FAQ - Ernst Mach Grant - worldwide

These FAQs refer to the call for the Austrian academic year 2024/2025 only!

How do I apply for a scholarship?

1) General remarks

Please have in mind that your application will be read by several persons (e.g. our evaluators, the experts, etc.). Therefore, we kindly ask you to make sure that the information you give is comprehensive, coherent and understandable. Also, check if your entries are complete and free of spelling errors. Once you have finished your application, we recommend going through a careful editing phase.

2) Who is eligible for this grant?

  • Postgraduates pursuing a doctoral/PhD programme outside Austria;
  • Postgraduates and post-docs who want to do research in Austria with a view to an academic career and who have finished their studies (at a university outside Austria) after September 30th, 2022;
  • Post-docs who are working as lecturers at a university outside Austria.

Applicants must not be older than 35 years when they start their research stay. Please read the grant regulations carefully and make sure that you are eligible for this grant program before applying.

3) Can I apply if I currently study at an Austrian university?

No. The Ernst Mach incoming grants are aimed at visiting scholars for a short research stay only. If you are a regular student at an Austrian university, you are not eligible. Applicants who are already permanently resident in Austria or who have completed their academic education mainly in Austria are not eligible to apply. For more information on other Austrian grant opportunities, please visit our online database www.grants.at

4) Can I apply if I am already a visiting scholar at an Austrian university?

You cannot apply for your present stay in Austria. However, it is possible to apply for a future stay in the next academic year. But please note that applicants must not have studied/pursued research/pursued academic work in Austria in the last six months before taking up an Ernst Mach grant. So you have to interrupt your stay for at least six months before coming to Austria again.

5) Can I use this grant to enroll at a Master or PhD programme in Austria?

No. The Ernst Mach grant is not intended to finance a complete or parts of a regular PhD, Master or study programme in Austria. The Ernst Mach incoming grants are aimed at visiting or exchange scholars for a short research/study stay only. For more information on other Austrian grant opportunities, please visit the online database www.grants.at

6) Can I apply for stays starting earlier than September 2024?

No. The current call for applications for this grant is for stays during the Austrian Academic year 2024/25, which starts in September 2024. So the earliest you can come to Austria would be September 2024. We advise students from third countries who are planning a stay of more than 6 months to plan a scholarship start from November or December due to the long processing time for the application for a residence permit (please also see question 23 and 30).

7) Are all Austrian universities eligible as host institutions for a grant application?

Yes. All Austrian universities are eligible to host Ernst Mach grant awardees for a research stay.

8) Do I need to enroll at an Austrian university in order to apply for the grant?

No. Since this is a research grant you do not have to enroll as a regular student at an Austrian university. However, you do need a written confirmation of supervision from an Austrian university lecturer to support your research project in Austria.

9) Can the OeAD help me to find an academic supervisor in Austria?

No, unfortunately we are not able to help you in this regard. You need a confirmation of academic supervision from an Austrian professor for your application. To look for a professor who supports your research stay, please browse the websites of Austrian universities to find an institute that suits your academic profile. Basically, all of the Austrian universities are eligible for an application. It is best to ask professors directly, they are used to requests like that. For an overview on Austrian universities please follow the link: www.studyinaustria.at

10) Can my Austrian academic supervisor also issue a letter of recommendation?

No, please have in mind that your Austrian supervisor has to issue a written confirmation of supervision and cannot write you a letter of recommendation in addition. In that case, the reference letter will be considered as invalid.

12) Can my professors send the letters of recommendation directly to the OeAD-agency?

Normally, you will have to upload your letters of recommendation into your online application account. If professors at your university do not usually hand out signed letters of recommendation, please ask your professors to send the letters directly to us. Note that we have to upload the letters to your online application file, so that you can submit your application. Therefore, we cannot guarantee confidentiality to your professors, because you will have access to your online application, including the letters, at all times. Please make sure that the letters arrive before the deadline. Documents that arrive after the deadline cannot be accepted. Please have the letters sent to as scanned attachments.

13) Do I need to translate my documents?

If the documents are in English a translation into German is not necessary. If your documents are neither in English nor German, please upload a copy of the original document and also provide an English or German translation of the document.

14) Do I have to submit officially certified translations?

No. If the original document is neither in English nor German, please upload a copy of the original and a rough English or German translation. An officially certified translation is not required.

15) Do I have to additionally submit copies of original documents when providing a translation?

Yes. If your documents are neither in German nor English, please always upload the copy of the original in your online application in addition to the translation. This applies to diplomas as well as the confirmation of employment or enrolment at a university.

16) Do I have to submit official testing certificates to prove my language proficiency?

No. There is no need to submit any official testing certificate, such as a TOEFL, etc., but you should have sufficient knowledge of English in the respective subject area.

Your Austrian academic supervisor also has to confirm that your project can be done in English.

17) Where can I upload my research proposal?

An upload of your research proposal is not necessary. Please fill in the various sections of your online application thoroughly to let our evaluators know about your planned research activities.

18) Can I upload a copy of an identity card instead of a passport?

A valid, biometric passport must be uploaded. An identity card is only acceptable for applications from the EU.

19) Will digital signatures be accepted?

We have to check if documents are authentic and correct - only original signatures or certified digital signatures will be accepted - if it is a digital non-certified signature, you have to provide a proof that it is indeed a confirmation of the person/institution (institution stamp on the document). If it cannot be verified that it is an official document, the application will be considered as formally invalid. 

20) Why are own funds required for this scholarship?

The scholarship rate might not cover all expenses for your research stay in Austria. In addition to your stay in Austria, you might have various expenses before you are able to enter Austria. Furthermore, our grant rates are based on the assumption that actual living costs in Austria are higher than the grant itself.  Hence, own funds are required. Please make sure to inform yourself about living costs in Austria beforehand. Increased expenses may occur due to

  • compulsory health insurance;
  • accommodation;
  • proof of own funds to the Austrian residence authority to receive your residence permit (e.g. if your accommodation costs more than EUR 300/month);
  • travel costs to the Austrian representative authority to receive your visa;
  • journey to Austria;
  • down payment for your accommodation.

21) Do I have to provide evidence of my own funds and my living costs in Austria?

You do not need to provide evidence of own funds to the OeAD agency. However, the Austrian residence authority might require proof of your funds in case of increased living costs (e.g., for health insurance or when your accommodation costs more than EUR 300/month).

Your online application must include a financial plan that covers your estimated living costs in Austria. We attempt to assist you in estimating these costs. Your estimated livings costs do not influence the prospect of success. However, the scholarship rate will be reduced in accordance with your estimation if the scholarship rate is higher than your actual living costs.

22) Is it possible to raise the scholarship rate if I can account for increased expenses, e.g. if I bring my family along?

No. Unfortunately, it is not possible to increase the scholarship rate.

23) What should I consider for planning the time period of my research stay?

Within the regulations of the programme, you are free to plan your research stay the way you see fit. However, in our experience with former scholarship holders, we recommend the following:

  • We advise you to apply for the time period of January to June in case you are planning a short term research stay (1 to 3 months). Otherwise, it might be difficult to find accommodation.
  • Please inform yourself about the legal regulations to enter Austria and plan the start of your research stay so that there is enough time for waiting periods set by the entry requirements. Please be aware that these regulations might differ depending on the length of your stay, especially if you are a national of a non-EU country and plan a research stay of more than 6 months (https://oead.at/en/to-austria/scholars/before-arrival/entry-conditions/). The length of your stay also affects your options for health insurance (Information sheet "Health Insurance" on the right-hand side in the "Frequent topics" section: https://oead.at/en/to-austria/entry-residence-and-employment/insurance/).
  • Please be aware that the visa application process for nationals of non-EU countries for stays longer than 6 months can take 2-3 months (sending documents to Austria and back; certification of documents, etc.). Therefore, if you are awarded a scholarship in July, this means that starting the grant in September may not be feasible.
  • Please be aware that you can apply for a time period consisting of full months only. Please make sure to apply for a time period starting on the first of a month and ending on the last. If you plan to arrive at the middle of a month, administrative problems might occur. Additionally, you might lose money by, for example, having to pay full months of rent.

24) Is it possible to hand in documents after the deadline?

No, documents submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

25) When should I submit my application?

The application deadline for this grant is Febuary 1st, 2024, 23:59 (CET - Central European Time) for all applications for stays during the academic year 2024/25. After the deadline, all applications will be examined by experts. Please do not wait until the last moment of the deadline to submit your online application. Once you press the “submit application” button, the system will automatically check if specific entries in your application are complete. This process may take a while and error massages may occur. Please also note that technical support will not be online outside office hours.

How does the selection process work?

26) Who decides if I will be awarded with a scholarship?

First, the formal criteria of your application will be evaluated by us. All formally valid applications will then be evaluated by experts from the respective field. Based on the results of this evaluation by experts, the selection committee will award the best applicants with a scholarship.

27) When will the results be announced?

All formally valid applications will be evaluated by experts from the respective field. The results of this evaluation are expected to be published at the beginning of July 2024. 

You will receive notification of the outcome of the selection process in any case.

28) How will I be informed about the results?

We will inform you and your academic supervisor in Austria via e-mail.

29) What does it mean if an application has been rejected as incomplete and thus formally invalid?

Even if all documents have been uploaded, an application may still be classified as incomplete, for example if information in the application is missing or the planned research stay has not been sufficiently described.

Award and entry to Austria

30) What happens if I get the grant? What do I need to think about before coming to Austria?

After we have notified you about the award of your scholarship, you will receive a Letter of Award including information regarding the next steps. Nationals of non-EU countries who applied for stays longer than 6 months may seek an appointment at the embassy for the initiation of the visa process immediately after receiving the Letter of Award. You will find information for OeAD scholarship holders and frequently asked questions here: https://oead.at/en/to-austria/scholars