General Information for Young Researchers

The most important information on participating in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum is listed below. Any modifications and amendments to the FAQ will be published on this website. Therefore, we invite you to visit this site regularly for updates.

If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please feel free to send your query to: yr@heidelberg-laureate-forum.org

Before the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Who can attend?

Participation in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum is by invitation only. Submitting an application or being nominated does not establish any legal claim to an invitation.

Who can apply?

The 7th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) will take place from September 22 to 27, 2019, with mandatory on-site registration on September 21. The following steps are necessary if you would like to participate in the HLF.

Undergraduate students, graduate PhD candidates, and young researchers at the postdoctoral level can apply for the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. In the latter category, we are not just addressing young researchers in classical postdoc positions but also those of you who recently completed your PhD – and are still strongly interested in scientific matters, even if you are now working in a non-scientific environment. The Scientific Committee of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum will make the final selection of candidates.

Young researchers can apply online at:


The next round of applications will run from November 14, 2019 to February 14, 2020 (midnight at the dateline).

What do you need in order to apply?

1. Material required for a complete application

  • Applications in all Categories: CV, educational certificates (degrees); awards, other scientific achievements (if any); names and addresses of people who can provide a letter of recommendation (2 LOR’s are mandatory); indication of your field of research (Mathematics, Computer Science, or both); motivation letter (why you wish to attend).
  • Additional Information from PhD Candidates: Short summary of thesis topic; transcripts; publications (if any).
  • Additional Information from Postdocs: Short summary of thesis topic and list of publications.
  • Alumni: Please highlight in your statement of motivation why it would benefit you to attend the HLF again.

2. Language of Your Documents

The official language of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) is English, so please fill in the application form in English only and upload your diploma(s) in English. If your diploma(s) is (are) not written in English, you need to include certified copies of your diploma in the original language as well as an uncertified English translation.

3. Nomination vs. Application

There is a difference between a nomination and an application. Nominations can be issued by a scientific organization or a senior scientist – provided they obtained the necessary organization ID (orgID) from one of the award-granting scientific organizations (ACM, IMU, Abel Board) or academic partners (i.e. DAAD, ORAU). A nomination is an explicit recommendation of a young scientist by an expert in the field. The nominee will be notified of the nomination by email and can then apply for participation in the HLF. Of course, young researchers can also apply without a nomination, as the majority of applicants do. Nonetheless, having been nominated is a distinct advantage during the evaluation process.

4. Nomination

A nomination is only complete when accompanied by the rating and support letter of the nominator.

5. Academic Degree

You should fill in the highest academic degree you have achieved so far and provide the supporting documentation.

6. Participation Options/Opportunities for Participation

A young researcher can participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum at any academic level only once. That means that every young researcher could participate up to three times: as an undergraduate student (level 1), as a graduate student (level 2) and also as a postdoc (level 3) – provided that the application is successful. The decision making body consists of several scientific advisors and of the Scientific Committee.

7. Letter of Recommendation

  • A letter of recommendation must fulfill certain conditions and formalities: It must be written on letter-headed paper.
  • The letter must be in pdf format.
  • The full name of the applicant must be specified in the letter.

What are the application timelines and how does the selection process work?

The application round for the 7th HLF, September 22–27, 2019, runs from November 15, 2018 to February 15, 2019 (midnight at the dateline).

All applications will be reviewed and recommendations will be made by the selection committees of the award-granting institutions. The final decisions will be made by the Scientific Committee of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. The 200 selected applicants will be invited to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. Members of the Scientific Committee are listed at: https://www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/scientific-committee/

When will the applicants be informed?

Once the deadline for applications has passed, and the review process by the Scientific Committee of the HLF is over, all applicants will be notified via e-mail by the end of April 2019 at the latest.

What is my current academic status in my online registration?

Undergraduate/Pre-master: Please select this category if you are enrolled in your studies (i.e. Bachelor’s or Master’s) and do not yet hold a Master’s degree in Computer Science or Mathematics (or a very closely related field).

Graduate PhD: If you are currently working towards a PhD in Mathematics or Computer Science (or a closely related field), please register in this category.

PostDoc: If you have earned a PhD in Computer Science or Mathematics (or a closely related field) during the past 5 years, please register in this category. Please note that it is not required for you to hold a classical postdoc position at the moment. If you are, e.g., working in industry or as an Assistant Professor you may apply, too.

Will there be travel support?

If your application is successful, you should request financial support for your participation in the HLF from your home institutions (university, research lab, company). If that fails, you should apply with a national funding agency in your respective countries. If both applications are rejected, you can apply for financial support from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF). The travel grant application form is available for download on the online registration tool. The two rejection letters are mandatory and have to be included in the travel grant application. Those of you who are not eligible for national funding are requested to specify the reason(s).

Do I need a Visa?

Visa Regulations

Please verify whether you need a visa to visit Germany/the EU (Schengen countries) by consulting the following link:


Important Note for Everyone Requiring a Visa

Please double-check whether the spelling of your name given in the online registration form corresponds exactly to the spelling in your passport!

Your Current Address and the Embassy/Consulate of the Visa Application

We need your current address, and your exact contact details (please confirm that the data is correct, e. g. your full name must be entered EXACTLY as in your passport). We would like to point out that we cannot help you with your visa application if your details are not correct or if you have not completed the online registration form on time. Furthermore, we strongly advise you to start your visa process at least three months before the HLF. Therefore, please contact your respective embassy or consulate well in advance to inquire which documents you will need and to make an appointment.

Official Invitation Letters for the Visa Application

For those of you who have filled out the respective sections of the online registration form already, we will send out the official letters of invitation for your visa application on time. Those who have not done so yet should fill in their details as soon as possible. The information in the online registration profile is needed to personalize your invitation letter. We will send your official letter of invitation via email as a pdf document. As agreed with the German Federal Foreign Office, the official letter of invitation in pdf format will suffice for your visa application.

Will I be covered by travel health insurance?

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum provides all participants with travel health insurance for the duration of the Forum. For this reason, please fill in the respective fields of the online registration form, e. g. date of birth, your official address and your first and last name (please make sure that the spelling of your name corresponds exactly to the spelling in your passport).

The travel health insurance covers only HLF participants and only for the duration of the Forum. It does NOT apply for any accompanying persons/family members etc.

According to the health insurance company, German residents cannot be covered. If you are a German resident, please make sure that you have health insurance.

Who will organize my travel to Heidelberg?

While the Heidelberg Laureate Forum staff is happy to assist in every possible way, you have to organize your travel to and from Heidelberg on your own. It will be most convenient for you to travel to Frankfurt Main International Airport, which is only about an hour’s drive from Heidelberg.

There are two options:

Who will organize my hotel accommodation?

As Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination, hotel accommodation is very limited in late summer. Thus, please fill in your travel details in the respective section of your online profile ASAP.
The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) will cover all costs for single hotel accommodations (including breakfast) for a maximum of seven nights (September 21 to September 28, 2019) only for the participants of the HLF. Lunch and dinner will be provided free of charge to all participants Monday through Friday. While you are welcome to bring your friend/partner/spouse at your own cost, please note that accompanying persons may neither attend the Forum nor any of the social events. Also, they will not be able to join any lunches or dinners.

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum starts on Sunday, September 22, with mandatory registration on Saturday September 21. If you cannot arrive on September 21, please contact yr[at]heidelberg-laureate-forum.org. The event ends with a farewell ceremony and dinner on Friday evening, September 27, so you ought to plan your departure for Saturday, September 28. Once your accommodation is booked, you will receive an email confirmation. In case the travel details section of your online profile is NOT completed on time, you will be required to make your own arrangements.

Information about Your Hotel

All hotels are at least 3-star category, centrally located and within walking distance of the main venue, Heidelberg University. (max. 15 minutes).

Please note also:

  • Arrival Time: If you know your exact arrival time in Heidelberg, you should inform the hotel in advance, because their check-in desk may NOT be staffed 24 hours a day.
  • Hotel Booking on your own: If you plan to book a hotel on your own, you are free to do so. In this case please inform us immediately. Please note that the HLFF will not reimburse any privately organized accomodation costs.
  • Hotel Parking: Please notify your hotel in advance if you require a parking space.
  • Parking Fee: Parking space is very limited in Heidelberg. If you decide to travel by car, any fees (between €8 and €12 per day) are at your own expense.

Please bear in mind that only the costs of lodging and breakfast will be covered by the HLFF and only for the HLF participants for a maximum of seven nights. All additional costs for extras and hotel incidentals like telephone calls, mini-bar, pay-TV/video, etc., will be at your own expense.


Please store your luggage at your hotel before attending the Forum. If you cannot check in at your hotel before the opening ceremony, please inform us immediately.

Accompanying Persons

You are welcome to bring along your partner/family. However, we will not cover any costs incurred by any accompanying persons. While your partner/family is welcome to share your room, the extra charge (between €20 and €50 per day) is at your own expense. Usually, the extra charge for the double room has to be paid once you are in Heidelberg.

What shall I pack?

Dress Code

The general attire is smart casual. However, slightly more formal clothing may be appropriate at some of the social functions and dinners. For the dress codes of the various events, please have a look at our program.

Weather in Heidelberg

Southern Germany has generally mild weather all year round. This makes Heidelberg for an ideal place to visit where a few layers should serve you well throughout the year. In September, there are pleasant temperatures of around 15 to 26 degrees Celsius or 59 to 79 Fahrenheit. Heidelberg is also among the warmest parts of Baden-Württemberg and temperatures tend to run a few degrees warmer in this beautiful city. All in all, with its Southern German forested hills and Baroque buildings, Heidelberg makes for a storybook visit almost the whole year through.

Things to Bring with You to Heidelberg

You do not need to bring anything special to the forum, apart from suitable clothing (see “dress code” for further details). While we expect glorious sunshine and blue skies throughout the HLF week, the weather in Heidelberg can be irregular with occasional rain showers and wind at this time of the year. Therefore, we advise you to bring appropriate, comfortable footwear and a rain jacket. Also, check whether you need a voltage converter/adapter for your electronic devices.

Your conference bag will contain information on Heidelberg, including a map of the city and a set of business cards with your contact details for networking.

How does public transport work in Heidelberg?

In general, you will not require any kind of transportation to get around in Heidelberg. Walking is absolutely safe and the most convenient way to get everywhere. However, if required you can choose between three different means of transport:

  • Public Buses: There are several lines that run every 10 minutes until 8:00 p.m. After 8:00 p.m. the lines run at longer intervals. They all stop at the central connection point “Bismarckplatz”, where you can change lines, if needed. You will find a map of all bus lines among your registration documents.
  • Walk: You will find a map of Heidelberg in your registration documents (see also below).
  • Taxi: +49 (0) 6221 739090; +49 (0) 6221 302030

Regional trains connect Heidelberg to neighboring cities like Mannheim and Schwetzingen, as well as to the German and French railway networks.

rnv_Liniennetzplan Heidelberg(For a full pdf document please visit: http://www.rnv-online.de/fileadmin/user_upload/downloads/Plaene/Liniennetzplaene/Liniennetzplan_HD.pdf)

View Larger Map

Walking from “Bismarckplatz” to University Square/New University (10 minutes):

View Larger Map

What currency is used in Germany?

The currency used in Germany is the euro. Money can be exchanged at currency exchange offices at all airports or at local banks. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) and Maestro/EC cards can be used to withdraw money from ATMs (“Geldautomat” in German), where you will be required to enter your PIN. Please note that not all local shops and restaurants accept credit cards. Checks and travelers checks may NOT be accepted everywhere. American Express cards are less widely accepted.

Why is my personal data required?

Participants of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum are requested to provide some personal data in their online registration profile.

The HLFF needs most of the requested information for organizational purposes (such as hotel accommodation, travel health insurance, etc.). Some data (such as the passport number) are required for security reasons.

As a German foundation, the HLFF has to abide by the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz).

The participants of the HLF can be assured that personal data is only collected to the extent necessary for the organization of the HLF. The privacy of all participants is protected at all times and only authorized staff of the HLF has the right to access and process the participants’ data. After the Forums, the HLF will delete all data provided by the participants, except names, birth dates and academic degrees. These data are needed for the future application processes to prevent ambiguity, since young researchers can participate at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum at any level only once.

Your personal data will also be stored and used by the KT Abrechnungsdienste e. K. – the human resources and administrative services provider of the HLFF – for internal processing (e. g. travel health insurance) and financial purposes (e. g. reimbursement of travel expenses).

The HLFF and all authorized third parties are bound by the strict provisions of the German Federal Data Protection Act.

During the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Where does the Heidelberg Laureate Forum take place?

All lectures and main events take place at the main university building “Neue Universität” (New University).

Besides the large “New Auditorium”, the New University offers a range of lecture halls. Thus, some sessions, e. g. the workshops, will run parallel at the New University.
You will find a map of Heidelberg in your conference bag as well as in your travel guide. The program will specify the exact location of every event.

The HLF venue is located at the University Square (Address: Grabengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg). Please use this address in order to plan your route from your hotel to the venue:

Venue Address:

New University
University Square “Universitätsplatz”
69117 Heidelberg

Where and when do I have to register on-site?

Only registered young researchers can participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum and any of its sessions and events. Registration is possible on Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please contact yr[at]heidelberg-laureate-forum.org should you not be able to arrive and register on September 22. The registration desk will be at the New University building, the main meeting venue. The HLFF requests all young researchers to attend the opening ceremony. Please inform us if and why you will miss the opening ceremony! Upon registration, you will receive your conference bag, which contains your name badge and a lot of detailed information. Your name badge grants you access to the Forum and all its sessions and activities. It also serves as your ticket for several services, like the complimentary lunches and dinners. Never forget it, always wear it! The staff at the registration desk is at your disposal during the forum and will be glad to assist you.

Will meals be provided by the HLFF?

Hotel accommodation including breakfast has been booked for all young researchers. Please refer to the program to find out about the various events and venues for dinner. The buffet lunches and dinners always provide a variety of dishes, including vegetarian. All meals are free of charge for the participants. Accompanying persons, however, may not join the meals.

Will there be internet access?

The meeting venue is equipped with wireless LAN during opening hours, and there will be an e-lounge containing some computers with Internet access. Whereas we have made an effort to book hotels providing WLAN free for charge, hotels may provide Internet access at an extra charge, while others may not provide Internet access at all. Please note that you will have to pay these extra costs personally.

The use of mobile phones in German telephone networks requires the GSM standard, which is used all over Europe. Alternatively, you may purchase phone cards in local shops to make calls from public telephones.

What to do in case of medical emergency?

In case of an emergency at the New University meeting venue, please contact any of the staff immediately. A paramedic team is present on-site at all times and they can help with all health-related issues. If you have an emergency at any other location, please either contact any of the staff present, or call the German emergency number 112 for help. All young researchers will be covered by the travel health insurance provided by the HLFF for the entire duration of the event. According to the health insurance company, German residents cannot be covered. If you are a German resident, please make sure that you have health insurance. Furthermore, please note that accompanying persons will not be included in the HLF travel health insurance.

Useful Telephone Numbers

  • Emergency Number: 112
  • Police Emergency Number: 110
  • Emergency Number for Health Insurance: +49 (0) 711 66 03 3930
  • Young Researcher Support Number: +49 (0) 6221 533 387
Will participants get a certificate?

At the end of the forum, you will receive a certificate of participation.

When are local shops open?

Shops in the Old Town of Heidelberg are usually open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Germany shops are closed on Sundays, except souvenir shops. Therefore, please remember to begin your shopping early.

After the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

How can I get in touch with other young researchers?

In your conference folder you will find the abstracts of all workshops and the email addresses of all young researchers. In order to facilitate networking at the Forum, your conference bag will contain a set of business cards with your contact details.

We will keep you updated on the Heidelberg Laureate Forum if you follow or join us on:

Will there be an Alumni Network?

We have begun setting up an alumni portal. The objective of the alumni portal is to create a lively and productive alumni network in the areas of mathematics and computer science which cultivates intellectual and emotional ties between all participants of the HLF beyond national borders. The specifics of this alumni network will be shared as soon as available.

If you are interested in staying in touch and agree to the storage of your contact data, please click the relevant box in your online registration or register here: https://www.hlf-gso-alumni.org/

Will lectures of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum be available online?

Selected lectures of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum will be available during and after the Heidelberg Laureate Forum as web streams/videos at: videoarchive

How can I support the Forum?

Engaging others with your captivating, personal accounts is an invaluable endorsement for the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to broadcast your unique experiences in social networks and to spread the word among your colleagues and fellow young researchers.