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Going abroad during the doctorate

International mobility

Successful research and scientific careers increasingly require global networks. Whether international conferences or longer research stays – the Graduate Center advises doctoral researchers on planning and funding for international mobility.

Stays abroad during the doctorate are an elementary component of an academic career and enable the development of a global network. Doctoral researchers can obtain feedback for their research project from international experts, do research in unique archives, or work on special large-scale facilities. Regardless of their own career goals, international experience also makes a valuable contribution to personal development.

The Graduate Center advises doctoral researchers on planning, provides them with information on funding opportunities, and supports them in applying for scholarships.

Which stays abroad are possible?

You can differentiate stays abroad during the doctorate according to type and duration. A useful distinction is that between conferences, teaching, and research stays.

Active participation in conferences is an important element of the doctorate. Doctoral researchers receive feedback on their research project from experts in their field and build up an international network.

In order to finance travel and accommodation costs and, if necessary, participation fees, you can first contact your supervisor or your Department.

However, we recommend that you apply for external travel grants, as successful application will be an award for your research. The most flexible program for financing conference participation is the DAAD-Kongressreisenprogramm (“DAAD Congress Travel Program”, in German only. Program will resume in March 2023).

Are you planning to participate in a conference, are you looking for suitable funding, or would you like to have feedback on your application? The Graduate Center TU Dortmund will be happy to support you. Simply contact Dr. Benjamin Brast (on parental leave) or Fabian Brinkmann.

Teaching visits enable a short stay abroad with comparatively little planning effort. You can gain teaching experience in an international environment and present your ideas for discussion in doctoral colloquia. You can use the existing networks of your Department to establish contacts.

  • Teaching mobility: Through the EU program Erasmus+, academic staff of the TU Dortmund University can teach at guest universities abroad. These teaching visits of several weeks offer the opportunity to gain experience in other university cultures and to establish international contacts. You can find all information on requirements and the application process on the website of the International Office (Erasmus Teaching Staff Mobility).
  • Internships: Through the EU program Erasmus+, doctoral researchers at the TU Dortmund University can receive financial support for internships abroad. For example, an internship at a research institution in an Erasmus member state can be supported. You can find all information about requirements and the application process on the website of the International Office (Erasmus Scholarships).

If you are interested in applying for a Erasmus+ program, the International Office is happy to provide you with further information.

Research stays of several months abroad enable a guest doctorate at a renowned university as well as the exchange and networking with experts in your own field. In addition, you can also use stays abroad for field research, or to access archives as well as large-scale equipment.

Long-term planning and good coordination with the supervisor(s) is the prerequisite for an international research stay. The acquisition of an external fellowship not only makes it possible to finance the trip and the stay, but is also an important building block for a scientific career.

There are a variety of funding programs for international research stays. A good starting point for your search for funding is the search engine of the Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienstes (DAAD) (“German Academic Exchange Service”, in German only), which offers comprehensive information on financing international conference attendance or longer stays.

Are you planning a stay abroad during your doctorate? The Graduate Center TU Dortmund will be happy to advise you on planning and financing. Simply contact Dr. Benjamin Brast.

After completing your doctorate, there are many opportunities to finance a stay abroad as a postdoc via third-party funding. You can find information and advice on this on the website of the Research Support Services.

International Network of the TU Dortmund University

Doctoral researchers can benefit from the TU Dortmund University's international network. The university cooperates in many ways with universities all over the world. As part of the University Alliance Ruhr, the TU Dortmund University is represented by the liaison offices in New York and Moscow.

The TU Dortmund University is part of a worldwide network of universities and research institutions. It maintains diverse partnerships with universities in the USA. In addition to student and researcher exchanges, there are also a large number of research co-operations. The excellent relationships with universities in the United States and the very good numbers of student exchanges are a unique selling point of the TU Dortmund University within North Rhine-Westphalia.

If you are interested in a research stay at a partner university, the International Office will be happy to support you.

The two liaison offices of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) New York and Eastern Europe / Central Asia carry the strengths of the Ruhr Area as a location for research and study all over the world. In a short time, they have initiated numerous exchange and scholarship programs as well as scientific cooperation, thus making a valuable contribution to the international orientation of the Ruhr region.

If you are interested in a stay abroad in the USA, Eastern Europe, or Central Asia our liaison offices will be happy to support you – for example, in establishing contacts or providing information on financing options.

For further information, please visit the website of the International Office.

Further services for doctoral researchers