Equipment Subsidies

The purchase of scientific equipment should make it possible for Humboldtians in countries with limited foreign currency reserves (please see current list of countries) to continue research projects started in Germany at their institute abroad after their stay in Germany has come to an end. This is one way of sponsoring sustainable collaboration with academic hosts or other specialist colleagues in Germany well beyond the duration of the initial stay. A Humboldt Foundation selection committee decides on the amount of funding to be granted to the applicant for purchasing equipment.

Humboldtians have to arrange to purchase the equipment themselves. If the equipment can only be acquired outside their own countries, it is essential to observe the formalities required in order to import the equipment into the respective country free of import duty. If necessary, the Humboldt Foundation will support applications for exemption from import duty by issuing deeds of donation or other documents.

Applications for equipment subsidies should not exceed a total amount of €20,000. If applications for higher subsidies are submitted, applications should either be made jointly by several Humboldtians or documentation should be enclosed confirming that part financing is available from other sources.

Applications should include the following documents:

  • completed application form;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • precise description and technical specifications of the equipment requested;
  • three comparative offers from different local distributors or from abroad in Euros or Dollars (see below);
  • a research plan (see below);
  • a list of publications covering the last five years;
  • a statement by the head of the receiving institute confirming agreement to assume both ownership and responsibility for any costs ensuing from ownership; details of any investment by the institute itself, if applicable;
  • names and addresses of specialist colleagues in Germany who are able to comment on the application

Further Information and important details

  • The offers from local distributors should include additional cost like VAT, packing, freight and insurance charges. If the equipment can only be purchased outside the home country or if a longer transport within the home country is necessary, offers must be quoted CIP (“Carriage and Insurance paid to place of destination) according to the international conditions of delivery and should clearly indicate freight and insurance charges.
  • The research plan should clearly describe the research work and investigations the applicant intends to do by using the equipment and should indicate in detail which research objectives the applicant will pursue. Additionally, an abstract of the current state of the applicant’s special research field and a description of the preliminary research work already done by the applicant are expected.
  • In case of a positive decision on the application, the applicant will receive a fixed sum of money based on the most competitive offer in price and performance of the desired equipment and the decision of the committee. The money will be handed over to the Humboldtian via the German Embassy/Consulate General in his home country or will be transferred to the account of the Humboldtian or his institute if payment of the money via the German Embassy/ Consulate General is not possible.


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