Call for Applications Closed


The funding scheme »Research Stays Abroad« enables all young researchers at BTU to apply for mobility grants in the context of their doctoral or postdoctoral research project. You can obtain financial support to conduct a research stay abroad of 2 to 12 weeks at an outstanding university and other research institutes. Networking with the scientific community will contribute at the same time to position BTU as a research-oriented university in Brandenburg. The main objective of a »Research Stay Abroad« is obtaining a further qualification in an early stage of the research project resulting in a substantial output (e.g., peer-reviewed publications, preparation of joint research projects, obtaining knowledge about new research methods). This objective will be achieved by promoting cooperation between young researchers of the BTU and researchers of the partner institutes.


Generally, all young researchers may apply for a mobility grant, regardless of their respective status (i.e., academic assistants employed at BTU, or enrolled doctoral/PhD candidates). Funding is only provided for doctoral candidates or postdoctoral researchers in the eraly stage after their doctorate. Furthermore, postdoctoral researchers are only eligible for funding if they are employed as academic staff at BTU (i.e., »akademische*r Mitarbeiter*in«) or receive special postdoctoral funding for their research at our university (e.g. Fritz Thyssen Postdoctoral Fellowship). The GRS supports the active participation of young researchers in research activities that constitute an additional qualification in the context of their research project (see also »Deliverables«).

Review criteria
  • Quality of your application documents (if your application is not complete, the GRS will not process it)
  • Profile of the research institute (scientific excellence)
  • The relevance of the research stay for the own doctoral or postdoctoral research project (to be also presented for non-experts in the application)
  • Contribution to networking research strategies (added-value for BTU’s research strategy; sustainability of the activity regarding publications, joint projects, etc.)

Which activities are not eligible for funding?

  • Field research in the context of the doctoral or postdoctoral research project (this does not constitute an additional qualification)
  • Research stays that do not include active participation and a substantial output (e.g., preparatory meetings to establish cooperation, merely exchanges between cooperation partners, teaching activities at partner universities)
  • The GRS doesn’t support research stays in Germany
  • If you’re an international Ph.D./doctoral student or postdoctoral researcher, please note that the GRS doesn’t support research stays in your home country.
Application, deadlines and amount of the grant

You have to submit your application documents either in German or English if you submit documents in any other language, you are expected to provide a convenience translation (i.e., rough translation by yourself).

Application documents:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications (last three years)
  • Short approval by your supervisor (doctoral & PhD candidates) or faculty dean (postdoctoral researchers) (e.g., printed copy of the email)
  • Invitation to the research institute

Please submit your complete application in a single PDF file via email until the respective deadline to researchschool+mobility(at)

Please note that the GRS won’t accept applications that are not submitted accordingly in a single PDF file. Furthermore, we kindly ask you to fill out the application form on your computer and scan it subsequently. Be kindly informed that we won’t accept handwritten or photographed applications forms.

Application deadline: Applications can be submitted until 9 February 2024 for research stays in 2024.

Note on the new application deadline:

Due to the limited funds available for mobility grants in 2024, we will prioritise applications from PhD students and postdocs in the early postdoctoral phase (<= 2 years after graduation) for upcoming research stays abroad. All other applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are submitting multiple applications, please note that we may only be able to award one mobility grant per applicant in order to maximise the benefit to as many individuals as possible. We will announce a further call for applications if additional funding becomes available later in the year. We appreciate your understanding of these limitations.

Mobility Grant:

  • As a basic principle mobility grants are awarded under the usual reserve concerning the university’s budget.
  • The Conference Travel Grant covers travel expenses up to the country-specific travel allowances specified by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
  • If you have to pay for accommodation, the GRS can support your costs up to 150 EUR/week.
  • Fees (e.g., to participate in specific workshops) can be funded up to 50 % if the GRS has sufficient funds at its disposal. The selection committee will decide on the amount of financial support for fees.
  • If you also have other sources to finance your activity, they will be offset against the financial support by the GRS.
  • In case the lump sums for travel expenses, accommodation and conference fees mentioned above exceed the costs of your activity the amount of your mobility grant will be reduced accordingly. In this instance, the Conference Travel Grant can only cover the actual costs.

Important information – trip cancellations:

Please note that the mobility grant will only be disbursed if you have undertaken the trip. In the event of trip cancellation (e.g., due to illness), if costs have already been incurred that cannot be canceled (such as booked transportation, flights, accommodations, or registration fees), it is not possible to receive a grant from GRS for these expenses.


The sustainability of the projects will be secured among other things by publications and joint research projects. Applicants shall explain the output of their research stay. After their return, successful candidates have to provide appropriate proof.

How does success look like?

  • Obtaining knowledge about new methods: Successful candidates (usually doctoral or Ph.D. students) can participate in specific workshops or post-graduate qualification programmes, which aim at obtaining knowledge about new methods in the context of their research project.
  • Publications: Successful candidates have to proof that their publications have been supported by the GRS (i.e., in the acknowledgments). Only peer-reviewed publications will be taken into consideration, for instance in nationally and internationally distinguished journals or edited volumes.
  • Individual research grant proposals: The GRS expects that successful candidates take advantage of the opportunity to prepare research proposals to be submitted to the German Research Foundation (DFG) or EU (e.g., Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions), Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (e.g., research grant for stays abroad) and other funding institutions.
  • Joint research grant proposals: Successful candidates can contribute with their research stay abroad to promote networking and exchange by preparing joint research proposals together with university and other research institutes.

After receiving your application, the GRS management office will make the first check for completeness. If your application is complete, you will receive a short confirmation from the GRS. Subsequently, the application will be reviewed internally by the GRS management, who will approve the projects. Shortlisted candidates will be informed in due time.


Information for Employees of BTU

If you are an employee of BTU, you have to claim the reimbursement of your business travel via your chair or department. There is an official procedure for business travel, and you may ask the secretary at your chair or department for further information. After the reimbursement of your business travel, the HR Department will send you a final balance sheet of the costs. It’s a white sheet called »Reisekostenbeleg« in German.

Please send us the final balance sheet as scanned copy together with your abstract or conference paper via email: researchschool+mobility(at)

The GRS will make an internal payment of the mobility grant to your chair’s or department’s account. 

In case of trip cancellation, please refer to the information provided under »Application, deadlines and amount of the grant« for further guidance.

Information for Students (PhD) at BTU

If you are not employed at BTU but enrolled as PhD or doctoral student, then the GRS will transfer the mobility grant directly to your account after your return. You have to provide the required documents either in person or send them by postal mail. Documents sent to us by email won’t be accepted.  

Please submit only complete documents:

  • Final Reimbursement Form Mobility Grant; please fill in on your computer, print it and sign it
  • Original receipts and invoices (train, flight, boarding passes, hotel, conference fee, etc.)*
  • Copies of bank statements or credit card bills that specify the payment of your expenses (no print-outs from your online-banking service, only official bank statements or credit card bills with account/card holder and account/card number)
  • Your German tax idenfication number and your local tax office in Germany

*You have to provide only receipts like travel expenses, accommodation and registration fee. You have to provide original invoices and receipts that are issued to your private address. Documents should not specify the VAT ID of the BTU.

Please request an appointment by email: researchschool+mobility(at)

Alternatively, you can send the documents by postal mail. Nevertheless, we are not responsible for the delivery of the items, and we will not send you a confirmation of receipt. Send the documents to:

BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Graduate Research School
Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1
03046 Cottbus

In case of trip cancellation, please refer to the information provided under »Application, deadlines and amount of the grant« for further guidance.