Who can apply for a travel grant

Applicants for a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) travel grant must currently pursue an experimental project in basic biomedical research aimed at elucidating basic biological phenomena of human life and acquiring new scientific knowledge.

We fund PhD students or medical students during their doctoral thesis as well as postdocs. In addition, we support research visits of graduates who have applied for a PhD project abroad, but who have not yet worked with their potential PhD supervisor (hereafter called PhD candidates).

We award travel grants to European citizens working in Europe and overseas, and to non-European citizens who perform their MD, PhD or postdoctoral project in Europe, or will use the travel grant to work in Europe. 

When do we fund you

The travel grants are aimed at junior scientists. Therefore, your eligibility depends on when you received your university entrance qualification (see also documents for application and FAQs):

  • For PhD and MD students as well as graduates, it must not have been obtained more than 11 years (i.e.132 months) prior to the planned research visit
  • For postdocs, it must not have been obtained more than 13 years (i.e. 156 months) prior to the planned research visit.

From Hannover to Boston

"I highly recommend this kind of laboratory visit to everyone during their PhD project. It is not simply beneficial for the project and a new experience, but also made my decision to do a postdoc outside Germany easier. I found it also very encouraging that 80% of my laboratory colleagues at Harvard Medical School had young children and that the women were still working with the help of their partners and private day-carers."

Imke Schulte, former travel grant awardee

We do not fund

  • Research stays of more than three months duration
  • Attendance of conferences, symposia, and workshops without practical training (if you are a BIF PhD or MD fellow, please refer to the respective sections on What we offer PhD or What we offer MD)
  • Clinical electives or practical courses during university education
  • Clinical studies
  • Applied research, such as diagnostic, biotechnological and pharmaceutical development (e.g. optimization and screening of therapeutically active substances), or studies on the course of diseases or the treatment of symptoms
  • Botanical and prokaryotic investigations unless they are of general biological importance
  • Attendance of courses organized by companies.
  • The travel grants cannot be used to supplement inadequate funding from other institutions or earned incomes, to bridge temporary financial difficulties, or to complete investigations already sponsored by other sources or institutions.

For further examples, please see What we fund and do not fund.

We fund

We support short-term experimental projects in basic biomedical research, including in silico projects.

For examples of funded projects, please see What we fund and do not fund or browse the summaries of completed PhD projects in Futura, the BIF's international journal.

If you are still unsure, whether your planned project is within our funding scope, please send a half-page summary of your project to secretariat(at)bifonds.de in a PDF file or embedded in the email.

We only fund participation in courses with at least 50 % practical work, for example EMBL/EMBO courses.

Conditions apply

Please carefully read the Travel Grant programme conditions and FAQs to learn more about benefits and obligations.