Many of the following rules are required because the Wissenschaftskolleg is funded by public funds whose use the Rector must justify in accordance with the rules of public administration. The Rector concludes an individual agreement with each Fellow before his or her arrival that lays down the agreed specific conditions of the stay. This agreement is prepared by the Secretary of the Wissenschaftskolleg, who is available to answer any questions at any time.
The financial agreement aims to enable the invited Fellows to stay at the Wissenschaftskolleg without reducing their income. Since the Wissenschaftskolleg itself has limited funds, we involve Fellows’ home institutions in the negotiations in advance: All Fellows are therefore asked to persuade their home institutions or another institution or foundation to cover their salary entirely or in part.
- Experience shows that the most suitable solution is a leave of absence at full pay. As a rule, university professors are given a paid leave of absence from their home institution for the period of their activity at the Wissenschaftskolleg. If necessary, the Wissenschaftskolleg reimburses the Fellow’s home university for the costs of a substitute, usually up to the amount of 60,000 €. This substitution should, if possible, be regarded as an opportunity to provide younger scholars or scientists with teaching experience, using funds from the Wissenschaftskolleg.
- A Fellow’s home university can contribute by using a free semester or applying sabbatical credits.
- If the home institution cannot make a contribution, whether because of the salary structure in the home country or because of the Fellow’s individual situation, Fellows receive a stipend for the period of their stay in Berlin. A Fellow’s additional income and the income of his or her partner cannot be considered in this calculation. The stipend is tax-free in Germany as long as it does not exceed the last salary. It is up to the Fellows to determine whether this tax-free status is recognized in their home countries. To establish the amount of the stipend, the Wissenschaftskolleg requires written certification of the Fellow’s salary in the year before the fellowship.
For Fellows from research regions where the academic salary structures differ greatly from international standards, the Wissenschaftskolleg offers a stipend corresponding to the salary of a comparable position in Germany – minus any contribution that the home institution can make.
The fellowship from the Wissenschaftskolleg does not constitute an employment relationship. For this reason, the Wissenschaftskolleg is not obligated to make social insurance contributions and, accordingly, does not contribute to pension or unemployment insurance.
- If a Fellow’s home institution continues to pay his or her full salary during the Fellowship without asking for any reimbursement, the Wissenschaftskolleg will pay an additional stipend of 850 €/month. The same goes for Fellows for whom the Wissenschaftskolleg is required to provide only minor substitution costs (25% of the Fellow’s gross salary, at most).
- Emeritae and emeriti who come to the Wissenschaftskolleg with their full pension also receive a stipend of 850 €. Income earned from teaching assignments or the like after becoming an emeritus will be considered supplementary income and cannot be considered.
- If the home institution can cover only part of the salary, the Fellow receives a stipend from the Wissenschaftskolleg to compensate the difference between his or her previous salary and this partial salary; other details of the individual case are also taken into consideration.
- The Wissenschaftskolleg assumes the costs of the Fellows’ arrival and departure. Travel expenses for partners and children up to their 21st birthday who are still living in the household will be assumed – within certain limits – if the fellowship lasts at least 3 months. As a rule, flights will be booked and paid for by the Wissenschaftskolleg; if Fellows prefer to do their own booking, the Wissenschaftskolleg will reimburse the costs of the cheapest available economy class ticket. Fellows who arrive by car will be paid for their fuel costs at a flat rate of 0.20 € per kilometer. The costs of a train journey will be reimbursed up to a 2nd class ticket. Fellows residing at the Wissenschaftskolleg for a period of more than three months will be reimbursed for the costs of transporting working materials and luggage up to a maximum amount that depends on the home country and the number of family members accompanying the Fellow.
- All foreign Fellows are requested to clarify whether their health insurance plan will provide adequate coverage for the period of their stay abroad; EU citizens have Europe-wide health coverage with their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In cases where health insurance fails to guarantee adequate coverage, the Wissenschaftskolleg can insure Fellows and their accompanying family members through a group policy with EUROPA Health Insurance, AG.
- The Wissenschaftskolleg recommends that Fellows buy liability insurance that also covers possible damage to the rental apartment or its furnishings. The Fellow Services can help arrange such insurance after the Fellow’s arrival.