Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

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Online version Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts

Questions regarding the Scholarship program

When does the next round of applications start?

There are two rounds of submission each year for scholarship applications, with corresponding submission deadlines of 15 January and 15 August. Applications made in connection with the 15 August submission deadline may seek a scholarship for any period of time in the subsequent calendar year (e.g. 15 August 2018 application deadline corresponds to desired research stays any time in 2019). The 15 January submission deadline corresponds to scholarships for the second half of the same calendar year (e.g. 15 January 2019 application deadline corresponds to desired research stays between July and December 2019).

Applications for scholarships in 2020 can be submitted from now until 15.08.2019 via the online application portal.


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:

  • Comparative Legal Methodology
  • Uniform Private Law
  • European Contract Law, especially Sale of Goods Law
  • Partnership Law
  • Close Corporations
  • Company Valuation Law
  • Comparative Succession Law (Europe and other continents)
  • International Succession Law (especially the European Succession Regulation)
  • Family and Succession Law in Islamic countries
  • Procedural Law in Islamic countries
  • Comparative and International Private Law in Islamic countries
  • Chinese Product Liability Law, Family Law, Civil Procedure, Nonprofit Organisation Law, and Company Law
  • Korean Family Law
  • Japanese Company Law
  • Japanese Capital Markets Law

Applications are also possible for projects that are thematically related to any of the other focal points of Institute 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?

You will find a list of the required documentation under “How to Apply”. 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.


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
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 2019: 01.02.2019 – 30.04.2019 or 01.05.2019 – 30.06.2019.


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.



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 here: