during the research stay for research award winners

One of the hallmarks of the Humboldt Foundation is the degree of individual support given to every single guest researcher. This is why we offer award winners additional benefits:

Financial assistance

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General Regulations and Information for Research Awards of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (valid for awards granted from March 2021 onwards).

General Regulations and Information (PDF, 358 KB)

Language courses 

The Humboldt Foundation is prepared, where possible, to bear the costs of German language training for research award winners and/or their spouses who wish to attend a language course. Informal applications should be submitted to the Humboldt Foundation prior to commencement of the language course (stating the course length, number of hours and costs).


Symposium for research award winners

The traditional symposium for research award winners takes place yearly in March or April. This interdisciplinary meeting offers award winners and their spouses an opportunity to meet other award winners, scholars from universities and research establishments, representatives of science promoting institutions in Germany as well as members of the Humboldt Foundation's selection committee and of the Foundation's staff.

The conference´s programme includes plenary scientific lectures from various disciplines as well as short talks in specialists groups. The symposium is framed by a cultural programme.

Annual meeting

The Humboldt Foundation's annual meeting takes place in the summer. All research fellows and research award winners from all disciplines and countries staying in Germany as well as Feodor Lynen Research Fellows who returned in the preceding year are invited together with their families to attend this meeting. It offers an opportunity to exchange views with representatives of the foreign missions and to hold discussions with members of the Foundation's Board of Governors, the Selection Committees and the Humboldt Foundation's staff. The highlight of the annual meeting is a traditional reception given by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany for all participants.


The research stay in Germany can normally begin as early as four to six weeks after the selection decision and should start within 12 months after conferral, if possible. The date must be agreed upon with the academic host in advance.

The duration of the research stay of up to one full year may be divided into segments. However, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation can only cover travel costs once. Please inform the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation about the time schedule for the research stay early so that all necessary preparations can be made in good time.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation pays a lump sum to cover the award winner's travel costs (return tickets). The conferral documents contain a list of lump sums for travel. The relevant sum will be transferred to the award winner's German bank account (which the award winner will have to open) after the research stay in Germany has begun.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation can only cover the costs of one return journey, regardless of the number of trips to and from Germany.

A lump sum towards the travel costs of marital partners and children under the age of 18 accompanying the award winner may be granted if they stay with the award winner in Germany for at least six months. Fifty per cent of the lump sum will be paid for children between the ages of two and eleven, ten per cent for children under the age of two. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will not cover any additional expenses for the transportation of luggage.

It is often very difficult to find suitable accommodation. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation recommends to contact as soon as possible the housing department of the Foreign Students' Advisory Office ("Akademische Auslandsamt"), the International Office or the Welcome Centre of the host university and to inform the host in Germany of these activities. Guest houses ("Gästehäuser") for non-German scholars are operated at a number of universities (addresses are available on our website). If accommodation at a guest house is desired, reservations should be made well in advance, because waiting lists can be lengthy.

Please also see the information under Accommodation in the web portal EURAXESS Germany.

Award winners and any members of their families accompanying them must have adequate health insurance coverage during the entire duration of their research stay in Germany. For detailed information, please refer to our General Regulations and Information (B.3; PDF) and to the information on our website.

Please also see the information under Health insurance in the the web portal EURAXESS Germany.

The award money is paid in instalments. The first instalment is normally transferred to the cashier’s office of the host university at the beginning of the research stay in Germany and can be collected there by the award winner.

For the payment of further instalments, award winners are asked to open an account at a bank of their choice as soon as possible after arriving in Germany, and to provide the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with their account number, bank address and bank code.

The research award is granted in recognition of the academic achievements and the personality of the award winner and may only be claimed by the award winner personally. Payment of the award amount may also only be made to the award winner personally and exclusively. Claims to the award may not be transferred.

Award winners are responsible for all matters pertaining to their taxation. However, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation would like to point out that according to German tax law, awards are not usually subject to income tax in Germany if they are primarily granted in recognition of the award winner's lifetime achievement or entire academic work, personality, convictions, or function as a role model. This is precisely the intention of the Humboldt Foundation in granting the research awards which honour the entire life's work of award winners in their capacity as internationally outstanding researchers.

Tax law in the award winners’ home countries or countries of residence may contain special regulations on the taxation of awards. If in doubt, a tax accountant in the award winner's own country should be consulted.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation strongly encourages its award winners and their partners to learn German during their research stay so that they can participate in social and cultural life in Germany beyond their research work. Upon request, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation can pay the cost of a German language course. For further information please refer to our General Regulations and Information (A.6; PDF).

The Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung considers it important that research results achieved in the framework of sponsorship be published. In publications and all other, in particular public presentations, appropriate reference should be made to the funding provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. For further information please refer to our General Regulations and Information (A.8;PDF).


Towards the end of the research stay, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation asks award winners to give personal feedback about their experiences in Germany and to describe their impressions of academic collaboration and daily life in Germany. For this purpose, the award winners will receive an e-mail in good time that contains a password-secured web link to an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation online questionnaire. With regard to the content of the report, comparisons with conditions in the award winners’ own countries are of particular interest. Comments on the design and organisation of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsorship and funding programmes are welcome.

Similarly, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation also asks academic hosts in Germany to report on how they have experienced cooperation with the award winners.

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 Equal opportunities for researchers.