1. Find your ideal research position
If you would like to continue working as a researcher after having earned a doctoral degree, a postdoc position is a logical career step. The postdoc phase in Germany is regarded as qualification gaining further experience in research, teaching and developing other skills. Postdoctoral researchers may be employed by the University of Stuttgart as research associates on a temporary basis. An employed research associate is usually expected to hold seminars and/or support doctoral students. It is also possible to carry out postdoctoral research as a vistiting researcher. In this case the stay is usally financed by a fellowship or grant. Fellowship-holders are usually able to fully concentrate on their own research project.
A stay as a visiting researcher or professor can last from one month to more than a year. Visiting researchers are not employed at the University of Stuttgart. A research stay as a visiting researcher however might enable you to realize your own research project or can be organized within the context of an international partnership. If you want to work as a visiting researcher at the University of Stuttgart, contact a professor of an institute of your interest. If you and the institute agree on a topic as well as on a certain period of time, the institute will invite you to join the University of Stuttgart as a visiting researcher.
If you are employed by the University of Stuttgart, you will receive a monthly salary. Please notice that income tax, contributions to statutory health insurance as well as to other statutory social security schemes, will automatically be deducted from your gross salary.
If you come as a visiting scholar, there are different possibilities to fund your research stay in Germany: public sector funding, EU funding, industry funding, as well as funding by foundations and scholarship organisations. A detailed overview is given on the websites of Research in Germany. While the first three funding sources usually finance large-scale research projects, the latter finance research stays of individual persons.
The best-known research funding organisations are the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Further research programms can be found on the pages of ELFI (ELektronische ForschungsförderInformationen).
The amount one receives through fellowships and grants to do research work as a postdoc or visiting researcher depends on the researcher’s status and career level as well as on the funding organization. A fellowship is usually sufficient to make a living in Germany. Supplementary allowances for getting adequate health insurance, benefits for children or grants for participating in conferences are usually given upon request. As a scholarship-holder you are usually not obliged to pay tax.
If you come to do research at the University of Stuttgart within the context of an international collaboration between your home institution and our university, temporary stays are usually financed by means granted by the collaboration program.
Of course it is also possible to finance your stay by other means, e.g. through your salary from your home institute/university or by a grant from your home country. If so, please make sure that it is sufficient to support your costs of living in Stuttgart.
2. Preparatory Adminstrative Steps
All citizens from the EU as well as citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not require a visa to enter Germany nor a work permit to take up work.
Non-EU citzens require a visa to do research in Germany. The application for a researcher's visa must be filed at the German embassy or consulate office of your home country or the country where you live at present. Even for Non-EU citizens who are allowed to enter Germany without visa (e.g. USA, Canada, South Korea, Australia, etc.) and apply for a researcher's visa with the local authorities, we strongly recommend to apply for a visa at the embassy while still being in abroad*. To apply for a researcher's visa you will need - among other documents - a so-called Hosting Agreement. The Hosting Agreement is a formal agreement which is issued by the University of Stuttgart and needs to signed by the rector of the International Office, the head of your institute and yourself. Please check the website of the German embassy or consulate office of your home country/country of residence to find out what other documents are necessary for a reseacher's visa and make a timely appointment there.
* Please note that if you enter Germany without visa, you cannot start to work until the local Foreigners' Registration Office has issued a residence permit - a procedure which might take up to 12 weeks.
To find a suitable and reasonably priced apartement can be quite time consuming. We therefore recommend to book a hostel, a low-budget hotel or short-term apartment for the first weeks of your stay.
The University of Stuttgart runs a guest house (Gastdozentenhaus) for international researchers. Ask your institute to book an apartment for you for your first time in Stuttgart. Please note that you cannot book yourself, booking needs to be done through your institute.
If the guest house is fully booked, please check the following links:
We recommend to take out travel insurance while you are still at home for the time of your journey and the first weeks in Stuttgart.
Please note: It is mandatory to take out a either statutory German health insurance or a private health insurance (depending on whether you will be employed or work as a visiting researcher) once you have arrived. The Welcome Center will assist you in finding a suitable one for you and your family.
- Passport and/or ID card (with visa)
- cash and/or credit card with which you can get cash at an ATM
- Hosting Agreement
- Proof of academic qualifications (certificates of university degrees)
- Marriage certificate, birth certficates and school certificates of your children
- Fellowship Letter/Award or other proof of how you will finance your stay (if you will not be employed)
- Medicine that you need to take regularly (enough for the time until you can see a doctor in Germany)
- Spare pair of glasses (glasses are very expensive in Germany and are not covered by health insurance)
3. Registration at the Welcome Center
We will be happy to help you with the preparations for your stay in Stuttgart. We therefore kindly request you to fill in and send us the following online form. This allows us to offer you personalized services according to your needs.