RUB Research School

Built up Your Own International Network

By Making Use of Our International Realization Budget (IRB)

Building up an international network and collecting international experience early during your doctorate is a crucial factor for your academic career and important for your further career steps beyond academia.

Research School supports your early independence by funding your internationalization activities. We award two prizes twice a year – the International Realization Budget (IRB). The IRB is a personal grant and enables our doctoral researchers to individually plan a long-term internationalization concept and to implement it throughout their whole doctorate.

Read more about the doctoral researchers who have been funded since 2020 and their projects and get inspired.


The IRB is a grant of 7.500 € that can be used for various kinds of international outgoing activities during the time of your doctorate:

  • research stays at international research institutions
  • field research
  • participation in international conferences, workshops, or summer schools

The IRB can be used exclusively for international activities. The budget covers costs for

  • travel
  • accommodation
  • visa
  • fees for conferences, summer schools, or workshops

Note that the IRB does not cover material costs, daily allowances (“Tagegelder”), or staff costs. In case you feel uncertain if your IRB can be used for a certain activity, please reach out to us at RUB Research School.

Does the IRB exclude me from applying for other funding of Research School?

No. However, you should spend your IRB first before you apply for a further outgoing funding of Research School. A remaining amount of the IRB would be settled against the funding requested in your application.

In case you are interested in inviting an international scientist to RUB, please submit a PR.INT application. You can also organize a scientific event at RUB as an IRB grantee and submit an application for PR.INT Event.

Who can apply for an IRB?

  •  Master students can apply within their final semester. If you have not been accepted as a doctoral researcher by your faculty yet, you have to submit a letter of your future supervisor confirming the supervision and the estimated start of the doctorate.
  • Doctoral researchers during their first year of the doctorate. The time between the acceptance as a doctoral researcher (letter of acceptance by the faculty) and the decision on your IRB grant should not exceed 12 months.

Please note that the first activity can be carried out only once you have already started your doctorate!

Review Criteria

The funding is intended to give doctoral researchers the opportunity to develop an internationalization concept for their research project at an early stage and to implement it during their doctoral studies. The individual measures in the internationalization concept do not have to be already determined and defined in the application. Research projects and associated activities develop during the doctorate, so there should be a certain flexibility in the design of the measures.

The following review criteria form the basis of the review process:

  • What is the added value of the internationalization concept for the applicant's own research and qualification?
  • How realistic is the implementation of the internationalization concept?
  • Can the applicant show that he/she can achieve more with one concept than, for example, with several individual PR.INT measures?
  • Is the impact on the applicant's international network, his/her visibility and, if applicable, an influence on the RUB network presented in a convincing manner? Does the proposal also show, if applicable, whether it supports the development of the applicant's scientific self-conception or scientific personality?
  • Could the applicant be an ambassador of RUB?
  • How generally comprehensible is the proposal written?

Review Process

Your application will be reviewed by two members of our Early Career Researchers Board (ECR Board). Based on these reviews, our Executive Board will decide which applicants will be invited to present their internationalization concepts at a colloquium. This will take place with members of the ECR Board and the Executive Board. Based on the funding recommendation given by the ECR-Board after the colloquium, the Executive Board will make the final decision. 


Find the application form here.

An application needs to include:

  • Completely filled application form including personal data, information on the doctoral project, its internationalization concept, and its benefit for the applicant
  • Two letters of reference
  • Proof of the qualifications given (e.g., final grade of master studies, prizes, stipends, additional skills and qualifications, panel memberships, publications, teaching experiences, etc.)
  • Document of acceptance as doctoral researcher or confirmation of future supervisor  

Outline your individual internationalization concept and benefits for your doctorate. This does not need to include a fully detailed list of activities and timetable. You can already apply for funding even if you do not have a fully detailed plan (budget, time frame) of all your international activities during your doctorate yet.  

Consider the review criteria while writing your application!

If you have any further questions about the IRB, please see the reference to the information event at the bottom of this page.

Calls & Deadlines

Spring Call 2024
Deadline application: March 6
Invitation colloquium: April
Colloquium: May

Fall Call 2024
Deadline application: September 4
Invitation colloquium: October
Colloquium: November

Virtual Info Sessions

Please take a look at all the information on this page first. If you still have questions, please feel free to attend one of the 30-minute info sessions.

To register, send an email to Dr. Sarah Gemicioglu stating the date of the session:

  • Wednesday, 17 July, 10 am
  • Thursday, 15 August, 10 am