Here you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions

When does the next application round begin? How much is my scholarship? 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?

Due to the corona pandemic, there will be considerably less workstations in the library available in 2021. The Institute’s management have therefore decided to suspend the awarding of scholarships for 2021 until further notice. Accordingly, for the time being, we cannot accept scholarship applications. When the Institute returns to offering scholarships, we will inform you immediately here.

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 law and gender studies
  • Comparative Legal Methodology
  • European Contract Law, especially Sale of Goods Law
  • Comparative Succession Law (Europe and other continents)
  • Partnership Law
  • Close corporations
  • Company Valuation Law
  • Family and Succession Law in Islamic countries
  • Procedural Law in Islamic countries
  • Comparative and International Private Law in Islamic countries
  • Chinese civil law codification and Chinese civil procedure law
  • Japanese Company Law, Capital Markets Law and procedural law
  • 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 is the scholarship amount?

As of 2016, the scholarship funding is paid out according to academic qualification

  • For doctoral students € 1365.00 / month
  • Advanced researchers between € 2100.00 / month and € 3000.00 / month

Please note that categories will be allocated only once the application has been decided. (Amounts current at September 2015; subject to change)

Can I receive additional funds/ supplementary payments?

Under certain circumstances, a supplementary payment may be made into your health insurance. You will receive more information on this after your application has been approved.

Will my travel expenses be reimbursed?

Travel expenses to and from Hamburg will not be reimbursed.

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 post-doctoral and other researchers currently furthering their education,
  • Foreign professors and other scholars with the required academic background.

How often can I apply?

You may apply once a year for a scholarship. Applicants that have already applied in the first round of submission in any year cannot be considered in the second round of submission for the respective year. In this case, you may apply again in the following year.

How do I apply?

Applications can only be submitted via the Online-Portal. This is open during the two application periods - April/May to August and October/November to January. Applications can only be submitted during these intervals. Applications sent via email will not be accepted.

What documentation do I require?

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


Do I need to specify a time frame for my desired stay?

Yes. The Institute expressly asks you to specify a time frame of maximum three months: for example for 2020: 01.02.2020 – 30.04.2020 or 01.05.2020 – 30.06.2020.

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?

Please contact our Welcome Center for any questions and further information. The contact person for questions related to the application procedure is Mrs Carina Schmidt. She can be contacted by email at: . For questions related to travel planning and your stay at the Institute, please contact Mrs Barbara Schröder: .

Do I need health insurance?

Yes. Visiting fellows are not insured through the Max Planck Institute. We recommend to either extend your existing insurance to cover your stay, or to take out a special insurance policy. You must present proof of adequate health insurance coverage on the commencement of your scholarship at the latest. You will receive further information on health insurance with the letter of approval sent with your scholarship grant authorisation.

Can the Institute help me to apply for a visa?

Yes. We are happy to issue you with a Letter of Invitation for your visa application, please let us know via email at: .

Do I need to register officially with the Hamburg authorities?

Yes. You need to register your address for any stay in Hamburg that lasts for over three months. You can find more information on the official requirements on the homepage of the Hamburg City Welcome Centre.

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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