For junior researchers pursuing experimental projects in basic biomedical research.
- 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.
Travel grants are awarded for short-term visits of up to 3 months. We provide a flat-rate contribution which may cover the expenses for travel, lodging and course fees. Please refer to conditions for further details.
Applications may be submitted at any time. To allow sufficient time for the selection procedure, applications should reach the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds at least 6 weeks before the planned date of departure.
How to apply
The application should be completed in English and by the applicant personally. The data and documents required are listed under application.
Who Can Apply for a Travel Grant?
The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds awards travel grants to European citizens working in Europe and overseas, and to non-European citizens who perform their MD, PhD or postdoctoral project in Europe, or will use the travel grant to work in Europe. Applicants must pursue an experimental project in basic biomedical research and belong to one of the following groups of junior scientists:
- PhD students or medical students pursuing an experimental doctoral thesis who are not older than 30 years of age;
- postdocs who are pursuing a particular research project who are not older than 32 years of age;
- graduates from abroad who have applied for a PhD project, but who have not yet worked with their potential PhD supervisor.
We do not support
- Attendance of conferences, symposia and workshops without practical training (if you are a BIF fellow, please refer to Personal Support);
- clinical electives or practical courses during university education;
- clinical studies;
- applied research, such as diagnostic, biotechnological and pharmaceutical development or studies on the course of diseases or the treatment of symptoms;
- botanical and prokaryotic investigations unless they are of general biological importance;
- attendance of courses organized by companies.
Conditions for Travel Grants
Researchers can be awarded one travel grant during a period of 12 months.
A travel grant can be awarded only if the host institute covers all research-related costs and – in case of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers – if the home institution continues to pay the applicant’s salary.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds must be notified if an application is submitted to any other research-sponsoring institution. Should an applicant take up a grant from another institution the foundation must also be notified immediately. Please note that only written notification is legally binding and that the decisions of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds are incontestable.
The travel grant expires if not taken up within 6 months of notification.
On accepting the travel grant, the grant holder agrees to the following conditions
The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds does not intervene in the work of its grant holders who in turn are obligated to make proper use of the allocated funds. If a grant holder changes the subject, length or location of the planned training or is unable to perform the training, he/she must inform the foundation immediately. The foundation can then adjust the grant accordingly.
The awarded grant sum is based on the information provided in the application. The grant holder is obligated to inform the foundation about any changes in his/her financial circumstances so that the foundation can adjust the size of the grant.
A Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds travel grant may not be held while receiving a grant from another funding organization. For courses supplementary funding from the institution organizing the course might be acceptable.
Travel grants of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds do not constitute any form of employment. In Germany (EStG § 3 No. 44), and in countries that maintain a double-taxation agreement with Germany, travel grants are exempt from tax. A travel grant is not considered to be remuneration as defined by Article 14 of the German Social Law IV and is therefore not liable to social insurance. Provision of laws governing formation of capital, saving premiums and residential building premiums do not apply.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds does not provide any kind of insurance for its grant holders. They must insure themselves against any possible costs and consequences caused by illness, accident, personal liability, etc.
Every grant holder must submit:
- a final report on the scientific and personal benefits of the training, signed by the awardee, about 2 months after returning home. The scientific part (about 3–4 pages) should comprise aim, performed experiments and results (if applicable);
- reprints of any publication prepared with the foundation’s assistance. Funding by the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds must be mentioned in the acknowledgement section of the publication.
The Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds reserves the right to reclaim any surplus payment or money paid in error. The foundation also reserves the right to retract or adjust the size of the grant for any sound reason. The latter includes budgetary constraints. Furthermore, the foundation may cancel the travel grant and demand repayment if the financial support was obtained under false pretences or not used for the intended purpose, if the obligation to submit the final report is not fulfilled, or for any other sound reason.
To process applications and to provide continuous support, the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds gathers and electronically stores the data submitted by applicants. These data include personal information (name, address, date of birth, nationality, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the applicants) as well as information on the project and the support granted.
The foundation may publish the names of travel grant holders, their places of work, their project titles and abstracts on the web (www.bifonds.de) and in printed publications.
Application for Travel Grants
The application for a travel grant of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds consists oftwo parts:
- an online application sent by internet and
- a paper application sent by surface mail to the following address:
Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Schusterstr. 46-48, 55116 Mainz, Germany
Both, paper application and online application, have to reach the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds at least 6 weeks prior to the planned date of departure (the postmark is crucial for the paper application).
Part 1: Online application
To start your online application for travel grants please click here.
Part 2: The paper application
The entire application should be submitted in English and must be written by the applicant personally. However, consultation with the prospective or present scientific supervisor is advisable. Please do not staple or bind documents.
Submit one copy (preferably printed two-sided, font size 12 and 1.5 spacing) of the paper application via surface mail including the data and documents listed below. Applicants can facilitate the selection process by following the sequence recommended below.
A Information on projects or courses
- Name and current address of applicant;
- Title and summary of current research project (MSc, PhD, MD, or postdoctoral project) (length: max. 3 pages plus references);
- Title of planned training and outline of your experiments in the host laboratory (max. 3 pages), aim of the training and reasons for wishing to work with this particular group;
alternatively: title of course and statement of its impact on your future scientific career;
- Statement in which you describe the connection of the planned training with your current research project;
- List of your publications (if applicable).
B Additional documents to accompany your application
- Certificates (photocopies) of all examinations (e.g. PhD, MSc, BSc, MD);
- University entrance qualification or high school-leaving exam certificate (photocopy);
- Letter of acceptance – signed and on official letterhead – from the supervisor of the host laboratory stating that the host institute will cover the research-related costs; alternatively: letter of acceptance from the organizers of the scientific course including details of tuition fees and other costs;
- Letter of recommendation – signed and on official letterhead – from the supervisor of your current research projectincluding his/her statement that your salary will be continued during the envisaged training;
- Evidence of expenses (supporting documents, no links) for travel issued by a travel agent and/or internet agency, for economic student housing and – if applicable – for course fees.
Selection of Travel Grants
The main criterion for approval or rejection of an application for a travel grant is the scientific quality of the application, reflected by the applicant’s achievements to date (e.g. grades), the originality of the current and planned research projects, and the scientific standard of the laboratories in which the applicant is presently working and where he/she is planning to work.
Once the application is received, it is carefully examined which may include the consultation of an external expert (peer review). The entire selection procedure takes about 6 weeks. Once a decision is reached, the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds informs the applicant immediately.
Please note that, due to the large and ever-increasing number of applications, reasons for approval or rejection cannot be given.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Travel Grants
Is there an application deadline?
No, applications for travel grants may be submitted at any time, but must reach the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) at least 6 weeks before your proposed departure date.
Does BIF support conferences, symposia or the presentation of own papers?
No, these are reimbursed for BIF’s PhD fellowship holders only.
Does the travel grant include registration fees for courses?
Yes, registration fees for courses are included.
Which nationalities are supported?
We support any nationality, provided the following criteria are met: you are a citizen of an overseas country (e.g. USA, India, China) who pursues the project in Europe, or you are a European citizen. The latter applies to citizens from all European countries, including the states of the former Soviet Union, Turkey and Israel. For example, we support French or German citizens when they use the travel grant to work e.g. in France, Germany, the UK or the USA. We support e.g. Indian or Chinese citizens or citizens from North and South America when they use the travel grant to work in a European country.
Can a travel grant be used in all European countries?
Yes, there is no restriction within Europe.
Are bench fees provided?
No, bench fees are not provided.
When and how is the granted money transferred?
Upon approval of the travel grant, the money is usually transferred to a bank account named by the applicant. Bank details can be sent via e-mail, fax or surface mail. We require the name and address of the bank, bank code number and account number. If the bank is outside Germany, we also require its complete SWIFT and IBAN numbers.
Due to difficulties in the past, we do not transfer money to certain countries. In such cases, the granted sum will be transferred to a European bank account named by the supervisor/host institution. They will then assist the applicant with the travel costs.
What is the procedure if the departure date is postponed?
Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org informing us why the trip was postponed, and let us know the new departure date.
How often does BIF award a travel grant to the same scientist?
It is possible to be awarded more than one travel grant. However, only one travel grant will be awarded within a period of 12 months.
Can a travel grant be extended, and if so, how often?
A travel grant can be extended provided that its total duration does not exceed 3 months.
Can the final report be submitted via e-mail?
Yes, we accept an e-mail version of the final report