Here you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions

When does the next application round begin? How do I apply? Do I need to have health insurance? The answers to these and other questions can be found here.

Questions regarding the Scholarship program

When does the next round of applications start?

At present, there are no plans for a second application round for 2024.

To what extent must my research correspond to the work of the Institute?

Your research must correspond to the academic interests of the Institute. Please indicate this correlation in your application, as well as listing the names of any researchers at our Institute with whom you would like to discuss your research. A general interest in our Institute and our library is not sufficient grounds for your application to be approved.

What are the core areas of research?

You can find a general overview of the areas of research for our Institute here.

For the current round of applications, be advised that the Institute is currently involved in research in the following areas:

  • Private international law and international civil procedure
  • Theory and history of private international law
  • Conflict of laws as a regulatory mechanism
  • Private international law in Africa
  • Comparative Succession Law (Europe and other continents)
  • Uniform Private Law
  • Decolonial comparative law
  • Private International Law and Gender Studies
  • Comparative Legal Methodology
  • European Contract Law, especially Sale of Goods Law
  • Electronic commerce and digital market
  • Comparative Succession Law (Europe and other continents)
  • Partnership Law
  • Close corporations
  • Company Valuation Law
  • Middle European Private Law
  • Family and Succession Law in Turkey (International Private Law and comparative law)
  • Family and Succession Law in Islamic countries
  • Procedural Law in Islamic countries
  • Comparative and International Private Law in Islamic countries
  • Chinese Civil Code and Chinese civil procedure law
  • Japanese Company Law, Capital Markets Law and procedural law
  • Role of Comparative Law in Japan
  • Korean Family Law

Applications are also possible for projects that are thematically related to any of the other focal points of institute research.

Please note that the research areas Intellectual Property, Procedural Law, Social Law and Public International Law are investigated primarily at other Max Planck Institutes. If your research topic entails references to one of these research areas, please provide a separate explanatory statement of why you think that our Institute is the appropriate institution for your research.

What should I do if I receive funds in addition to the scholarship?

Any additional income received from third parties must be disclosed to the Institute administration, and may, where appropriate, be deducted from the scholarship amount paid by the Max Planck Society.

Do I have to be able to speak German?

You are not required to speak German in order to obtain a scholarship. We do however assume that you have a level of proficiency in German, English or French that will enable you to integrate into the Institute community. You must also be proficient in the language required for your research, or clarify how you intend to obtain information from foreign language sources on your target jurisdictions.

Questions regarding the application

Who can apply?

The following applicants will be considered:

  • Foreign doctoral students
  • Foreign Postdocs
  • Foreign Scientists with their own research profile whose doctorate was completed less than 12 years ago and who hold a position as assistant professor or Junior Research Group Leader or who can demonstrate several years of independent scientific work
  • W3 professors and full professors, Directors or Institute Managers

How do I apply?

Applications can only be submitted via the Online-Portal. The portal is open for the current application round until the given application deadline. Applications can be submitted during that period only. Applications sent by email cannot be considered.

Which documents do I need for my application?

ou will find a list of the required documentation here. There is also a checklist to download that will help you in your preparations.

How do I send in the documents?

The documents can be sent in using our Online-Portal. Please find more information on that here.

Can I send Letters of Recommendation via email?

Yes. You can either upload your letters of recommendation to our Online-Portal or send them via email to . Only sealed letters of recommendation may be sent by your referee by post to the Scholarship Administration. Please be advised that we do not accept full applications sent via email. Additionally, please note that the deadlines also apply to sealed letters of recommendation sent by post. Letters of recommendation received after the application deadline has closed will not be accepted.

Sealed letters of recommendation can be sent by you or your referee by post to:

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Scholarship Administration

Mittelweg 187

20148 Hamburg


In the case of a positive application result, may I definitely visit the Institute in the period that I requested in my application?

We will do our best to meet your request. We ask for your understanding, however, that we cannot guarantee a workstation for the period requested in the application .

When will my application be decided? How will I be advised?

You will be advised about the status of your application approximately 8-10 weeks after applications have closed. The decision will be communicated to the applicant initially by email, and subsequently by post.

Other questions

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

For questions regarding the scholarship program or related to travel planning and your stay at the Institute, please contact Mrs Barbara Schröder: .

Do I need health insurance?

Yes. Health insurance is compulsory for a stay in Germany. The insurance must cover the entire period of your stay. Depending on the length of your stay and your personal needs, it may be advisable for you to obtain travel health insurance or insurance with more comprehensive coverage. Proof of sufficient health insurance must be submitted at the commencement of your scholarship. If you receive a scholarship from the Institute, please take note of the information on health insurance that accompanies your scholarship letter.

Please read further helpful information on health insurance for researchers from abroad on the homepage of Euraxess.

No other insurance is legally required for your stay. Depending on the length of stay and your personal needs, it may be advisable for you to take out private liability insurance or accident insurance.

Can the Institute help me to apply for a visa?

Yes. We are happy to provide you with a Hosting Agreement for your visa application. Please let us know via email to: .

Do I need to register officially with the Hamburg authorities?

If you plan to stay in Hamburg for more than 3 months, you will have to register your address within 2 weeks after your arrival. You can find more information on the official requirements on the homepage of the Hamburg City Welcome Centre.

Even if your stay is shorter than 3 months, registering your residence may be useful, for example for the opening of an account at a local bank.

Where can I find more information to help me prepare for my trip?

You can find further information to help you prepare for your journey at our Welcome Center.

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