Travel grants 

Grants for conference travel for M&B doctoral candidates


WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

All full M&B doctoral candidates of cohorts 14, 15, 16, 17 are eligible to apply (= not just M&B scholarship recipients!). Prerequisite is an active contribution at a scientific workshop or conference, i.e. own talk or poster.

ONE TRIP PER YEAR

We have a fixed budget for travel grants. Therefore, travel grants for doctoral candidates will be restricted to one trip per student per year.

Note: If you are planning a second trip during the last quarter of the year, please contact Annette about the availabilty of left-over funds.

TRAVEL WITHIN THE STANDARD DOCTORAL PERIOD OF THREE YEARS

Travel grants will be granted to those candidates still within the standard doctoral period of 36 months. We are currently granting an extra period of 1.5 years to allow for Covid restrictions (if in doubt, please contact Annette Winkelmann).

YOUR APPLICATIONS: LATEST E-MAIL WITH INSTRUCTIONS

The latest e-mail with travel instructions and application forms for M&B doctoral candidates of cohorts 14, 15, 16, 17 (based at HU or based at other universities) was sent to your M&B cohorts’ lists from mb-manager@hu-berlin.de on 5 February 2024 at 20:23.

SUBJECT LINE FOR YOUR E-MAILS

Please use the following keywords for your e-mail subject line. Note that only e-mails with a meaningful and suitable subject line will be processed:

  • Travel application + place of travel  
    this applies to all e-mails before you have travelled
  • Travel reimbursement + place of travel  
    this applies to all e-mails after you have travelled

LUMP SUMS FOR TRAVEL

Upon successful application for travel grants by our doctoral candidates, we will reimburse the following sums:

  • 300 EUR for travel costs inside Europe, but no more than 50% of the total travel sum.
  • 600 EUR for travel costs outside Europe (transcontinental), but no more than 50% of the total travel sum.

NOTE: If one of your items of expenses comes to more or less exactly 300 or 600 EUR respectively, we can talk beforehand whether a direct reimbursement through M&B is possible, in order to simplify the process. This applies expecially to non-HU candidates!

GERMAN TAX ID

If you expect or have already received payments from a German institution such as HU Berlin (e.g., as remuneration for guest lectures, teaching assignments, or honoraria contracts/Werkvertrag/Honorarvertrag), scholarships / grants, (travel) expense reimbursements as a non-employee of that institution (e.g. as guests, M&B doctoral candidates based at other universities), you must supply the following in order to receive payments: Last name(s), first name(s), registered address, date of birth, personal tax identification number in accordance with Section 139b AO.
Every person born or registered in Germany should have received their personal tax identification number as a letter from the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt). Since registration is mandatory by law, you should all have registered and thus received the tax ID number. Your personal tax identification number can be requested again via the website of the Federal Central Tax Office. Further information can be found at BZSt:https://www.bzst.de/EN/Private_individuals/Tax_identification_number/tax_identification_number_node.html
The tax identification number looks like this: xx xxx xxx xxx. It has 11 digits and is valid nationwide.

Further information on this issue was sent to M&B doctoral candidates of cohorts 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 through your M&B cohorts’ lists from mb-manager@hu-berlin.de on 17 June 2024 at 13:37.

ADVANCE PAYMENTS FOR TRAVEL

Under certain circumstances, it is possible to receive an advance payment of 300 or 600 EUR for your projected conference trip. Please write to: mb-manager@hu-berlin.de in order to receive the necessary forms.

“ENTSENDUNG” - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE or RESEARCH TRAVEL ON A SALARY

(This applies only to candidates on a salary = employment contract / Arbeitsvertrag, not scholarship agreement / Stipendienbescheid)

Are your going on a Dienstreise or on a Entsendung? At the university, both terms are used synonymously if you travel abroad. All conference or research trips abroad (Dienstreisen) are also international assignments (Entsendung). This terminology is important in the context of the international fight against clandestine work / moonlighting.

Generally, the territorial principle applies to the social security obligation. This means that social security contributions are to be paid in the country in which you are working. Hoewever, the status of “working” may include you on a research trip to Ankara or at a conference in Warsaw. To prevent problems and possible double social security obligations, international regulations (decrees 883/04 and 987/09) were issued that apply to all employees in the 27 EU states, the EEA states, Switzerland, and Great Britain.

Read more: HU travel dept. newsletter March 2022, download pdf in English)

Travel to EU and EEA states

So, in order to confirm your social security status at the border and to confirm your social security contributions in Germany for your travel in all EU and EEA states, the so-called A1 certificate was created. With the presentation of certificate A1, the obligation to also belong to the social security system of the foreign country which you are visiting (in our example: Ankara/Turkey or Warsaw/Poland) does not apply. You must carry the form A1 with you on all international conference or research trips in order to avoid complications at international borders, avoid additional bureaucracy, and avoid possible fines for you or the university.
>> HU employees write to entsendung@hu-berlin.de (give your full name, employing institute, travel period and travel destination) and allow 2 weeks for an A1 form to be issued.

Other states

Of course, there are also states that are not covered by the A1 certificate regulations. Germany has concluded a bilateral agreement on social security with more than 20 other countries.
>> HU employees write to entsendung@hu-berlin.de (give your full name, employing institute, travel period and travel destination). Allow 4 weeks for the correct form to be issued.

HU employees:
Please read more on the HU intranet: https://intranet.hu-berlin.de/pages/mobilitaet-reisen/apps/wiki/entsendungen-a1-bescheinigung/list/view/46161106-a38c-44e2-aab4-ea19c063a0ae?currentLanguage=NONE or contact: entsendung@hu-berlin.de

All others:
Please find out from your university’s administrators.

TRAVEL GRANT APPLICATION and REIMBURSEMENT PROCESS

Candidates with supervisors at HU

  • Note: You can only travel using our funds if you have already reached an agreement with one of your supervisors about the eligibility of the conference trip in general (especially regarding the quality of the meeting and the quality of the data you will be presenting) as well as the costs involved. Supervisors will have to cover from their available funds at least 50% of the costs, often more (see above LUMP SUMS FOR TRAVEL), and they will have to confirm to us with their signature that they support this particular conference participation.
  • Note: If the funds of the supervisor paying for the trip are not located at HU, proceed to the next section.
  • Apply to M&B with the travel grant application form signed by your HU supervisor.
  • Receive back from M&B a signed confirmation form stating the financial support granted.
  • Go though the normal travel authorization procedure at your faculty/institute/group. You have been supplied with the travel authorization form (or better: you can download the currently valid form from the travel pages on the HU Intranet: https://intranet.hu-berlin.de/pages/mobilitaet-reisen/apps/wiki/dokumente/list/view/c960057e-dd90-4fed-a8c0-5c35ecfa0ab7); you will need a set of signatures on p. 2 of this form which allow you to travel.
  • For the later reimbursement, the M&B support must be registered on the travel authorization form. The basis for this is the M&B-signed confirmation form stating the financial support granted; on the “HOW TO” form we have made suggestions for how the support might be listed in the finance section on p. 2 of the travel authorization form.
  • Whether you pay for the tickets / the accommodation / the conference fee yourself up front and get reimbursed, or whether your group will be able to pay for some or all of these costs for you, depends on the procedures in your group; please find out.
  • After travelling, hand in your documentation, including the fully-signed travel authorization form as well as the M&B contribution form together with a set of other forms, your receipts and the relevant information about the conference (please ask the administrator of your group!) to the HU Reisestelle. Currently, in July 2022, you send it all scanned as 1 PDF file via e-mail to reisestelle@hu-berlin.de.

Candidates with supervisors not @ HU

  • Note: You can only travel using our funds if you have already reached an agreement with one of your supervisors about the eligibility of the conference trip in general (especially regarding the quality of the meeting and the quality of the data you will be presenting) as well as the costs involved. Supervisors will have to cover from their available funds at least 50% of the costs, often more (see above LUMP SUMS FOR TRAVEL), and they will have to confirm to us with their signature that they support this particular conference participation.
  • Note: If the funds of the supervisor paying for the trip are located at HU, go to the previous section.
  • Apply to M&B with the travel grant application form signed by your HU supervisor.
  • Receive back from M&B a signed confirmation stating the amount granted.
  • Go through the normal travel authorization procedure at your faculty/institute/group and get the travel authorization form valid at your university signed.
  • Hand in the M&B-signed confirmation form stating the financial support granted granted to the person dealing with the finances in your group when applying for your travel authorization.
  • Whether you pay for the tickets / the accommodation / the conference fee yourself up front and get reimbursed later, or whether your group will be able to pay for some, or all, of these costs for you, depends on the procedures in your group; please find out.
  • After travelling, go through the normal reimbursement procedure at your university. After the trip has been fully reimbursed, your group should send an invoice to M&B with the request for payment of the agreed amount to the group's account.
  • Please check with your group's administrator beforehand whether the procedure described above works for them in principle. If not, get back to M&B, or ask the administrator to contact us on mb-manager@hu-berlin.de

REIMBURSEMENT - Regulations and Timing

(a) Wherever you are asking for reimbursement (GU, Charité, etc.) you must hand in your application for reimbursement forms + documentation within 6 months of returning from your travels (exact dates!) - the Federal Travel Expenses Act (BRKG = Bundesreisekostengesetz) prohibits reimbursement after 6 months!

Note: You are expected to hand in your application for reimbursement + documentation with the M&B management within the calendar year in which you applied for it. Project budgets are calculated and granted for the calendar years, and unless you have agreed a reimbursement to take place in the following financial year, you must hand in your applications for reimbursements before 1 December. Non-HU members must check with their institutions whether this will be possible.

Note: If you travel in late November or in December, you cannot expect reimbursement before January or February.

GRANT APPLICATION FORMS

Travel grants will have to be applied for with a set of forms. They have been distributed to doctoral candidates by e-mail, but they can also be obtained from the M&B management office. Owing to administrative necessity, there are different forms and procedures for supervisors based at HU Berlin and supervisors outside HU Berlin.

BOOKING AND ADMINISTERING DOCTORAL TRAVEL

The booking of trips and all reimbursement procedures will have to be administered by the candidates traveling or their supervisors' groups themselves, irrepsective of whether they are enrolled aat HU or elsewhere.

GENERAL NOTES

(1)  If there is something to explain, explain it! Preferably on a separate page, attached to your travel application (if applicable) or your travel reimbursement request.
Neither the M&B management nor the central finance dept. of HU have the time to try and work out what happened on your trip, or why your invoices and the bank statement submitted don't match, or similar. Also, someone will have to be able to recapitulate all of this in 5 or 10 years’ time ... this is how long the financial documentation for your trip has to be archived according to federal finance law.

(2) When booking hotels/accommodation in Germany, you should:

(a) ... make sure that your booking for accommodation is registered as Dienstreise / Geschäftsreise (business trip).
Why? Because otherwise the hotel will charge you the City Tax for tourists, and City Tax charged by German hotels is not refundable.

(b) ... provide the hotel with an office adress for the invoice, not your private address.
Why? Because otherwise costs for breakfast cannot be reimbursed.

(3) With your reimbursement application you will have to supply a conference/workshop/lab visit report of no less than 500 words or your poster (pdf file) or your talk slides. Reimbursements for travel/conference fees are strictly only possible within six months of travelling/attending (cf. (Federal Travel Expenses Act - Bundesreisekostengesetz BRKG).

(4) Please also attach a copy of your Travel Authorization (Dienstreiseantrag) - see point A(8) above.

(5) If you fall ill and wish the project to reimburse you for costs that you were are/were unable to cancel or retrieve from the organizers, you must (a) provide us with the copy of an official sick note from a doctor (Krankschreibung) and (b) with documentation (letters, screenshots) proving that you were unable to cancel/retrieve that particular expenditure.

INFORMATION TO DOCTORAL CANDIDATES

We will regularly inform all doctoral candidates of these changes and instruct them in Q&A sessions, if required.

FUNDS AVAILABLE FROM HU “DEZENTRALE FRAUENBEAUFTRAGTE”

HU-based women doctoral candidates dates can also apply for special funds for women from their Faculty’s Dezentrale Frauenbeauftragte (it’s usually around 300 EUR). Please find out from your institute or faculty.

ACQUIRING OUTSIDE FUNDING

In addition to the travel grants provided by the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and/or supervisors, doctoral candidates are advised to have a look at the following additional funding opportunities for conference travel and lab visits. Some of the websites are in German, so please get help from fellow students if you cannot read German.

DAAD, DFG, university departments/faculties, scholarship givers and many, many other funding agencies (see e.g. https://www.mystipendium.de/stipendienverzeichnis/typ-stipendium/auslandsstipendium) offer travel grants.

Examples:

FENS/NENS

The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) has several programs offering travel grants and stipends to young researchers. Grants and stipends are aiming at facilitating mobility and scientific exchange and provide scientists early in their career an opportunity to attend FENS meetings, FENS training courses and schools.

www.fens.org/Training/Training-Grants-and-Stipends/

NENS exchange grants
These stipends of the Network of European Neuroscience Schools (NENS) are intended for Master and doctoral students registered within NENS member schools or programs. The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is a NENS member.
Applicants are expected to spend a period of one to three months at a NENS member school of their choice in a different European country for the purpose of methodological training.
Stipends cover travel and accommodation costs of up to 2,000 EUR.
Application deadlines: 15 February, 15 June, 15 October

www.fens.org/Training/Training-Grants-and-Stipends/NENS-Grants/NENS-Exchange-Grants/

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): Conference travel grants

Link to website

The DAAD supports conference travel (apply 4 months in advance) and lecture tours (apply one month in advance).

Dr. Jost-Henkel-Stiftung

Among other forms of research funding, the Dr. Jost Henkel Foundation provides one-time payments, such as travel grants for doctoral candidates of all fields. Further information in German is available here.

FAZIT-Stiftung

The Fazit Stiftung offers travel grants for doctoral candidates. Further information in German is available here.

Minerva Stiftung

Minerva Short-Term Research Grants are available for all subject areas and are open to applicants from all research facilities (in Israel - public or governmental research institutes) and universities in Germany and Israel. Applicants should not be older than 38 years. Further information is available here.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF): Travel grants

Link to website

For junior researchers pursuing experimental projects in basic biomedical research. For further requirements, please refer to "Who can apply?"

Purpose

  • to learn clearly-defined methods useful for your ongoing research and the work of your research group at home by visiting another laboratory, or by attending research-orientated courses including practical training (the practical part has to cover at least 50% of the course);
  • to enable graduates from abroad and their potential PhD supervisors to evaluate the scientific and personal prerequisites before embarking on a PhD thesis. To this end, the graduate student shall pursue a short project in his/her potential PhD supervisor’s laboratory for at least 4 weeks.
This page last updated on: 17 June 2024