Coronavirus pandemic

Information for Humboldtians

1. I have a question about my research fellowship for researchers from abroad:

I am currently a fellow receiving sponsorship in Germany. Can I continue to count on support from the Foundation?

The Foundation’s fellowship payments are not in danger. You will continue to receive your monthly fellowship amount even if your host university has shut down or other restrictions have been placed on your research by official rulings. The Foundation encourages all fellows s to continue their research from home.

My fellowship in Germany is soon coming to an end. What will happen if I can’t leave the country?

Fellows who cannot leave the country due to travel restrictions or other official rulings at home or abroad and who are therefore forced to remain in Germany until further notice, can count on support from the Foundation. If this happens to you, please turn to your contact person at the Foundation.

I should like to interrupt my research stay in Germany and return home. Can the Foundation continue to support me abroad?

Unfortunately, the Foundation cannot continue to support you indefinitely if you interrupt your stay in Germany. If fellows have to break off their stay prematurely and leave Germany due to travel restrictions or other official rulings at home or abroad, they will be eligible to receive support for a short transition period (month of departure and, if necessary, one following month). If this applies to you, please turn to your contact person at the Foundation.

You may resume your research fellowship in Germany - by submitting an informal application to your contact person - as soon as it becomes possible to return to your host institute.

My research work in Germany has been severely curtailed by the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Can I apply to extend my fellowship in order to make up for lost time and complete my research?

The Foundation advises all fellows whose research has been impacted by the current situation initially to make full use of the opportunities for extending the research fellowship described in the “Guidelines and Information for Research Fellows” (Chapters A.1.4 and A.3.6.3).

If these options are not, or no longer, available you can submit an application to extend your fellowship for up to three months under pandemic-related special regulations. These special regulations refer in the first instance to fellows whose research fellowships terminate in 2020. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact at the Foundation.

In the coming months I had planned to embark on my research fellowship in Germany. Will this now be possible?

Many countries, including Germany and the European Union, have introduced travel restrictions. The Foundation appeals to all sponsorship recipients to check the available information carefully, including potential regulations on behaviour after arriving in Germany (by keyword, for example: “quarantine”). Sources of information on Germany’s regulations: the Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus) as well as the German embassies and consulates in your country or place of residence. The information issued by the German authorities prevails; the Foundation cannot make statements on whether an individual will be allowed to enter the country.

If you can enter Germany or are already in Germany, you can start on your research stay, as planned, provided that you can do your academic work, if necessary, from home. This also holds true for language fellowships. Currently, language schools in Germany largely offer language instruction through online courses.

If you are unable to enter Germany, you can initially begin your research fellowship in the framework of pandemic-related special regulations in the country in which you are staying, provided that a) you do not pursue any additional full-time work, b) you can conduct your academic work from home in the country in which you are staying, c) your host is in agreement with cooperation starting with homeworking and is able to involve you appropriately in joint research at the host institute. These pandemic-related special regulations also apply in principle to starting language fellowships. In order to utilise the special regulations for starting a research or language fellowship in the country in which you are staying you can submit an informal application.

If you are unable to conduct your research at the host institute, as planned, for an extended period and you have an alternative source of finance, the beginning of your fellowship can be postponed so that you can start at a later date.

Please inform your contact at the Foundation about your plans at the earliest opportunity. You will then receive further information on how to proceed in your particular case.

In the coming months I had planned to embark on one of several phases of my research fellowship in Germany. Will this now be possible?

Many countries, including Germany and the European Union, have introduced travel restrictions. The Foundation appeals to all sponsorship recipients to check the available information carefully, including potential regulations on behaviour after arriving in Germany (by keyword, for example: “quarantine”). Sources of information on Germany’s regulations: the Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus) as well as the German embassies and consulates in your country or place of residence. The information issued by the German authorities prevails; the Foundation cannot make statements on whether an individual will be allowed to enter the country.

If you can enter Germany or are already in Germany, you can start on your research stay, as planned, provided that you can do your academic work, if necessary, from home.

If it is useful and possible, the phase of your research fellowship can be postponed so that you can start at a later date.

If you are unable to enter Germany and it is not possible to postpone your stay, you can conduct the relevant phase of your research fellowship in the framework of pandemic-related special regulations in the country in which you are staying, provided that a) you do not pursue any additional full-time work, b) you can conduct your academic work from home in the country in which you are staying, c) your host is in agreement with cooperation on this phase of your fellowship starting with homeworking and is able to involve you appropriately in joint research at the host institute. You can submit an informal application to utilise the special regulations.

Please inform your contact at the Foundation about your plans at the earliest opportunity.

If you had intended to utilise the Foundation’s alumni sponsorship this year for a renewed research stay, you will find information in the section “I have a question about the Foundation’s alumni sponsorship”.

Postponing my research stay will put me in financial difficulty because I have to pay the rent, for example, for the accommodation I had planned to move into in Germany. Can the Foundation support me in this situation?

The Foundation requests that all fellows who are forced to postpone their stay take action as soon as possible in order to avoid cancellation fees. If you do incur unavoidable cancellation fees, which cannot be recouped from any other source, the Foundation will examine each case individually to assess whether it can cover part of the fees.

All fellows are kindly asked to demonstrate solidarity with regard to this offer and only apply for cancellation fees if they are in financial difficulties. In this context, the Foundation is thinking particularly of fellows from developing countries and emerging economies as well as postdocs who do not yet have a job with a regular income. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact person at the Foundation.

2. I have a question about my Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship for researchers from Germany:

I am currently a Feodor Lynen Fellow receiving sponsorship abroad. Can I continue to count on support from the Foundation?

The Foundation’s fellowship payments are not in danger. You will continue to receive your monthly fellowship amount even if your host university has shut down or other restrictions have been placed on your research by official rulings. The Foundation encourages all fellows to continue their research from home.

Should you wish to interrupt your stay abroad and return to Germany, following the Federal Foreign Office’s decision to declare crisis level 2a (voluntary departure of family members), the Foundation can continue to support you in Germany (and you have the option of continuing your research from home) until such time as it is possible for you to return abroad. Please note that fellowship payments will not include the foreign allowance (Auslandszuschlag) while you are in Germany. A bridging period of up to three months until you can return to your host institute abroad will not count towards the originally approved length of the fellowship.

Should you find yourself in a position where it is not possible to do research at your host institute for an extended period, and should you have an alternative source of funding to support your cost of living, you may choose to interrupt the fellowship and resume your fellowship stay at a later stage.

It is possible that you apply for a return fellowship even if institutions in Germany are closed; as a return fellow, you may also carry out your research from home.

My research work in Germany has been severely curtailed by the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Can I apply to extend my fellowship in order to make up for lost time and complete my research?

The Foundation advises all fellows whose research has been impacted by the current situation initially to make full use of the opportunities for extending the research fellowship described in the “Guidelines and Information for Feodor Lynen Research Fellows” (Chapters A.1.4 and A.3.3).

If these options are not, or no longer, available you can submit an application to extend your fellowship for up to three months under pandemic-related special regulations. These special regulations refer in the first instance to fellows whose research fellowships terminate in 2020. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact at the Foundation.

My Feodor Lynen Fellowship abroad is soon coming to an end. What will happen if I can’t leave the country?

The Federal Foreign Office urgently recommends all fellows abroad whose fellowships will be terminating in the foreseeable future to immediately investigate and utilise existing travel opportunities to return to Germany. Your attention is drawn to the fact that, in the current situation, the volume of international air traffic is continuing to decrease.

Fellows who are forced to remain abroad at the end of the fellowship due to travel restrictions or other official rulings and should try to be brought home to Germany by the Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise/reisewarnungen/faq-reisewarnung?openAccordionId=item-2320074-1-panel).

If needed, you may continue to count on the Foundation’s support. Please turn to your contact person at the Foundation if this applies to you.

In the coming months I had planned to embark on a Feodor Lynen research stay abroad. Will this now be possible?

Many countries have introduced travel restrictions, and more are to be expected. The Foundation appeals to all fellows to carefully check the information on their host country and track developments (www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/). The information issued by the authorities in Germany and abroad is decisive; the Foundation is not in a position to say whether an individual will be allowed to enter the host country.

If you are already abroad, you can start your research stay as planned, provided that you can do your academic work, if necessary, from home.

If you are unable to enter your host country, you can initially begin your research fellowship in the framework of pandemic-related special regulations in Germany or the country in which you are staying, provided that a) you do not pursue any additional full-time work, b) you can conduct your academic work from home in the country in which you are staying, c) your host is in agreement with cooperation starting with homeworking and is able to involve you appropriately in joint research at the host institute. Please note that fellowship payments in such a case will not include the foreign allowance (Auslandszuschlag). A bridging period of up to three months in Germany until you can commence your research at your host institute abroad will not count towards the originally approved length of the fellowship.

If you are unable to conduct your research at the host institute, as planned, for an extended period and you have an alternative source of finance, the beginning of your fellowship can be postponed so that you can start at a later date. This also applies for experienced researchers planning several research stays over several years.

Please inform your contact at the Foundation about your plans at the earliest opportunity. You will then receive further information on how to proceed in your particular case.

Postponing my research stay or return to Germany will put me in financial difficulty because I have to pay the rent, for example, for the accommodation I had planned to move into abroad. Can the Foundation support me in this situation?

The Foundation requests that all fellows who are forced to postpone their stay take action as soon as possible in order to avoid cancellation fees. If you do incur unavoidable cancellation fees, which cannot be recouped from any other source, the Foundation will examine each case individually to assess whether it can cover part of the fees.

All fellows are kindly asked to demonstrate solidarity with regard to this offer and only apply for cancellation fees if they are in financial difficulties. In this context, the Foundation is thinking particularly of postdocs who do not yet have a job with a regular income. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact at the Foundation.

3. I have a question about my research award for researchers from abroad:

I am currently in Germany as a research award winner. Can I continue to count on support from the Foundation?

Your research award was granted to you in recognition of your academic achievements. The Foundation is realizing payments of personal award money as planned. The installments can be adjusted upon request, regardless of whether you continue to stay in Germany as an award winner or prefer to interrupt your stay and return to your home country.

If you have any questions regarding your award money or your stay, please contact your contact person at the Foundation. This applies in particular in the event that you are unable to leave the country as planned due to travel restrictions or other official decisions in Germany or abroad or if you encounter other difficulties in the current situation.

In the coming months I had planned to embark on a research stay in Germany. Will this now be possible?

Many countries, including Germany and the European Union, have introduced travel restrictions. The Foundation kindly requests that all award winners check the available information carefully, track developments and also note possible regulations regarding requested behaviour after arrival in Germany (quarantine measures, for instance). Sources of information on Germany’s regulations are the Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus) as well as the German embassies and consulates in your home country or place of residence. The information issued by the German authorities is decisive. Unfortunately, the Foundation is not in a position to say whether an individual will be allowed to enter the country.

Given the vagaries of the current situation, the Foundation recommends that all award winners postpone their planned stay. This applies equally to stays that take place after the conferral of the research award and to stays planned in the context of invitations to renewed research stays in Germany.

As a precautionary measure, it currently seems reasonable to plan for longer-term postponements into 2021. If the situation develops positively and an earlier stay is possible, the planning can of course be adjusted flexibly.

Please keep your contact person at the Foundation updated on your plans.

Postponing my research stay will put me in financial difficulty because I have to pay the rent, for example, for the accommodation I had planned to move into in Germany. Can the Foundation support me in this situation?

The Foundation requests that all sponsorship recipients who are forced to postpone their stay take action as soon as possible in order to avoid cancellation fees. If you do incur unavoidable cancellation fees, which cannot be recouped from any other source, the Foundation will examine each case individually to assess whether it can cover part of the fees.

All award winners are kindly asked to demonstrate solidarity with regard to this offer and only apply for cancellation fees if they are in financial difficulties. In this context, the Foundation is thinking particularly of award winners from developing countries and emerging economies. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact person at the Foundation.

4. I have a question about my research award in the programmes Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award and Anneliese Maier Research Award or about my collaboration in the Research Group Linkage Programme:

As a result of the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the report on the use of funds for 2019 cannot be completed in time for 30 April 2020. Is an extension of the deadline possible?

Due to the current situation we can grant you an extension of the deadline for the submission of the documents related to the report on the use of funds for two months. The documentation is therefore due by 30 June 2020 at the latest (date of receipt by the Foundation). Please note that this date is binding.

Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the research project has incurred cancellation or downtime costs (e.g. cancellation costs for cancelled trips and events). Can these be reimbursed?

During the sponsorship period so called „downtime costs“ caused by the Coronavirus pandemic can be claimed. In this case we ask you to explain and to document these costs in the report on the use of funds for 2020.

My funding ends this year, and due to the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, my research project has been delayed. Can I request an extension?

Funding and accounting periods, which end in the current budget year, are extended without application to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation until 31 December 2020.

As a result of the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, additional needs arise in my research or cooperation project (for cancellation costs, continued employment of staff, extension of scholarships, etc.). Can I apply for additional funds?

Should there be additional funding needs towards the end of the research or cooperation project (to compensate for cancellation costs, continued employment of staff members, extension of fellowships etc.) due to the Coronavirus pandemic, you can apply for additional funds to complete your research or cooperation project at the end of the funding period.

As always, please reach out to your personal contact person at the Foundation if you have specific questions regarding your sponsorship in the current situation.

5. I have a question about my German Chancellor Fellowship:

Fellowship year 2019/2020: My project activities in Germany have been severely curtailed by the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Can I apply to extend my fellowship in order to make up for lost time and complete my project?

The Foundation advises all fellows whose project has been impacted by the current situation initially to make full use of the opportunities for extending the German Chancellor Fellowship described in the “Guidelines and Information for German Chancellor Fellows” (Chapters A.1.3 and A.3.5.3).

Should it become apparent that this extension period is not sufficient to complete the originally proposed project, you can submit an application to further extend your fellowship for up to three months under pandemic-related special regulations. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact at the Foundation.

Fellowship year 2020/2021: When does my stay in Germany as part of the German Chancellor Fellowship begin?

Your German Chancellor Fellowship will begin on 1st October 2020 at the location of your host institute in Germany. The preparatory German course takes place from July to September as an online course in your home country. Further information on the schedule and necessary adjustments to programme events you will find in the award documents and in the supplement to the fellowship guidelines (PDF).

Many countries, including Germany and the European Union, have introduced travel restrictions. The Foundation kindly requests that you check the available information carefully, track developments and also note possible regulations regarding behaviour after arrival in Germany (quarantine). Sources of information on Germany’s regulations are the Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus) as well as the German embassies and consulates in your home country or place of residence. The information issued by the German authorities is decisive. Unfortunately, the Foundation is not in a position to say whether an individual will be allowed to enter the country.

Should you not be able to enter Germany in October 2020 due to travel restrictions, please inform your contact at the Humboldt Foundation.

6. I have a question about my International Climate Protection Fellowship:

My fellowship in Germany is soon coming to an end. What will happen if I can’t leave the country?

Fellows who cannot leave the country due to travel restrictions or other official rulings at home or abroad and who are therefore forced to remain in Germany until further notice, can count on support from the Foundation. If this happens to you, please turn to your contact person at the Foundation.

Fellowship year 2019/2020: My project activities in Germany have been severely curtailed by the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Can I apply to extend my fellowship in order to make up for lost time and complete my project?

The Foundation advises all fellows whose project has been impacted by the current situation initially to make full use of the opportunities for extending the International Climate Protection Fellowship described in the “Guidelines and Information for International Climate Protection Fellows” (Chapters A.1.3 and A.3.5.3.2).

Should it become apparent that this extension period is not sufficient to complete the originally proposed project, you can submit an application to further extend your fellowship for up to three months under pandemic-related special regulations. If this applies to you, please turn to your contact at the Foundation.

7. I have a question about the Foundation’s alumni sponsorship:

I had planned to carry out a renewed research stay under the auspices of the Foundation’s alumni sponsorship this year. Is this still possible?

The Foundation recommends all alumni who had planned a renewed research stay in 2020 to postpone until 2021.This applies to alumni of the fellowship programmes as well as to award winners.

The Foundation will be contacting alumni who have already received approval for a renewed research stay and recommending to postpone their stays. Applications that have not yet been processed conclusively will be deferred for the time being. They can be reactivated as soon as the situation has returned to normal. Please keep your contact person at the Foundation updated on your plans.

The Foundation will only accept new applications for sponsorship for a renewed research stay when circumstances allow plans to be made once again.

We ask for your understanding and sincerely hope we shall soon be able to grant the usual sponsorship opportunities once again.

Contact

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Jean-Paul-Straße 12
53173 Bonn
Germany

info(at)avh.de