Doctorate Abroad

A stay abroad during your doctorate can be of tremendous benefit to a research project. Many topics call for an international perspective.

Bi-national doctorate

A “bi-national doctorate” or “Cotutelle de thèse” (dual doctorate) is supervised by both a German and a foreign university under an individual cooperation agreement, allowing you to gain experience of two university and research systems. These agreements can be concluded with universities in any country in principle.

Planning and Funding

  • Discuss your plans with the supervisor of your doctoral thesis in Bonn and contact the relevant people at your chosen university abroad.
  • Find out about any rules that might be stipulated in your doctoral degree regulations.
  • Contact your doctoral office or dean’s office.
  • An individual agreement must be set up for your project. You can find a guide and a template for your agreement on the German Rectors’ Conference221.

The German Academic Exchange Service funds doctorates supervised bi-nationally. Several short visits can be made within a period of up to two years.

Learn more33

The French foreign ministry (MAE) developed the “Bourses d’Excellence Eiffel” (“Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program”) in 2005 to fund ten-month stays at French universities for highly talented doctoral students undertaking a “Cotutelle de thèse.”

Learn more44

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Valentin Antonucci von Pexels

Funding opportunities for stays abroad during your doctorate

Depending on your subject and where you would like to go, the University of Bonn provides various funding opportunities for stays abroad during your doctorate.

Funding opportunities

Erasmus+ offers doctoral students a wide range of funding opportunities:

Enrolled doctoral students:

  • Study visits at an Erasmus+ partner institution in Europe444 or world wide5555 of the department concerned.
  • Short term study visits4444 of 5 to 30 days (as from April 2022) at an Erasmus+ partner institution in Europe of the department concerned.
  • Doctoral students and recent-postdocs (i.e. up to one year after graduation): Research internships6666 of 2 to12 months or (as from April 2022) 5 to 30 days in Europe.

Doctoral students with employment status:

  • Teaching Staff Mobility7777: Short-time teaching assignments at an Erasmus+ partner institution in Europe of the department concerned.
  • Staff Mobility8888: Work shadowing at an university/ organisation in Europa for professional qualification.

Doctoral students can take up a place at the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

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The Bonn Graduate Center awards Santander International Exchange Grants to support research stays of one to three months duration at strategic university partners or in priority countries.

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The world’s largest funding organization for international exchanges for students and researchers offer various scholarships for doctoral students.

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Conference travels are a good opportunity to gain experience abroad during your doctorate. The University of Bonn supports your participation in international conferences with an own funding line. Further, there is great number of external funding organizations granting travel subsidies. An overview is available at the website of the Bonn Graduate Center.

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Certificate for Intercultural Competence

The Certificate of Intercultural Competence is an extracurricular qualification from the University of Bonn that recognizes international experience, participation in language courses and many other international activities with a formal certificate. Students can complete it in as many semesters as they like while they are still studying.


Avatar Scharf

Hannah Scharf

Study Abroad Advisory Service


Poppelsdorfer Allee 53

53115 Bonn (Germany)

+49 228 73-60613

Office hours

Please book an appointment via eCampus

  • Tuesday
    10:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Thursday
    01:30 pm - 04:00 pm

  • and by appointment
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