Many of the following rules are necessitated by the fact that the Wissenschaftskolleg is funded primarily 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, based on the principle of “no gain, no loss”. 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 best 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 can reimburse the Fellow’s home university for the costs of a substitute – up to the amount of the Fellow’s salary or up to the maximum allowed by the Wissenschaftskolleg, whichever is lower. This substitution should, if possible, be regarded as an opportunity to provide younger scholars or scientists with teaching experience, using funds from the Wissenschaftskolleg.
- The Wissenschaftskolleg is aware that it is not always possible for the home institution to make such a contribution, whether because of the salary structure in the home country or because of the Fellow’s individual situation. In such cases, Fellows receive a stipend for the period of their stay in Berlin that is based on their prior salary or, if that is an unsuitable yardstick for conditions in Berlin, based on the salary of German academics. The stipend is tax-free in Germany. It is up to the Fellows to determine whether this tax-free status is recognized in their home countries. A Fellow’s additional income and the salaries of partners will not be included in the calculation. To establish the amount of the stipend, the Wissenschaftskolleg requires written certification of the Fellow’s salary in the year before assumption of the Fellowship.
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.
- Fellows who come to the Wissenschaftskolleg with their full salary or full pension receive an additional stipend of 750 €/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).
- If the home institution can cover only part of the salary (for example, for a sabbatical), 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 make 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 –, up to a maximum of 130 €. The costs of train tickets will be reimbursed.
Fellows residing at the Wissenschaftskolleg for a period of more than three months will be reimbursed a lump sum for the costs of transporting working materials and luggage; the sum will depend 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.