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International Doctoral Researchers

You're planning to pursue doctoral research at our university? Congratulations on this decision and welcome to Bayreuth! In order to enable you to start your doctoral studies with peace of mind, we aim to provide you with a full range of support! Here you will find all the most important information you'll need.

Support offered by Welcome ServicesHide

Welcome Services provides support and advice in almost all matters before, during and after the stay of international doctoral candidates and scholars at the University of Bayreuth - be it assistance in finding accommodations, extending their residence permit or finding suitable childcare. In addition, various events are organized, from a monthly get-together to the 'International Lounge' events. Current dates can always be found in the calendar of events of the International Office.

In order to be able to support new international doctoral candidates in all matters, registration in the Welcome Services database is necessary.

Visa Application and ImmigrationHide

An important first step for many international doctoral students from so-called third countries is to apply for a visa at the German embassy in their home country. The Federal Foreign Office provides general information and an initial overview. Before applying for a visa, comprehensive information on the various types of visa and residence permits should be obtained!

We highly recommend researching the regulations and requirements as well as the appointment schedule regarding the visa as early as possible. The international Office of the University of Bayreuth is not able to schedule appointments or inquiry about the status of the visa at the diplomatic missions.

Funding your ResearchHide

Doctoral candidates must independently seek adequate funding during their stay in Germany. There are various possibilities for this, and one should inform oneself thoroughly before travelling to Bayreuth.

Employment at the University of Bayreuth

Since some doctoral projects are closely related to specific projects and research, some research groups decide to employ their doctoral candidates within the framework of such projects and research. This is usually initiated by the chair and confirmed by an official letter. This letter should also be brought to the embassy when applying for a visa, in order to apply for the correct visa. It is important to note that an employment contract in Germany can only be signed with a valid visa that allows for gainful employment!

Details regarding employment should always be discussed with the relevant chair. Welcome Services is happy to help you fill out the employment documents, which will be sent to you by the Human Resources Department. Please contact Welcome Services directly!


It is also possible to finance the doctoral project with a scholarship. Since scholarship applications often have a few months' lead time, it is advisable to find out about various possibilities and send applications at a very early stage.

The central German scholarship database can be found at the DAAD. Especially for short stays, funding in the form of a scholarship from the home university or a short-term project is often possible.

The International Office of the University of Bayreuth also offers a scholarship for international doctoral students. Due to its small size, however, it is by no means sufficient to finance the doctorate!

Your own funding

Another possibility is self-financing. In this case, it is essential to ensure that sufficient funds are available to apply for and extend visas (detailed information on this can be found on the websites of the relevant embassy). As a rule, these funds must be deposited in a blocked account and must therefore be proven.

If the doctoral project is financed by one's own funds, the financing for the entire period should be clarified before the beginning in order to avoid problems during the course of the doctorate.

 The website Research in Germany provides a more detailed overview of the above-mentioned possibilities as well as other useful information on financing a doctoral project in Germany.

Tips on Finding AccommodationHide

The housing market in Bayreuth can be particularly tense during the summer months (due to the Richard Wagner Festival) and at the start of the semester. Therefore, it is advisable to register in the Welcome Services database as soon as possible and also to start searching on your own.

The following provides an overview of the housing costs which can be expected at least for furnished accommodations in Bayreuth (total rent including electricity):

  • SWO dormitory: €175 - €300/month (depending on dormitory and type of room)
  • Private dormitory: €300 - €550/month
  • One-room apartment: from € 400/month
  • Room in a shared flat: from € 280/month

It should be noted that SWO dormitory rooms are only rented to enrolled students without a contract of employment at the university!

This website mainly lists providers of dormitory rooms, but also online portals offering furnished shared rooms and smaller apartments.

For further listings, especially larger apartments, the following websites are recommended:

Especially for short stays (less than six months), it is often difficult to find private accommodations. The following options are specifically designed for shorter rental periods:

Welcome Services will be happy to make a non-binding reservation request for the above-mentioned accommodations.

Travelling and Important Public HolidaysHide

Bayreuth can be reached by train or bus from all major airports within Germany. This website gives an overview over all methods of transportation, times and prices from the different airports and train stations to Bayreuth. Within Bayreuth, we recommend using the app of the local bus network (called VGN) as this generally shows the most reliable connections.

The Welcome Services as well as all other administrative bodies are only open during the weekdays (Monday to Friday). Supermarkets and other stores in Bavaria are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

City Registration Office and Foreigners AuthorityHide

An important step after the arrival in Bayreuth is the registration with the city registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt). This registration has to be done within 14 days after moving into the apartment. For the registration, only the passport as well as a document signed by the landlord (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) is necessary. We recommend making an appointment or arriving at the office early in the morning to minimize the waiting time. The registration is not necessary, if the planned stay is no longer than three months.

Doctoral candidates from third countries, which did not need a visa to enter Germany or got a visa for a limited time, have to make an appointment with the foreigners’ authority to get a permanent residence permit. In order to make an appointment, international students should send an email with the important information (name, country of origin, purpose of stay and if applicable a picture of the current visa) to the foreigners authority in Bayreuth. In general, they will send back a list of documents, which need to be brought to the appointment.


Anyone entering Germany with a visa must prove that they are covered by insurance in the event of illness. Germany's statutory health insurance providers cover the costs of medical treatment, medication, hospital stays and preventive care. Health insurance contributions are paid by employees and employers. Employees, apprentices and students are subject to obligatory health insurance. Anyone who is not subject to this legal obligation can take out insurance with a private health insurance company or, under certain conditions, select a statutory health insurance provider via the "freiwillig" option.

For foreign doctoral researchers, this means that they are automatically covered by health insurance if they have an employment contract. All others must arrange their own health insurance (usually with a private health insurance company). The use of another European health insurance policy is only possible in exceptional cases. In any case, this must be checked with the employer or scholarship provider.

Statutory health insurance via your employer

Doctoral researchers who receive an employment contract at the University of Bayreuth must sign up with a statutory health insurance provider. The insurance premium depends on the income level and is transferred directly by the employer to your health insurance provider.

Statutory health insurance as an enrolled student

Enrolled students - including doctoral students if they have not yet reached the age of 30 - can be insured with a statutory health insurance provider as students and thus pay a lower premium. This premium is fixed by law and is currently around €105 per month.

European students who have a European Health Insurance Card can use it to exempt themselves from German statutory health insurance. However, this is not recommended if you are planning to stay for an extended period of time, as the insurance coverage is often not fully guaranteed. Exemption from the German health insurance through a European Health Insurance Card is only possible in this case, but not with the other possibilities listed!

Opting for a statutory health insurance provider

Even if you are not covered by statutory health insurance via your employer or as a student, you may choose to sign up with a statutory health insurance provider. This is usually somewhat expensive ( premiums start at about €180 per month), but offers all the insurance coverage of a statutory health insurance provider, which is significantly higher than with private health insurance.

Private health insurance

Doctoral researchers who do not have the option of joining a statutory health insurance scheme must take out a private insurance policy. For these cases there are specially tailored offers, for example CareConcept or mawista, which can be arranged quickly and easily online. It should be noted that only certain policies from these providers are accepted by the Foreigners Office/ Student Administration Office - Welcome Services is happy to provide you with information on the relevant options!

People staying in Germany for an extended period or renting a furnished apartment should think about getting private liability insurance – some landlords even require this prior to signing a rental contract. More information can be found here.

Administrative Aspects of your Doctoral ProjectHide

A doctorate at the University of Bayreuth also involves some administrative aspects, especially at the beginning when it comes to registering your doctoral project or enrolling as a doctoral student. The following page explains the exact procedure in detail. Make sure to complete the steps in the order given below!

Besides the registration of the doctoral project and the application and enrolment as a doctoral student, all doctoral researchers have the opportunity to become a member of the University of Bayreuth Graduate School.

Language coursesHide

There are several opportunities to learn German during your stay in Bayreuth, both at the University and at various external institutions.

The Language Centre offers both registered doctoral students and guest students the opportunity to learn German. Information on registration and courses can be found here and special information for guest students (i.e. all university members who are not enrolled as students and who would like to attend language courses) can be found here. The language courses are free of charge for enrolled students, guest students pay around €200 per semester.

Further weekly language courses are offered by the Volkshochschule Bayreuth. A more intensive programme is offered by the Institute for International Communication and Foreign Cultural Work.

Childcare and SchoolsHide

The city of Bayreuth has a large number of daycare facilities, primary schools and secondary schools to ensure that all families are adequately provided for.

In particular for families that have just moved into the city, it can often be difficult to find suitable childcare at first. As of 2020, all families centrally register their children online for a childcare place in a nursery or pre-school. This should be done at least three months before the desired start date. Often there may be longer waiting periods, especially if the requested start date is during the current school year (beginning of September to the end of August the following year).

All children aged 6 to 15 are required to attend school in Germany. Up to the fourth grade, all children attend primary school, after which they are divided among the secondary schools. The primary school your child attends usually depends on your place of residence - some schools offer special programmes for children who do not yet have a strong command of German. For more information, please contact Welcome Services.

In addition to the public primary schools, Bayreuth also has an international primary school that is particularly suitable for children who have little or no knowledge of German. As this is a private institution, the school does charge a fee. Further details are available on the school's website.

University Service CentresHide

The University of Bayreuth offers an extensive range of services for students, researchers and staff. These include the Writing Centre, psychological counselling, the Equal Opportunities Department and the Career Service. If you would like to have more information, feel free to contact Welcome Services at any time. The staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you get in touch with any of these service centres.

Additional InformationHide

Explanations for all terms and expressions in the university environment are provided in our glossary Studying at the University of Bayreuth from A to Z.

The Studentenwerk Oberfranken (SWO) offers different services (i.e. legal advice or psychological counselling) free of charge for all students.

In addition to the International Student Organization (ESN), there are many other initiatives and organizations on campus.

The universities sports programme offers students, researchers and employees a large selection of sports courses.

Webmaster: Sabine Anders

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