Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Visiting Researchers

Welcome to Research in Germany!




General Information for International Researchers

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, named after the city's great sons Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt, is located with its main campus in the centre of Berlin.

It was Wilhelm von Humboldt's founding concept which led the university, opened in 1810, to acquire the informal title "mother of all modern universities." According to this concept, a "Universitas litterarum" was to be created, achieving unity between teaching and research and enabling students to receive a well-rounded humanistic education. This idea spread across the world and led to the founding of many similar universities in the following 150 years.

Today, the university's teaching and research profile encompasses all fundamental scholarly disciplines in the humanities, social and cultural sciences, agricultural sciences, medicine, and mathematics and the natural sciences.  Since 2003 almost all mathematics and natural sciences institutes have moved to the southeast of Berlin on campus Adlershof. The other institutes are still in the city centre.

For an outstanding university, international exchange of researchers, instructors and students is second nature. Owing to its central location, Humboldt-Universität has traditionally maintained relationships with other academic and research institutions throughout the world. Today, it is not just extending the dialogue with universities and research institutions in business and industrial centres, but also with those located at the periphery of traditional western horizons. [Mission Statement Paragraph 12: Internationality]

In 2002 Humboldt-Universität also established two academic missions abroad: one in Moscow, the other in New York. Their responsibilities include facilitating networking between Humboldt-Universität scholars and scientists and their international colleagues. These efforts include lecture series held at the mission offices.

We invite you to become a guest researcher at Humboldt-Universität!






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Offices of Humboldt-Universität Attending to International Researchers




  • Research Division (Forschungsabteilung for Germany-based research funding)
  • HUMBOLDT-INNOVATION GmbH (for European Union Funding)
  • International Office (Amt für Internationale Angelegenheiten for partnerships with other universities, DAAD and Alexander von Humboldt Scholarships)
  • The individual faculties and their staff




Among other services, all of the above organizations offer counselling regarding project proposals.

The International Office is responsible for the exchange of scholars and scientists within the framework of the partnerships Humboldt-Universität has with other universities. Its region officers are responsible for handling contract arrangements as well as special programmes (such as DAAD and EU scholarship schemes) and for attending to the needs of visiting foreign delegations. In addition, the Office assists recipients of DAAD and Alexander von Humboldt(AvH)scholarships.

Points of Contact:

International Office
Unter den Linden 6
D-10099 Berlin
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2565
Region Officer for Central and Eastern Europe
(i.e. for DAAD sponsored partnerships with universities in Eastern Europe)
Dr.Stefann Karsch

Region Officer for Western Europe
Erasmus Coordinator of the University (including Staff Mobility)
Dr. Dietmar Buchmann
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2871

Region Officer for Africa
Ms. Ulrike Brodien
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2473

Region Officer for Asia and Australia
Dr. Frederik Holst
Tel.:++49(0)30 2093-2443

Region Officer for Northern and Latin America
Johanna Janotta
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2139

DAAD-Sponsored Doctoral Candidates (Enrolment, counselling)
DAAD-Scholars and Researchers (Scholarship disbursement, counselling)
Ms. Annett Peschel
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2171

Alexander von Humboldt Scholarship Recipients (Scholarship disbursement, counselling)
Ms. Ulrike Spangenberg
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2154

The HUMBOLDT-INNOVATION GmbH gives advice and support concerning relevant research funding applications to the European Union (EU) throughout all stages of the application process (in German).

Point of Contact:
EU Research Funding and Advice
Ms. Renate Ubachs
Tel. ++49 (0)30 2093-70750

The Research Division, Office for Young Scholars and Scientists provides information on the various national research funding programmes.

Research Division, Office for Young Scholars and Scientists
Ms. Dr. Uta Hoffmann
Tel. ++49 (0)30 2093 1664

The Recognition of Foreign Degrees

Eligibility is based on evidence of an equivalent academic degree granted abroad. Documentation in the form of certified German translations of foreign transcripts must be presented to: Department I,Student Affairs (I), Office of Student Administration (Registry), International Admissions. (Abteilung I, Angelegenheiten der Studierenden (I), Referat Studierendenverwaltung, Zulassung für ausländische Studierende). Applications will be considered only after all supporting documentation has been provided.

Contact at Humboldt-Universität:
Student Administration Office (Registry), International Admissions
Ms. Frau Elke Nürck
Tel.: +49 30 2093-70267



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Points of Contact For International Researchers at Faculties and Departments:

Information about international researchers working at the university's faculties and departments is available from the dean's offices of the various faculties. Addresses are available on the web. Points of contact at departmental level are given at: under "Institutions."





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Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Researchers at the University

Doctoral candidates can find information at (in German)

Post-doctoral researchers can find information at (in German)

Dr. Uta Hoffmann
Ziegelstraße 13 c, room 408
Tel.: ++ 49 (0)30 2093-1664





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Job Opportunities at the University

The Personnel Department at Humboldt-Universität advertises open positions, and gives assistance in the administrative procedures associated with the employment process.

All open positions currently available at the university can be found on this web site: (in German)

Point of Contact:
Abteilung für Personal und Personalentwicklung (Personnel Department)
Ms. Angelika Krüger
Tel. ++49 (0)30 2093-2462/2463 (Sekr.)





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Relevant Government Authorities

Having decided to work at Humboldt-Universität, you are required to register with the local citizens' office (Bürgeramt) on your arrival in Germany. The registration merely means that you must register your Berlin mailing address. Following the registration you will receive a letter confirming your registration, which you will need to present at other local authorities.

EU Citizens may apply for a residence permit for EU citizens known as a Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung, which regulates their stay in Berlin. They are no longer required to inform the Aliens Authority (Ausländerbehörde).

All non-EU citizens are required to apply for a standard residence permit (Aufenthaltsgenehmigung) at the Aliens Authority.


Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten
Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24
13353 Berlin
Telephone : (030) 90269- 4000
Keywords (in German): Zuwanderung, Aufenthaltstitel, Antrag auf Erteilung.

Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday 7 am - 2 pm
Thursday 10 am - 6 pm
Appointments must be made online in advance.

The following materials must be presented when applying for a residence permit:



  • Passport
  • passport photo
  • A completed application form for a residence permit ( Antrag auf Erteilung der Aufenthaltsgenehmigung)
  • A work contract, scholarship confirmation or evidence of financial support
  • The letter confirming registration ( Meldebescheinigung), available from the citizens' office
  • Health insurance
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable (if the spouse intends to reside in Germany)
  • Birth certificate(s), if applicable (if your children are to reside in Germany)



Visiting scholars and scientists can authorize the International Office to apply for or extend their residence permit for them ("Visaservice"). Applicants using this service thus do not need to appear at the Aliens Authority in person. However, they should expect a processing period of about three weeks.


Ms. Ulrike Spangenberg
Tel.: ++49 (0)30-2093-2154

Visa Service:
Humboldt-Universität Main Building
Unter den Linden 6
D-10099 Berlin

Office Hours:
Tuesday 11:00 - 13:00
Thursday 13:00 - 15:00
Information by telephone (only during office hours):
++49 (0)30-2093-2221

An overview of other public authorities in Berlin is available from: Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten



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Finding Accommodation in Berlin

The Berlin housing market offers a wide range of apartments and rooms. Housing is available in many different sizes and at various prices and in all Berlin districts.

In preparation of your stay in Berlin in your home country you should seek initial information about accommodation in the city. To make your search easier, we refer you to the an overview of local real-estate information sources in Berlin.



For renting an apartment you need in most cases, a certificate signed by your former landlord that the rent has always been paid in full, regularly and in time.This form can be found here in German  - and here the translation.

Should you not have an apartment when you arrive in Berlin, you can rent a room from the University's guest house for the first few weeks:




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Language Courses at Humboldt-Universität

In addition to their work at the University, researchers might want to improve their language skills or even learn a new language. The Language Centre offers every language enthusiast a wide array of choices. Not only can researchers improve or polish their command of German, they can also learn Japanese, Russian, French and many other languages. Please note that fees are charged for all language courses. Researchers interested in taking a language course and comprehensive counselling should contact the Language Centre directly:

Point of Contact
Department German as a Foreign Language (Deutsch als Fremdsprache - DaF)
Dr. phil. Petra Bielagk
Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:00 to 2:00 pm
For additional language offerings, visit the Language Centre on the Web:

Other language learning providers in Berlin include:
Volkshochschulen (Adult education centres):
Goethe-Institut Berlin: (





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Child Care Offerings in Berlin

If you have children under the age of six years, you can have them cared for at a child care centre (Kindertagesstätte or Kita).

Parents have the right to freely choose a child care centre. Having decided to have your child looked after in child care, you should personally find a facility and visit it. Registration can be made only at the individual centre.

A search engine with addresses of child care centres in your neighbourhood is available from: (in German)

Depending on how many hours a day your child is to receive child care, a fee will be charged (Elternbeitrag). The centre will inform you about the charge.





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Schools in Berlin

Depending on the age of your child, various types and stages of school will usually be attended. The Grundschule, or Primary School, takes children from grade 1 to 6. Children afterwards attend either Hauptschule or Realschule from grade 7 to 10. They are secondary schools which typically prepare them for a trade. Alternatively, a Gymnasium (grades 7 to 12), is a more academically oriented secondary school which prepares pupils for university Abitur. Finally, Gesamtschule (also grades 7 to 12)is a comprehensive school type which combines the two previously mentioned approaches, or Europaschule (grade 1 through to grade 12), a European School similar to Gymnasium is available. Comprehensive schools offer a continuous system leading to Abitur. As a general rule, parents can decide which type of school their children attend on completing primary schooling.

Registering your child at a school, you will be required to submit:




  • proof of residence in Berlin
  • proof of the child's previous education




Exactly which school your child will attend depends upon where you live in Berlin.

A list of schools in your neighbourhood is available under:

Recognition of Transcripts
In addition to evaluating German and foreign transcripts, the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle (Transcript Evaluation Centre) can assist you in establishing equivalence for school transcripts. (in German)



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Taxation Issues

Tax regulations are the same throughout Germany. They are extensively explained on the national mobility portal's website.





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Work Contracts

As a rule, scientists and scholars are offered fixed-time contracts at Humboldt. The legal basis for this practice is the Hochschulrahmengesetz (University Framework Law), which applies to all academic and scientific institutions and non-university research institutions in Germany, and the Teilzeit- und Befristigungsgesetz (Part-Time and Fixed-Time Law), which sets valid standards for fixed-time contracts.

The Hochschulrahmengesetz sets the limits on contracts. A work contract offered to a person who has successfully completed studies must not exceed the limit of six years, unless valid grounds can be given. All other contracts concluded with a German university or non-university research centre on completion of university studies count towards this limit.

If a doctoral degree is obtained at a point before the end of the six-year span, an extension for an additional six years may be granted in addition to the unused time budget in the first six-year period. Time spent on doctoral studies in and outside Germany counts towards the first six-year limit. Time left from the first phase may be used in the post-doctoral phase, up to the six-year limit.

In any event, contracts must be concluded in writing before the candidate starts work.

Please keep in mind that in addition to German labour laws, immigration law requirements must be observed. If you need a residence or work permit, you must apply for these in advance. The same procedure is required if you wish to prolong the time you work in Germany.

Ms. Heike Kryszohn will answer any questions related to the work of a scholar, scientist, or student assistant.

Point of Contact:
Abteilung für Personal und Personalentwicklung (Department of Personnel and Personnel Development)
Ms. Heike Kryszohn
Tel. ++49 (0)30 2093-2128





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You will find Application form for a special combined Sickness, Personal Accident, and Private Liability Insurance by DAAD Group Scheme




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Leisure Pursuits

With your decision to work in Berlin, you have also chosen a multicultural European metropolis where you can participate in an exceptional number of art and cultural activities in your leisure time.

Museums and historic places can give interesting and infomative insights into the past and present of the once-divided city.

The city's many parks and green areas are attractive places for people to rest and relax at all times of the year. Strolling along one of fine walking paths or cycling on one of the many cycle tracks, you may have exciting experiences.

After a day's work, Berlin's many restaurants, cafes and bars invite the researchers and their families to an evening out to enjoy not only typically German cuisine, but also a great variety of food and dishes at a multitude of international restaurants.

As a guest, you have a share in shaping Berlin, whether in your personal or public life. Private clubs and other organizations offer a wide array of activities.

You will find additional tips in a guide for international students:

Comprehensive information about the city of Berlin is available on the internet at: bzw.

In Newspapers:

or in the English-language paper for Berlin called EXBERLINER:

Welcome to Berlin - and to Humboldt-Universität!







dt. Mobilitätszentrum European Commission EURAXESS







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