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Flexible Funds

Flexible Funds are provided by the Division of International Affairs to establish research and teaching projects with international partners at Freie Universität Berlin.

Furthermore, Freie Universität Berlin offers topical funding calls with strategic partners and special programs, e.g. within the university network Una Europa. Details are announced in the Division's newsletter and on its website

Funding Goals

Flexible Funds further support the goals and measures set out in Freie Universität Berlin’s International Strategy, for example:

  • Initiating new contacts (bilateral, multilateral, with strategic partners or within the Una Europa network)
  • Seed funding for international research projects
  • Seed funding for international teaching projects, e.g. COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning, more information at https://www.fu-berlin.de/en/international/profile/teaching/coil/index.html)
  • Projects to improve international services
  • Additional support for conferences at Freie Universität Berlin of up to 5.000€ financed primarily (min. 60%) by third party funds (e.g. German Research Foundation (DFG) etc.)

Examples for possible funding are short-term stays for researchers from Freie Universität Berlin seeking to initiate or expand partnerships abroad related to research or teaching. Short-term grants are also open to international guests involved in long-term research partnerships with Freie Universität Berlin.

Foreign stays of doctoral researchers are limited to projects, which serve the establishment or support of collaborative research initiatives within or across departments. Further funding information for doctoral researchers can be found on the website of Dahlem Research School

We do not support:
•    Travel to international conferences which are not directly related to an existing cooperation project
•    Translations of academic publications
•    Conference travel for doctoral researchers
•    Honoraria for researchers

Researchers based at other German universities or non-university research organizations can participate in projects but must cover their own costs.

Application process

Funding applications can be submitted by professors and junior research group leaders as well as heads of central and administrative departments and libraries of Freie Universität Berlin. There is no formal deadline. Please hand in applications at least two month before the proposed start of the project. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that a decision is taken in time for the project start. 

> Application Form Flexible Funds

Applicants are required to submit a project report to the Center for International Cooperation within six weeks of project completion. This report must clearly address the results of the goals set out in the application.

Additional Information

  • Members of Freie Universität Berlin traveling abroad: When estimating accommodation costs for your stay abroad, please keep in mind the funds limit set by the German Travel Expenses Act (Bundesreisekostengesetz) and plan on booking something under that amount. If funding is approved, the exact amount of funds available to you will be determined by the travel costs unit of Division I: Personnel.
  • Hosting guests from abroad: The Division of International Affairs can reimburse up to 70 euros for an overnight stay excluding the cost of breakfast without further explanation. If the actual cost of your overnight stay exceeds 70 euros, you must provide an explanation for the full amount to be reimbursed. Please note that funding does to extend to reimbursement of honoraria or daily expenses.
  • Catering costs can only be covered to a limited extent (for example during breaks). When applying for catering costs, please explain this funding is necessary. The catering guidelines of Freie Universität apply. Catering costs should not exceed more than 30% of the total amount of funding being requested.

Please note that the Division of International Affairs will evaluate your application thoroughly. In case of approval, you will receive the agreed-upon funding; however, the center cannot assist in organizing or carrying out the approved project.


Bertram Welker,

+49 30 838 739 42