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Fellowship and grant programs that support international research visits

I’m spending this year (2017) as a visiting scientist at the University of Mainz (Germany) thanks to the support of a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. As a way to pay forward my good luck, I’ve made a list of sponsorship programs that host short- and long-term visits by international post-docs and faculty.

Some of these programs have a low profile online, which is one of the reasons I started the list in the first place. So for anybody planning a sabbatical or just wanting to kick-start a collaboration with researchers outside your home country, I hope you find a good match! And you know any similar programs that aren't listed, drop me a line and I'll add it on!

18.9.17 Updated to include links to the European Institutes for Advanced Studies

4.2.18 Added Lise Meitner Programme (Austria)


Lise Meitner Programme

The Lise Meitner training and career advancement programme seeks to attract highly qualified researchers from abroad to Austrian research institutions and research programmes, and to take targeted measures that provide them with a maximum of support in their research work and career development during the post-doc stage.

Value: 64-72,000 euros per year

Duration: 24 months


Aarhus University

To support visits by internationally acclaimed researchers who may help strengthen research and education at Aarhus University. Permanently employed researchers, with the rank of associate professor or higher, at Aarhus University may apply for funding of a guest researcher visit. The foundation accepts applications for visits by guest researchers of one to six months. The foundation only accepts applications for support for wages and travel expenses of the visiting scholar or for support of reasonable expenses in connection with the travel and visit. This means that both wages and subsistence expenses cannot be applied for. Subsistence expenses can maximum amount to the rate of hourly/daily allowances plus the rate of undocumented night work, compare the state rate for official trips.


Mercator fellowships

Fellowships enable intensive, long-term project-based collaboration between researchers from both domestic and foreign institutions. Although Mercator Fellows are on-site for only part of the project, they remain in contact with the project team members once their research stay is over. Foreign Mercator Fellowship holders are awarded the title of Mercator Fellows in recognition of their dedication. 


The Hungarian Academy of Sciences awards invitations to distinguished scientists to come to Hungary for the purpose of research work with HAS research groups at the institutes or research centres of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences or with HAS research groups at Hungarian universities, in order to foster their competitiveness.

Value: HUF 2.5 million per month

Duration: 3 to 12 months 


Visiting Researcher Fellowships, Universita di Roma

Sapienza promotes and encourages international research by facilitating joint research projects and regularly hosting visiting researchers and professors from leading foreign universities and research centres.

Value: €3000-5000/month 

Collegio Carlo Alberto

Visiting Research Fellowships are being offered to PhD-holding junior and senior scholars for a period of one to twelve months. Scholars who have not received a Visiting Research Fellowship in the previous five years are especially encouraged to apply. Visiting Fellows are expected to fully contribute to the exciting research life of the Collegio, by being in residence full-time at the Collegio, working on their research project(s), interacting scientifically with the Collegio's scholars, and attending seminars and lectures. The fellowship does not carry any teaching or administrative responsibilities. However, if a Visiting Fellow is interested in teaching a mini course or a seminar course, this can be arranged by mutual agreement. 

The Netherlands

Visiting Professors Programme

The Visiting Professors Programme enables outstanding foreign researchers to spend time working in the Netherlands. The programme acts as an incentive for Dutch science and scholarship. The Academy funds a research budget and covers the Visiting Professor’s travel and accommodation expenses. The Dutch university acts as the host organisation. Academy members, researchers at Academy institutes, members of The Young Academy, and Academy Professors may submit nominations for a Visiting Professorship. The submission deadline is 1 November 2016. The nomination form can be found on this page.

Value: €4000/month, €2000/month for housing, travel support

Duration: Maximum four months 

VIsitor's Grant

Researchers in the Netherlands can apply for a visitor's grant for highly qualified senior researchers from abroad who hold a PhD. With this grant these researchers can stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of four months. A visitor's grant is intended for the visit of a foreign researcher who makes an important contribution to a ongoing Dutch research project. The aim of the visitor’s grants is to facilitate the cooperation between Dutch and foreign researchers. This increases the knowledge about Dutch research in other countries and strengthens the expertise at the Dutch research group. 

Value: €2000/month, €1500 for international travel

Duration: Four months


Personal Visiting Researcher Grant

The Research Council awards grants to visiting researchers as a general framework grant to cover documented costs of settling in and other associated extra costs incurred in connection with a research visit abroad. Any surplus may be liable to taxation, and will be subject to assessment by the tax authorities. It is also possible to apply for funding to cover round-trip travel expenses (cheapest mode of travel) for the visiting researcher. Salary costs, when needed, will normally be covered by the host institution.

Value: Month 1, NOK 54,000/month; Month 2-12, NOK 30,000/month

Duration: 1-12 months 


International Short Visits

The scheme International Short Visits is aimed at researchers in Switzerland who wish to go abroad for a short period or researchers abroad who wish to collaborate with researchers in Switzerland. During the visit, they pursue a small joint research project. Short visits may last from one week to three months. There are no geographical and topical restrictions. The grants include travel, room and board expenses. The schemes "Scientific Conferences", "International Exploratory Workshops" and "International Short Visits" will be replaced with a new scheme called "Scientific Exchanges". Proposals to the new scheme can be submitted as of 4 April 2017. They need to be submitted at least four months before the planned event/visit. The "Scientific Exchanges" scheme enables researchers in Switzerland to organise scientific conferences and workshops as well as visits by Swiss researchers to other countries, or visits by researchers from abroad to Switzerland for one to six months. The scheme covers the travel, room and board expenses of participants in an event and of researchers who are on a research visit. Depending on the destination, different lumpsums are awarded to cover travel expenses. For room and board expenses, the support ranges from CHF 3000 - 3500 per month. 

United Kingdom

Newton International Fellowships

The scheme provides the opportunity for the best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years. The scheme covers the broad range of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. It also covers clinical and patient orientated research for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries.

Value: £24,000 per year, up to £8,000 per year for research costs

Duration: Two years 

Royal Society International Exchanges

This scheme is for scientists based in the UK (or US for the Kan Tong Po programme) who want to stimulate new collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel. The Standard Programme is available for travel to/from all countries outside the UK. The funding available is dependent upon the length of the visit. Applicants may request: (1) up to of £3,000 for one-off travel lasting up to 3 months; (2) up to £6000 for multiple visits to be completed within 1 year (including a maximum of £1000 for research expenses); (3) up to £12,000 for multiple visits to be completed within 2 years and cost share projects fixed at 2 years (including a maximum of £2000 for research expenses).

European Institutes for Advanced Studies

The EURIAS Fellowship Programme is an initiative of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study, which are housed by universities across Europe. The opportunities offered buy each Institute are quite different in terms of fellowship conditions: individual or collective fellowships; invitations or open calls for applications; one academic year residencies or shorter periods. Furthermore, they give emphasis to a host of thematic or geographical orientations, some are open to the natural and hard sciences while others are restricted to the humanities and social sciences, and some have special commitments to promoting early career researchers. 

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