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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before the Heidelberg Laureate Forum
Who can apply?
Students of mathematics and computer science (or closely related fields) at the Undergraduate/Pre-Master, Graduate PhD and Postdoc levels can apply for the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. Postdocs include young researchers in classical postdoc positions but also those of you who recently completed (within 5 years) your PhD – and are still strongly interested in scientific matters, even if you are now working in a non-scientific environment.
Young researchers can apply online at: https://application.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org/
The next round of applications for the 9th HLF begins on November 11, 2021, and continues until February 11, 2022 (midnight at the dateline).
What do you need in order to apply?
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 (1 LOR is mandatory, maximum of 2); motivation letter.
- Additional Information from Graduate PhDs: 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 motivation letter why it would benefit you to attend the HLF again.
- 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 English translation.
- Academic Degree
You should apply with the highest academic degree you have achieved so far and provide the supporting documentation.
- Letter of Recommendation
- A letter of recommendation must be written on letter-head.
- The letter must be in pdf format.
- The full name of the applicant must be specified in the letter.
- The letter must be signed.
- 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
What are the application timelines and how does the selection process work?
The 9th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) takes place September 18–23, 2022.
- Application Phase: November 11, 2021 – February 11, 2022
- Selection Phase: February 12 – April 12, 2022
- Acceptance/Rejection Notification: April 15–30, 2022
- Registration Phase: Begins from date of acceptance
Each successfully completed and submitted application is reviewed by at least three international reviewers who rate the applications, take an average of the ratings and the top 100 in each discipline are invited. The reviewers make up the selection committee, which has members spread across the globe that can accurately evaluate applications from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions.
When will the applicants be informed whether or not they are accepted?
The applicants will be notified via e-mail between April 15–30, 2022.
What is my current academic status in my online registration?
Undergraduate/Pre-Master: If you are enrolled in your studies (i.e. Bachelor's or Master’s) and do not yet hold a Master's degree, please register in this category.
Graduate PhD: If you are currently working towards a PhD, please register in this category.
PostDoc: If you have earned a PhD during the past 5 years, please register in this category. 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.
Please Note: If your academic status changes between the submission of your application and the date of the HLF, the status at the point of submission will be the status that is recognized.
Will there be travel support?
If you are selected to attend and require financial support, please apply for travel funding with 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 are eligible to apply for financial support from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF). The travel grant application form can be downloaded from 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?
To verify whether or not you need a visa to visit Germany/the EU (Schengen countries) consult the following link:
What's imporant for my visa application?
To support your visa application, the HLFF will provide you with a visa invitation letter, travel health insurance and hotel confirmation letter.
In order to ensure the correctness of the visa documents, please carefully note the following:
- Ensure that the spelling of your name given in the online registration form corresponds exactly to the spelling in your passport!
- We need your correspondence address.
- We strongly advise you to start your visa process at least three months before the HLF.
- Do not wait until you have all of your visa documents from the HLFF to make an appointment! Experience has proven that there are long waiting periods for visa appointments. Also, visa processing time gerenally takes at least a few weeks.
- Only after you have submitted your online registration, will we begin to process the documents for visa application.
- We will upload your official documents to your online profile. The documents in their digital form have been approved by the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt), print them out and take them with you to your appointment.
Will I be covered by travel health insurance?
The HLFF 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. Also, the insurance cannot be extended if you arrive earlier or depart later than the dates of the forum (you are responsible for organizing your own health insurance for any amount of time that does not fall within the standard dates of the HLF).
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 (HLF) 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:
- You can take the shuttle service from the Frankfurt/Main Airport to Heidelberg, for more information:
- You can go by train, look at: https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
Who will organize my hotel accommodation?
As Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination, hotel accommodation is very limited in late summer. Thus, after registration 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 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.
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 also note:
- 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 accommodation 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.
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?
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 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 6221 739090; +49 6221 302030
Regional trains connect Heidelberg to neighboring cities like Mannheim and Schwetzingen, as well as to the German and French railway networks.
(For a full pdf document please visit: http://www.rnv-online.de/fileadmin/user_upload/downloads/Plaene/Liniennetzplaene/Liniennetzplan_HD.pdf
Walking from the main station "Hauptbahnhof" to University Square/New University (35 minutes):
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 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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:
University Square "Universitätsplatz"
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. 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 of 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 SIM cards in local shops.
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:
Is there an alumni network?
A vibrant alumni network is a highly valuable tool, not only for the researchers, but also for the organizations themselves. AlumNode is the result of a cooperation with the German Scholars Organization (GSO) and funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation that provides a dynamic platform connecting researchers and scientists from diverse backgrounds. Alumni of the HLF, the GSO Leadership Academy, the Klaus Tschira Boost Fund and the KlarText Award for Science Communication can utilize the network to collaborate and advance their careers.
There are many alumni platforms available, however AlumNode is designed to connect researchers and scientists who usually would not meet: disciplines ranging from astrophysics and mathematics to politics and history. They work in academia as well as in the private, public and non-profit sectors from all corners of the globe. Learn more about the opportunities that AlumNode offers.
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.
Will lectures of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum be available online?
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.