Guide for MIN Visiting Scholars
Dear international visiting scholars,
Going abroad as a visiting scholar always entails intensive preparations and travel arrangements. We are delighted to welcome international visiting scholars to the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences (MIN faculty) and would like to facilitate your preparations for your stay in Hamburg with some guidance and information, for example, on funding programmes, visa, accommodation, work preparations, health insurance, and a lot more.
We welcome your ideas and suggestions in order to make improvements to our welcome services.
We wish you a good start, a most interesting stay at Universität Hamburg, and every success in your research.
All the best!
Your MIN faculty
General Information for visiting scholars
The Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences (MIN faculty) welcomes every year international visiting scholars for research visits or stays at the MIN faculty departments:
- Department of Biology
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Earth System Sciences
- Department of Informatics
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Physics
We would like to facilitate your preparations for your stay in Hamburg with some information and guidance:
Pre-arrival Steps for visiting Scholars
After reading the UHH Information for visiting Scholars and the Guide for MIN-visiting scholars, you may contact the UHH-Welcome Service for international Researchers that will provide information, advice, and support if you you need something to be clarified prior to or during your stay in Hamburg.
Clarify the following points prior to conducting your research visit or stay at the MIN faculty in good time:
- Define the academic purpose of your visit (research, specialisation, outreach, collaboration on a specific project, lecturing, etc.)
- Search for a suitable academic host at the MIN faculty whose research area covers the same or similar research topic to yours. You may consult the following websites for that purpose:
- Approach the potential MIN academic host at a conference or workshop if you get the chance to do so. Otherwise, you may contact the potential academic host in writing to apply for a research stay or visit at one of the above-mentionned institutions. Submit your application by e-mail together with the necessary documents. Please note that no claim is made that this is a complete listing. We suggest the following documents:
- a letter of motivation
- a curriculum vitae
- an outline of your visiting scholar's research project
- a publication list
- a short research proposal: project title, project description, research stay plan
- research stay duration at MIN
- information about financing:
- Prior to your application, you should clarify how you intend to finance your stay or visit at the MIN faculty, i.e. scholarship, with or without financial support, self-financing, mobility grant, third-party grant, or other. You may also ask your potential academic host for any funding opportunities.
- Please note that visiting scholars are not university employees.
- For funding organisations that support international visiting scholars's stays or visits at a German University or research institution, please consult the Notes on Funding for visiting Scholars on the Staff Service Portal of Universität Hamburg with Information on funding for visiting scholars and also go to "Funding of research stay" below.
Visiting Scholar Status
Please carefully read the Information for visiting scholars on the Staff Service Portal of Universität Hamburg which also apply to the MIN Faculty.
A visiting scholar from abroads needs to find an academic host at the MIN Faculty who accepts to host her or him with a research visit or stay. The University of Hamburg must grant you a visiting scholar right (Gastrecht) in order for you to be able to carry out your guest stay at the MIN Faculty.
Rights for visiting scholar: Please carefully read the Notes on granting visiting scholar status on the Staff Service Portal of Universität Hamburg. At Universität Hamburg, visiting scholar status is granted subject to certain conditions. The notes contain the requirements by Universität Hamburg which also apply to the MIN Faculty.
The decision to grant visiting scholar rights at the MIN faculty is made by the Head of the Department or the Head of the Research Center in which the visiting scholar wishes to conduct research or itends to visit.
Upon approval of your visiting scholar application
In order to conduct your research stay or visit at the MIN faculty, Universität Hamburg needs to grant you the Visiting Scholar Status. Please consult the Notes on Hosting Agreements and Visiting Scholars Agreements on the Staff Service Portal of the Universität Hamburg for information on your rights and privileges as a visiting scholar and for the conditions in order to be grantet a visiting scholar status. You may contact the Welcome Service for international Researchers to clarify any questions relating to your research stay or visit at Universität Hamburg.
Both the visiting scholar and the Head of the MIN Department where the visiting scholar will conduct her or his stay or visit need sign the Visiting Scholar Agreement: If the research stay or visit is at the Deparment of Biology, the Head of the Department of Biology is entitled to sign the Visiting Scholar Agreement. The Visiting Scholar Agreement is also required if you need to apply for a visa to enter Germany for your stay at the MIN Faculty.
Furthermore, you need to sort out the following points with your academic host at the MIN Faculty:
- Academic integration and support
- Facilities: availability of equipment and materials needed for your research stay
Funding of research stay
There are various ways of managing funding for your research stay or visit. If you are a visiting scholar from abroad who plans to carry out a research stay or visit at the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences (MIN facutly) at Universität Hamburg.
Please consult the notes on funding for visiting scholars on the Staff Service Portal of Universität Hamburg where notes on granting visiting scholar status are also available.
We have also compiled some information on funding opportunities for visiting scientists from abroad:
- The MIN Graduate Center (MINGZ) offers funding for an insight stay with the MIN faculty at Universität Hamburg to explore the possibility of doing your doctoral studies in Hamburg, with a maximum duration of one month. Applications in English or German may be submited by your supervisor to mingz"AT"uni-hamburg.de on an ongoing basis. Applications are processed within two to four weeks.
- If a partnership exists between your university and Universität Hamburg, please inquire with your home International Office, whether funding programmes aimed at your researchers are available for a research stay or visit for a limited period of time at Universität Hamburg.
- Funding organisations or databases: If you are looking for research fellowships or funding programmes, you may find funding organisations that support international visiting scholars' stays or visits at a German University or research institution here.
MIN Graduate Center (MINGZ)
MIN Graduate Center (MINGZ) offers funding for insight visits, during which international applicants can get acquainted with the research environment at Universität Hamburg and carry out their first joint research activities with the university's supervisors and research teams.
Alexander von Humboldt
AvH programs: Check here for researchers coming to Germany (postdoctoral researchers, junior research group leaders, experienced researchers, and internationally recognised cutting-edge researchers).
DAAD Programs and Funding
- Bilateral Exchange of Academics
To improve international relations and bilateral research cooperations between German and foreign universities, the DAAD supports exchanges of scientists and academics from partner countries. The basis of these exchanges are cultural exchange programmes and bilateral agreements with foreign partner organisations.
- Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience (PRIME)
The fellowships funded by the P.R.I.M.E programme combine a 12-months mobility phase abroad with a 6-months re-integration phase in Germany, to ensure further integration into the German system of science and research.
- Research Stays for University Academics and Scientists
DAAD grants provide foreign academics and scientists with an opportunity to carry out research and continue their education in Germany. There are funding programmes for various qualification phases and stages in a career.
Guest lecturers from all regions of the world and all subjects are encouraged.
(Website only in German)
EURAXESS Database: For information about funding programs for incoming researchers look here.
- Fulbright Specialist Program
Opportunities to collaborate with professional counterparts on curriculum and faculty development, institutional planning and a variety of other activities. Duration: 14 - 42 days.
- Fulbright Intercountry Lectureship Program
The Intercountry Lectureship Program sponsors guest lecturers at German universities.
- Fulbright Lecture and Research
The program for junior and senior faculty members sponsors lecturing and/or research stays at various stipend levels for a duration of 2-4 months.
Catholic Academic Exchange Services (KAAD)
Scholarship program for researchers from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America who want to acquire a master’s degree or a PhD at a German university or do a post-doctoral research project (2-6 months for established university lecturers) at a German university.
KAAD is working with focus- and partner countries in your region. There are so-called Partner Committees in these countries and applications are channelled via them.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
This Research Fellowship Programme of the European Commission supports researchers at all stages of their careers, irrespective of nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines, from life-saving healthcare to 'blue-sky' science, are eligible for funding. The MSCA also support industrial doctorates, combining academic research study with work in companies etc.
Welcome Services for Visiting Scholars
The MIN and the UHH Welcome Services are complementary services to help you prepare your visiting stay in Hamburg and support you with everythin you need for your stay and life in Hamburg.
MIN Welcome Services for visiting scholars: The Welcome Buddy Team of the MIN faculty matches each visiting MIN scholar from abroad with a registered MIN doctoral student who supports the visiting scholars from abroad, for example, in the following ways: correspondence via email prior to arrival in Hamburg, airport pick up on arrival, Hamburg city walk, UHH Campus tour, registering at the Registration Office, opening a bank account, getting around with the Hamburg public transport HVV or with the CityBike, etc.
The welcome buddy does not provide support with accommodation search.
UHH Welcome Service for International Researchers: The service supports international researchers, including doctoral researchers, who wish to stay for at least one month at Universität Hamburg. It provides information, advice, and help with everything you need for your stay and life in Hamburg: entering Germany, health and liability insurance, housing search, dealing with authorities, visa application, and even looking for a suitable kindergarten.
General Information on the City of Hamburg
Contact point for information on the topic "New in Hamburg"
Main contact points for visiting scholars and their families at Universität Hamburg an in the City of Hamburg are:
- UHH Welcome Service for International Researchers
- MIN Welcome Service for visiting Scholars
- Hamburg Welcome Center (HWC)
To avoid hours of online searching, check out the following sites for information on the City of Hamburg and for a list of event highlights in Hamburg:
Getting around in Hamburg
If you live in Hamburg or the Hamburg area, you are better off avoiding the roads and taking the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, AKN, rapid transit or regional rail lines. These offer reliable, quick, and direct rail connections within the Hamburg region, all leading into the city center.
Tips for every day
Tips for daily life: To get started in Germany, this website provides information about doctors and pharmacies, shopping, saving money, telephone, internet, postal service, safety, and transportation.
Cost of living in Hamburg: This website gives you an overview of the costs of living in Germany. It contains price and product information relating to restaurants, markets, transportation, utilities, sports and leisure, child care, clothing and shoes, rent, buy appartment prices, salaries and financing.
Visa regulations: Here you can find information on visa regulations including bodies responsible for issuing visas, application procedure, visa fees, a table of the countries whose citizens require/do not require visa. If you need a visa to enter Germany, you need to submit all the supporting documents well in advance and in person at the German Embassy or German Consulate in your home country prior to departure.
Visiting scholars from EU and EFTA Member States
EU nationals and nationals of those countries of the European Community (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) just need a valid passport to enter Germany. They do not require a visa or a residence permit to enter Germany and complete a research visit or stay.
Third country visiting academics (non-EU and non-EFTA)
As a general rule, Non-EU nationals and non-EFTA nationals require a visa for research stays or visit before entering Germany. Non-EU visiting scholars should not enter Germany on a tourist or Schengen visa. A visa can be applied for in the home country as well as in the country of habitual residence.
Visa requirements for a visiting scholar stay: International third country visiting academics may need
- a hosting agreement signed by both the visiting scholar and the head of the hosting MIN Department or MIN Research Center, depending on the visiting scholar's country of origin.
- a Visiting Scholar Agreement, issued by your academic host at the MIN faculty needs to grant you the Visiting Scholar Status. A template of the visiting scholars agreement is available for your academic host on the staff service portal of Universität
- For third country visiting academics, the host my be required to confirm that the stay at the MIN Faculty is necessary. There is a DAAD template for issuing that confirmation.
Please contact the Welcome Service for International Researchers of UHH for questions about residence permits.
Due to the high demand and shortage of accommodation in Hamburg, it is strongly recommended to start making arrangements for accommodation while you are still at home.
Contact UHH Welcome Service for International Researchers for tips on finding suitable housing. The service offers support for researchers from abroad, including visiting scholars in need of accommodation.
How do I find a place to stay?
We have compiled a few information here:
- The Hamburg University Guesthouse provides accommodation for academic guests and offers bedrooms and flats of different sizes to visiting scholars and lecturers. Please note that there is a limited number of bedrooms and flats available.
- Hamburger Abendblatt: In this daily Hamburg newspaper, you can find rental apartments in the classified advertisements. (Search mask in German only).
- Important: German housing terms and abbreviations used in housing advertisements: This overview may help.
- 'How to find an apartment in Hamburg': Hamburg Welcome Center's information sheet on rentals.
- Hotel Hamburg Booking: For finding hotels and hostels at a favorable price for the first few days in Hamburg
What is a rental agreement?
To rent a room or an apartment, a binding agreement must be concluded a rental agreement. Before you move in, you will usually be asked for a deposit, retained by the landlord in case of damage. Please note that in addition to the rent, you will also have to pay utilities: electricity, water, heating, telephone connection, etc. Periods of notice apply whether you or the landlord wish to terminate the rental agreement.
Leases are subject to a notice period that is binding on both the tenant and the owner.
Broadcast contribution / media licence: Each household needs to pay a monthly fee of 18,36 euros to support independent public broadcasting in Germany, regardless of usage or non-usage.
Residence registration (Anmeldung)
In order to obtain a registration certificate or “Meldebescheinigung”, you need to register at the nearest district office ("Bezirksamt") within the first two weeks of arrival. You will need your registration certificate to open a bank account, to apply for a library card, to take a health insurance, etc.
- The "Behördenfinder" (authority/office finder, in German) determines the nearest district office to your place of residence. The authority finder will show you the address, telephone number, e-mail address and opening hours of the relevant office. Please make an appointment online.
- Registration in Hamburg: Hier you will find a the checklist about the registration in Hamburg.
- English completion guide: You can find an english sample of the registration form here.
The following documents are required for an application for a residence registration:
- completed and signed registration form
- valid passport or ID
- birth certificate, marriage certificate or divorce decree where applicable
- "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung": It is the "housing provider confirmation" from the landlord
- administrative fee: 12 € (subject to change)
Please keep the registration certificate you receive in a safe place and make a few copies, as the registration certificate is considered as a proof of address in Germany.
Residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel)
Non-EU and Non-ESTA nationals staying in Germany for more than three months must apply for and obtain a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel). Consequently, international visiting scholars must apply for a residence permit. You should first register your residence at the Bezirksamt before you apply for a residence permit.
Electronic residence permit (eAT): Since September 1, 2011, an eAT in credit card format has been issued, replacing the paper form.
The documents needed for the residence title application are listed below, based on information provided by the Hamburg Welcome Center. If any of the required documents is missing, your application will be refused. Thus, please always check requirements with an English speaker advisor at the Welcome Service of international Researchers of Universität Hamburg before applying for your residence permit.
Necessary documents to be submitted may vary in individual cases.
- completed application form (residence title application form: downloads are available in several languages)
- valid passport
- biometric photograph (no older than 6 months)
- current certificate of registration (Meldebescheinigung) with your address in Germany
- health insurance certificate (Krankenversicherungsnachweis)
- rental agreement
- administrative fee about 50 € - 200 € (subject to changes)
- proor of financing (3 months‘ pay slip, where applicable)
If you have family, please also provide:
- your birth certificate and your family members‘ birth certificate(s)
- marriage certificate
For any questions that you may have regarding your residence permit application, please get in touch with the Welcome Service for international Researchers of Universität Hamburg.
You can do this by e-mail: email@example.com, or you can make an appointment by phone before your arrival: +49 40 42839 - 5539/ -5540.
In some cases, additional documentation may be required. Even if all required documents have been submitted, it may not be possible to issue the permit immediately, as other authorities or institutions may be involved in the process.
Health insurance, health care and emergency services
It is mandatory by law for all residents and visitors in Germany to have healthcare cover and that applies to everyone, including visiting scholars from abroad and their accompanying family members. You must have a proof of sufficient health insurance. Consequently, you are advised to extend your existing insurance coverage or to obtain insurance specifically covering the duration of your stay.
Please make sure that your health insurance comply with German standards. In order to receive an initial payment, a proof of health insurance is needed.
Visiting scholars from EU/EFTA countries who have an EHIC (European Health Insurance card) or Form S1 (formerly E109 for families) are entitled to statutory (public) health insurance in Germany. Non-EU/Non-EFTA residents are required to have health insurance cover from a licensed insurance provider in Germany.
Please get in touch with the Welcome Service for international Researchers of Universität Hamburg if want some information on taking healthcare cover for short-term visiting scholars and your accompanying family.
Health insurance systems
Health insurance systems - two different types in Germany:
statutory or public health insurance: Most people (from Germany and abroad) are obliged to take out statutory insurance. (generally compulsory if your gross salary is less than 62,550 Euros per year)
private health insurance which generally offers a wider choice and thus, a higher level of service of medical and dental treatment, but is not automatically advantageous for everyone.
First, find out if you can even choose between public and private insurance.
In Germany, there are statutory as well as private health insurance companies. The contribution rate of 14.6% of the gross monthly salary has applied since 01.01.2019 for statutory health insurance. Health insurance companies may charge additional contributions under certain circumstances. The costs for the health insurance contributions (including possible additional contribution rate of 1.1 % of your eligible gross salary) are equally split between employers and employees (as of January 2019) and will be automatically deducted from your monthly salary.
Health Insurance Companies
Yellow Pages Health Insurance Companies: Here you can find a list of the health insurance companies (Krankenkasse) in the telephone directories of the Yellow Pages of Hamburg.
Before choosing a health insurance company, find out exactly what services, therapies, treatments and additional benefits it offers and what benefits and payments you can claim for. Ask for an English brochure and read it very carefully. Services differ from provider to provider. Being a member of a health insurance company does not mean that the company is responsible for all the costs that arise in respect of your medical care. Some costs for medical and dental treatment, for medication, for medical aids, for treatment by therapists or rehabilitation measures may not be fully covered by your health insurance company. Patients often have to pay a personal excess (Patientenbeitrag). Besides, there are forms of treatment that patients have to pay in full. If you are uncertain about additional costs you may have to pay for a medical treatment or dental care, ask your health insurance company for advice in advance.
Required documents for a membership application
- passport/international passport
- residence registration certificate
- proof of financial situation, i.e. statement of income
- bank account details
- Various counseling services offerd by Campus Center, Universität Hamburg (website in German only).
- Telefonseelsorge: You can also reach out to the German crisis hotline (+49 800 - 1110111 and +49 800 - 1110222).
- Therapy Guide (in German only)
Health care and emergency services
Make sure you obtain a “Krankenversicherungsnachweis”, a confirmation of health insurance from the health insurance provider. You will also receive a “Krankenversicherungskarte” (Health Insurance Card) which you always need to carry with you. If you become ill, you can directly go to a doctor.
Yellow Pages Doctors (in German): Here you can find addresses and telephone numbers of doctors. Enter the type of doctor or specialist (Facharzt) you are looking for in the search field “Stichwort, Name, Telefonnummer” (keyword, name, phone number):
Alphabetical list of a few types of physicians
|Hausarzt||General Practitioner (GP)||Orthopäde||Orthopaedist|
If you need urgent medical care at the weekend or at night, report to the “Ambulanz” (outpatient department) or “Notaufnahme” (Accident and Emergency) in hospitals or call a doctor. Emergency doctors are listed in local newspapers under the heading of “Ärztlicher Notdienst” (Medical Emergency Service) or “Notdienst” (Emergency Service).
|Emergency call numbers|
|Medical emergency service||116 117|
|Pharmacy emergency service||22833|
|Medical emergency practice
In Altona: Stresemannstraße 54, 22769 Hamburg
The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Universität Hamburg does not guarantee the information provided here is accurate or exhaustive, and accepts no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the content of external or referred websites.In no event shall any reference to any third party product or service be construed as a recommendation of that third party’s product or service.
Liability insurance (third-party insurance)
You should know about the importance of having a liability insurance. It is worth taking out a (family) third-party insurance for the entire duration of your research stay in case of damage caused to a third party.
Third-party private liability insurance is not mandatory by law in Germany. However, it will protect you against claims resulting from damage caused. Standard third-party insurance policies are not expensive and the conditions are similar.
Please contact the UHH Welcome Service for International Researchers for any queries.
Family Office: The Family Office of UHH has put together useful material on family support services and information about the compatibility of work and family. Please contact the Family Office or any queries regarding your family.
To find a suitable Kindergarten, please register with the Welcome Service for international Researchers of UHH.
Day Care institutions are rare and eligibility generally depends on the employment status of both parents.
Universität Hamburg offers various child care services:
- Daycare centers and flexible childcare services
- Casper Campus - Playgroups
- Kita KinderCampus: Weekend care for flexible care on weekends
- Childcare at the Informatic's Campus in Stellingen
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account in Germany is straightforward. To obtain a current account (Girokonto) you need to supply the following documents:
- registration certificate ("Meldebescheinigung")
- valid passport
- proof of income (financing) would make the opening of a bank account easier (pay slip or bank statement).
Take these documents to your chosen bank or branch. Ask if you could get information from an English speaking customer adviser.
Yellow Pages Banks: Here you can find addresses and telephone numbers of banks or branches.
- Enter “Bank und Sparkassen” (banks and saving banks) in the search field “Stichwort, Name, Telefonnummer„ (keyword, name, phone number), then enter the place (Ort) or zip code (PLZ), district name (Stadtteil) or street name (Straße) in the search field “Ort, PLZ, Stadtteil, Straße“.
- Last click on “Suchen”(search) to look for addresses of a bank near you.
Once at the local branch, always ask for any potential service charges as they may differ from bank to bank. You may be charged for: opening an account, yearly administrative costs, credit card costs, withdrawal costs if using another bank's ATM, bank statements print-outs.
Depending on the bank and the account details, bank cards should normally be sent by post within a few days.
Bank Terminology Guide
|Account number||Kontonummer||Current account||Girokonto|
|Bank account||Bankkonto||Direct debit||Lastschrift, Abbuchung|
|Bank balance||Kontostand||Exchange Bureau||Wechselstube|
|Bank charges||Bankgebühren||Exchange Rate||Wechselkurs|
|Bank manager||Filialleiter||Fiscal/tax code||Abgabenordung|
|Bank note||Geldschein||Fixed rate||feste Rate|
|Bank statement||Bankauszug||Interest rate||Zinssatz|
|Credit balance||Guthaben||Paying-in slip||Einzahlungsbeleg|
|Credit card||Kreditkarte||Payment slip||Einzahlungsschein|
|Standing order||Dauerauftrag||Sort code||Bankleitzahl|
Information for new staff and employees of Universität Hamburg
In the KUS Portal you will find all necessary information about your guest researcher stay at UHH. Not only general but also target group or topic specific information. The topics of funding and guest rights are also covered here.
Language used and Language courses
You may conduct your research stay or visit in English, used as a scientific language at the MIN faculty. Nevertheless, good German language skills may be helpful when settling in Hamburg. That is why we recommend you to learn German.
Language courses are generally offered at six different levels from A1 to C2, following the Common European Reference Framework for Languages. The six levels A1 and A2 for basic users, B1 and B2 for independent users and C1 and C2 for proficient users are an interpretation of the classic division into basic (A), intermediate (B) and advanced (C).
- Joint Language Center of Universität Hamburg and the Adult Education Center
- Adult Education Center
- "Hamburg Kursportal" (in German)
Language Learning Services at University of Hamburg
Online German Courses
- BBC Languages: “German Steps” for beginners
- DW German Course: “Deutsche Welle”
Workshops and Seminars
The Geventis portal publishes courses for doctoral researchersof the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences.
Workshops, Seminars and events are offered by:
MIN Graduate Center (MINGZ)
HR Development at UHH
University Language Center (SZ)
Hamburg Research Academy.
You are all set? We are looking foward to welcoming you to the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences atUniversität Hamburg!
Have a pleasant and a successful stay at the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences of Universität Hamburg!
Your MIN faculty
The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Universität Hamburg does not guarantee the information provided here is accurate or exhaustive, and accepts no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the content of external or referred websites. In no event shall any reference to any third party product or service be construed as a recommendation of that third party’s product or service.