03 BremenIDEA – Research stays abroad

Call of the Central Research Development Fund (CRDF)

Bremen International Doctoral Education Action (BremenIDEA) is a funding line for doctoral researchers planning research stays abroad. One- to three-month stays at universities and research institutions abroad are eligible for funding. These must be related to the candidate’s doctoral project. BremenIDEA was originally funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as part of the ipid4all program and has now been consolidated as a CRDF funding line of the University of Bremen. It is targeted at doctoral researchers of all faculties of Bremen University who have been accepted by the respective doctoral committee. The aim is to ensure that funding is distributed evenly and with equal opportunities across all faculties. BremenIDEA contributes to the internationalization of the doctoral phase. Doctoral researchers are given the opportunity to collaborate with international researchers, to present their research to an international audience, and to establish networks and new cooperations. It is therefore essential that the host institution supports the project and is willing to integrate the guest researcher into the activities on site. BremenIDEA scholarships may be grented for travel and accommodation expenses up to a maximum funding amount of 5,000 euros.

WHO CAN APPLY? Doctoral candidates of the University of Bremen accepted by the doctoral committees.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS? The length and nature of funded research stays by doctoral researchers must be proportionate to the respective doctoral research project. The research stay should be of benefit to the doctoral project by imparting additional qualifications and/or by facilitating collaboration in the respective scientific community. The funding does not serve to extend the planned overall doctoral phase. In addition, the proposal should be feasible and of high quality. In principle, the funding of a stay with external supervisors or reviewers of the doctorate by BremenIDEA is possible. Beyond that the stay must be embedded in a broader working context at the host institution.

FUNDING CONDITIONS: Doctoral researchers can apply for funding for a research stay at a foreign university or research institute of between one and three months. One month is the minimum period of stay at the host institution. The application must contain a list of the required travel and accommodation expenses. Research stays in Germany cannot be funded. Double financing of a stay abroad is generally excluded. If the stay is to be extended beyond the BremenIDEA funding period, a combination with other funds is possible. BremenIDEA offers short-term additional funding for a research stay abroad. This grant does not affect the basic financing of the doctorate. Doctoral candidates can only receive BremenIDEA funding once.

PROCEDURE: The members of the Young Researchers Committee of the University of Bremen (NWK) advise on all applications and issue a recommendation. On this basis, the Vice President for International Affairs, Academic Qualification, and Diversity decides on the funding, taking into account the available resources. A consistent and equal distribution of funds across the faculties is sought.

Frequently asked questions

If your application is funded, you will receive a letter of confirmation via mail. This includes the period of travel and the amount granted. If your application is not funded, you will receive a rejection letter.

Your business travel application with A1 form and, if applicable, hazard assessment must be signed by the responsible faculty or institute administration. Your application will then be forwarded to the travel expenses office. Even if you are not employed at the University of Bremen, you must submit a business travel application. If you want an advance on your travel costs, you must enclose the relevant form with your business travel application. Both forms are available via the Employee Portal (“Beschäftigtenportal”) of the University of Bremen.

Once your application has been granted, the funds will be allocated via the faculty to the working group to which you belong. There, the funds are available on the faculty cost center ("Fachbereichs-Kostenstelle" for your trip. If you have applied for an advance of travel costs, the disbursement of part of your funding will be made in due time after the approval of your business trip. The remaining funds will be paid out following your research stay after you have submitted your travel expense statement (“Reisekostenabrechnung”).

Please inform the office of Unit 12 immediately if you wish to postpone, extend or shorten your travel period.
If you shorten your travel period, your funding may be reduced accordingly.
If you return earlier, you must account for your trip according to your actual travel dates when submitting the travel expense statement to the travel expenses office. Your funding will be recalculated accordingly and funds may be reclaimed.

Postponement is possible as well; however, the funds should preferably be used in the calendar year for which they were approved. It is important that you submit a business travel application with the actual dates of travel to the travel expenses office via your faculty.
You can also extend your travel period, provided that you bear the additional costs or finance the extension by other means. When extending the stay please remember to alter the business travel application accordingly (or request leave), as this is important for insurance purposes. Please note that you must have submitted your travel expense statement (in the original) to the travel expenses office six months after the end of your research stay at the latest.

When booking a flight, please take note of the applicable regulations of the travel expenses office of the University of Bremen.

When searching for accommodation, please keep in mind the applicable regulations of the travel expenses office of the University of Bremen.
Many universities have apartments and rooms on campus that are rented to guest scientists. Take care of this at an early stage, because students can often rent these accommodations as well and they may then be fully booked. It may also be worthwhile to ask colleagues on site for tips. It is sometimes possible to live with families. Alternatively, you can search for longer-term accommodation, for example via online classifieds, Facebook groups of (international) students, alumni of the university or for housing. You may also consult Couchsurfing, AirBnB or hotel booking sites.

Please check if you need the following documents:
•    Visa (for example, a J1 visa is required for the U.S.)
•    Foreign travel health insurance (offered by the DAAD for example; but first check with your German insurance company)

Inform yourself in advance about which foreign fees your bank charges for withdrawals and payments abroad. Many foreign banks charge a fee when withdrawing money from their ATMs with a foreign card. It may therefore be helpful to find out in advance where withdrawal is cheap/free.
Meanwhile, many banks offer credit cards that allow free withdrawal abroad. For payments via credit card, banks usually charge an additional fee (“Auslandseinsatz”) of about 2%, which is added on the paid amount. Not all debit and credit cards work abroad – check with your bank first. Please also check your monthly credit limit, daily withdrawal limit, etc. Please note that for example rental car bookings may require a fairly high transaction limit as collateral. It is often possible to increase the credit limit by transferring money to your own credit card, which can be quite useful for a longer stay abroad for rental payments, etc.
Depending on the length of your stay it may be worthwhile to open an account with a foreign bank. It might make sense to open an account with a partner bank of your German bank, since there are sometimes no or lower withdrawal fees.

Of course sometimes things go wrong or work out only at the second attempt; unfortunately, but that’s all part of the fun. Contact us if you need help. Overall, such a research stay is usually a personally and academically enriching and memorable experience that is incredibly fun and that you will cherish for a long time. Enjoy it!

Yes. For accounting the travel expenses office needs all travel receipts in the original.

Please have your supervisor at the host institution sign the confirmation (see form “Confirmation”) at the end of the stay. Please make sure the correct travel dates are given. Please send the original of the signed confirmation together with the final report to the office of Unit 12 after your trip.

In order to gain access to the library, printers and other services, a student or guest identification of the host institution/organization is usually required. It is best to inquire before you arrive whether and how you can use such services and what may be necessary to apply for an ID card. Also ask if a workplace can be provided for you.
Many universities use eduroam, which you can use to access the internet if your home university participates, even if you do not (yet) have an account at the host institution/ organization. It is best to set up eduroam on your laptop, tablet and/or smartphone before departure.

Many universities have so-called clubs where like-minded people with different interests meet. Examples include German clubs, hiking clubs, chess clubs, etc. Even campus gyms sometimes offer shared outdoor activities, such as hiking or climbing. Additionally, there are usually associations of international students who organize joint activities. Sometimes the International Office of the university itself organizes such meetings.
Search for suitable groups on the university website or on Facebook. Is it also easy to make new friends through colleagues (for example doctoral researchers on site) and roommates, as well as cultural and sporting events on campus and in the city.

Please use the latest form “Reisekostenabrechnung” of the travel expenses office for travel accounting. You will find it in the portal for university employees. Please submit the travel expense statement (in the original) together with the original receipts to the travel expenses office. Please remember to also attach the original of the business travel request. Please note that you must have submitted your business travel expense statement (in the original) to the travel expenses office six months after the end of your business trip at the latest.

Please write the report according to the guidelines (see guidelines for the final report). The length should be about 2 pages (font size 12, 3 cm margins). Please send the report together with the Confirmation to the office of Unit 12.

Please send the Confirmation in the original together with the report to the office of Unit 12.


Deadline for application for stays abroad in 2025



Corinna Volkmann
Phone +49 421 218-60321 E-Mail
Building SFG, Room 3130