International opportunities abroad – for doctoral students

Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology

The time spent as a doctoral student is an intense period. As a young researcher, international experiences are important for you, whether collecting material, attending conferences or networking abroad. On this page and in the Canvas course, you will find administrative support for planning your various international endeavours.


As early as possible during your time as a doctoral student, you should plan what trips abroad you will need to make in the coming years. Do you need to visit some archives or libraries to collect material for your thesis, attend international conferences, build networks, meet your assistant supervisor or another important researcher in your field? Once you have a rough idea of what you want to do and have discussed it with your supervisor, it is time to think about what funds and resources are available for these mobilities.
 

Within Europe

For doctoral students, there are very good opportunities to apply for and receive funding from the Erasmus programme. Each of your four identities (student, staff, researcher and teacher) gives you the opportunity to apply for funding from each of the Erasmus+ funds: student mobility, staff training, traineeship and teaching staff mobility. In order to apply for Erasmus funding, you need the signature of your head of department.

Erasmus programme funding allows you to travel to any of the Erasmus+ participating countries, i.e. EU countries, as well as a number of so-called third countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey). For student mobility and traineeships, Switzerland is also included. If it is a university you intend to visit, it may be much easier to obtain funding, and to obtain funding for a longer period of time, if you choose one of the partner universities with which LU already has an established collaboration.
 

Perhaps you took part in an exchange programme during your Bachelor's studies and know what it can involve? Exchange studies are offered at Bachelor's level (1st cycle), Master's level (2nd cycle) and doctoral level (3rd cycle). A student exchange agreement with the university in question is required. If the HT Faculties do not have such an agreement, one can be drawn up for you, as long as the partner university agrees. If you have a contact person in place, this can be helpful.

On this website, you can see which universities the HT Faculties are partnered with. Select “Europe” to see the universities included in the Erasmus programme.

  • An underlying student exchange agreement is needed.
  • You need to apply for an exchange place in a regular application period for exchange studies. For additional information, see the web pages for international opportunities for students.
  • Exchange studies under the Erasmus programme usually involve a period of minimum two and maximum twelve months. You can apply for an Erasmus grant. The monthly amount varies from country to country, but is around €500.
  • A new element of the Erasmus programme is the possibility to apply for Short Mobility, which can last from 5 to 30 days and provides €70 per day for the first 14 days, then €50 per day. You should preferably apply as part of a regular application period for exchange studies.
  • You can do your studies and/or preparatory work for your doctoral thesis at the host university. The mobility does not have to be credit-bearing to be approved. As a doctoral student, you must have a supervisor at the sending university. Although there is no requirement to have a (assistant) supervisor at the receiving higher education institution, this is highly recommended.
  • Perhaps you could take a Master's level course? Talk to your supervisor!
  • If you have children under the age of 18, you can receive an extra grant. If your child accompanies you, you can receive inclusion support in the form of an extra grant to cover actual costs for e.g. larger accommodation.
  • If you have a functional variation and need extra support during your stay abroad, you can apply for what is known as a top-up grant, which is an extra amount per month. There is also inclusion support if, for example, you need adapted accommodation, care or similar in the host country, etc.
  • If you travel sustainably to and from your study destination, you can receive extra funds.

Read about how doctoral student Juhan Björn travelled to Cologne on Erasmus+ student mobility to attend a course and be closer to his assistant supervisor during a spring semester.

Read about how doctoral student Sergio Rojo had planned a student mobility exchange but then carried out virtual mobility that also turned out really well.

You can find more information on Erasmus+ student mobility here.
 

Erasmus+ staff training is a funding scheme available to all categories of LU staff. You can apply for mobility lasting between two days and three weeks. No underlying exchange agreement is needed, you just need a host at a receiving organisation to welcome you and sign your Mobility Agreement. Your department pays for the entire exchange (travel, accommodation, daily allowance) and it is also the department that receives reimbursement from Erasmus+ after you return home. Staff training is a flexible and useful form of funding, as almost everything is paid for and there are no requirements regarding the number of hours worked (in the context of job shadowing, for example). Please note that the main purpose of the Erasmus+ staff training programme cannot be research.

Please note that it does not have to be a university, it could be a company, organisation, archive, library, publisher or any other interesting organisation that you want to visit. You are travelling as an employee of Lund University. Thus, the main thing you gain from the mobility is the opportunity to strengthen the skills needed for your current – and possibly future – position at LU.

  • No underlying exchange agreement is needed. All you need is a host who is ready to receive you and sign your Mobility Agreement. The only exception is universities in the United Kingdom. After Brexit, an exchange agreement is required for staff training mobility to take place. Talk to the International Office.
  • You need your head of department's approval and signature.
  • You can apply for Erasmus+ staff training at any time during the year, but it must be at least one month before your departure. More information on how to apply can be found in the Canvas course “Planning and applying for a European mobility placement”.
  • In principle, everything is paid for: your travel, accommodation, travel within the host country and daily allowance. Your institution pays for the exchange and receives reimbursement from Erasmus+ once you have returned home – and submitted the required documents (see the Canvas course).
  • Funding can be requested for up to 60 working days of mobility (2–60 days), i.e. 12 weeks. Normally, a maximum of 3 weeks of paid mobility is allocated to an individual staff member. If you would like to apply for a longer mobility than that, it is advisable to submit your application in May (at the end of the Erasmus+ budget year).

Read how doctoral student Ylva Hamnell-Pamment travelled to Berlin with Erasmus+ staff training funding.

Doctoral student Billy Jones received Erasmus+ staff training funding to travel to Bonn for a climate conference.

You can find more information on Erasmus+ staff training here.
 

Perhaps you took part in a traineeship during your Bachelor's studies and know what it can involve? No underlying exchange agreement is needed, you just need a host at a receiving organisation to welcome you and sign your Traineeship Agreement. During your traineeship, you can conduct research, collect material for your thesis or write a thesis text. You will receive a monthly grant, similar to the Erasmus+ student mobility programme. The difference is that the grant amount for Erasmus+ traineeships is higher, just over €600 per month.

  • No underlying exchange agreement is needed. All you need is a host who is ready to receive you and sign your Traineeship Agreement.
  • You can apply for a traineeship at any time during the semester, but no later than one month before the traineeship starts. Additional information is available on the web pages for Erasmus+ traineeship grant.
  • A traineeship abroad under the Erasmus programme usually involves a period of minimum two and maximum twelve months. You can apply for an Erasmus+ traineeship grant. The monthly amount varies from country to country, but is just over €600.
  • A new element of the Erasmus programme is the possibility to apply for Short Mobility, which can last from 5 to 30 days and provides €70 per day for the first 14 days, then €50 per day.
  • You cannot earn any credits during your traineeship; however, Erasmus+ traineeships are well suited for doctoral thesis work. If your doctoral studentship has come to an end, you can apply for an Erasmus+ traineeship grant, for example to spend time in an organisation abroad to finalise your thesis.
  • If you have children under the age of 18, you can receive an extra grant. If your child accompanies you, you can receive inclusion support in the form of an extra grant to cover actual costs for e.g. larger accommodation.
  • If you have a functional variation and need extra support during your stay abroad, you can apply for what is known as a top-up grant, which is an extra amount per month. There is also inclusion support if, for example, you need adapted accommodation, care or similar in the host country, etc.
  • If you travel sustainably to and from your study destination, you can receive extra funds.

Read about how doctoral student Katja Heldt benefited from Erasmus+ traineeships.

Read about how doctoral student Greer Jarrett travelled to Norway with an Erasmus+ traineeship grant and expanded his knowledge of Viking Age sailing.

You can find more information on Erasmus+ traineeship here.

Erasmus+ teaching staff mobility is very similar to Erasmus+ staff training. The conditions are the same, you can go abroad for between two days and three weeks, and virtually the entire exchange is paid for (travel, accommodation and daily allowance). The only major difference is that with teaching staff mobility abroad you have to teach 8 clock hours per week. This can be daunting for junior researchers, as it takes a lot of time to prepare completely new teaching.

However, teaching does not necessarily mean (only) giving lectures. It can include workshops, seminars, supervision of students or other types of educational activities. A new element of the Erasmus programme is the possibility to combine teaching staff mobility and job shadowing. This requires only a minimum of four clock hours of teaching, combined with job shadowing (following a colleague).

Another distinguishing feature of teaching staff mobility is the need for an exchange agreement with the university in question. If HT Faculties do not have such an agreement, one can easily be drawn up for you. The partner university needs to be on board.

On this website, you can see which universities the HT Faculties are partnered with. Select “Europe” to see the universities included in the Erasmus programme.

In the best-case scenario, your department will be generous and include your teaching abroad in the study/staffing plan. It is only in such cases that you can obtain an extension of the doctoral programme for this type of activity.

  • An underlying exchange agreement is needed.
  • You need the head of department's approval and signature.
  • Do you want to do a combined teaching staff mobility and job shadowing (four clock hours of teaching, job shadowing for the rest)? Apply for teaching staff mobility and indicate in your application that you are applying for this combination.
  • You can apply for Erasmus+ teaching staff mobility at any time during the year, but it must be at least one month before your departure. More information on how to apply can be found in the Canvas course “Planning and applying for a European mobility placement”.
  • In principle, everything is paid for: your travel, accommodation, travel within the host country and daily allowance. Your institution pays for the exchange and receives reimbursement from Erasmus+ once you have returned home – and submitted the required documents (see the Canvas course).
  • Funding can be requested for up to 60 working days of mobility (2–60 days), i.e. 12 weeks. Normally, a maximum of 3 weeks of paid mobility is allocated to an individual staff member. If you would like to apply for a longer mobility than that, it is advisable to submit your application in May (at the end of the Erasmus+ budget year).

Read how doctoral student Irene Lami travelled to South Bohemia on several occasions with Erasmus+ teaching staff mobility.

You can find more information on Erasmus+ teaching staff mobility here.

Outside of Europe

During the coming academic years (until June 2025) there will be great oppor­tunities for PhD students to apply for funding for mobilities abroad – even outside of Europe! Lund University has allocated extra Erasmus+ funding for this particular cause, and as regards mobilities outside of Europe there will be specific application periods announced (the first one already took place, during the autumn 2023). As soon as there is more information available, it will be published on this web page. The mobilities can include data collection, internship, networking, and more. PhD students are encouraged to travel together with their supervisor!

In addition, there are funds and foundations at Lund University, as well as a variety of external funds and funding bodies from which you can apply for funding. You can find these grant tips on a separate page.

Subscribe to the External Relations newsletter to receive updates on all kinds of international activities and opportunities at LU and beyond. Send an email and ask to be put on the mailing list.

You should also subscribe to the External Relations Canvas course for doctoral students (“International opportunities for doctoral students at LU”) and get tips and updates on various international opportunities.

Research Services at LU regularly publishes the newsletter Research Funding News. Be sure to sign up to receive the newsletter.

Keep an eye on the EURAXESS network.

The LERU (“League of European Research Universities”) network, of which LU is a member, organises an annual summer course for doctoral students.

Use the database provided by the EU project iMotion (“The Integration and Promotion of Staff Training Courses at Universities across Europe”). Search for the category “Doctoral education” and see if there is anything offered in your particular areas of interest.

The PhD Hub is an initiative that aims to make the funding, courses and services available within Europe more visible.

Lund University has held the EU HR Excellence in Research certification since 2020. Find out what this could mean for you.

  • Travel to a conference (Erasmus+ staff training)
    Read about how doctoral student Billy Jones represented Sweden at a UN conference in Bonn – with funding from Erasmus+ staff training.
     
  • Visit an archive, museum, library or other organisation that holds material of interest to you (Erasmus+ staff training)
    Read about how doctoral student Camila Borges Freitas travelled to Paris, job shadowed and visited an important archive.
     
  • Follow up on a conference contact or reach out to a leading research centre in your field or specialisation
    You can present your research, make use of the library and other resources, receive informal supervision, network, become an affiliated researcher for a project they are running, or perhaps explore the possibilities of a postdoc position on site (Erasmus+ staff training or traineeship).
    Read about how doctoral student Jakob Stenseke utilised Erasmus+ staff training.
     
  • Job shadow a senior colleague in your field who is a good teacher
    You apply for Erasmus+ staff training for this job shadowing to strengthen your teaching skills, but on the side you take the opportunity to do all the things you need for your own research (see suggestions above).
     
  • Job shadow a senior colleague whose role you would like to play in the future
    Your colleague's department may have an interesting subject division or organisation that differs from the Swedish one, which could be interesting to get to know. Your home institution may find this interesting and want you to report your experiences. Perhaps they will further support your application.
    Read about how Ryszard Bobrowic did just that during an Erasmus+ staff training placement.
     
  • Job shadow colleagues who have exciting equipment and give them assistance (Erasmus+ staff training)
    Read how Katarzyna Bobrowicz job shadowed zookeepers at a zoo in Poland so she could better conduct research on animal cognition.
    Read about how Stefan Lindgren of the Humanities Lab travelled to Pisa and Rome with staff training funding.

     
  • Stay abroad for a longer period, write your thesis text and gain the knowledge and skills you need for your thesis project (Erasmus+ traineeship)
    Read how Katja Heldt spent her Erasmus+ traineeship in Paris.
    Read about how Greer Jarrett travelled to Norway with an Erasmus+ traineeship grant and expanded his knowledge of Viking Age sailing.

     
  • Study abroad for a period to take a course and/or spend time with an assistant supervisor (Erasmus+ student mobility)
    Read about how Juhan Björn travelled to the University of Cologne, took courses and got the chance to properly meet his assistant supervisor.
     
  • Travel abroad with your supervisor
    Maybe they can act as your mentor in terms of teaching or conference participation (Erasmus+ teaching staff mobility)?
    Read about how Jordan Zlatev intended to mentor his doctoral student.
     
  • A research trip to Athens, Rome, Istanbul - or to Capri?
    You can take the opportunity to apply for accommodation at the Swedish institutes there, find a quiet place to work in one of the libraries and meet other visiting Nordic researchers (Erasmus+ student mobility, staff training, teaching staff mobility or traineeship).
    Read more about how researchers Lovisa Brännstedt and Elisabet Göransson spent periods at the Swedish Institute in Rome.
     
  • Do you have reading courses left to take?
    If there is a senior researcher in your area who has started a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP), a new element in the Erasmus programme, you may be able to benefit from it (Erasmus+ BIP). At least three higher education institutions need to be involved in a BIP. For you, this could mean course credits, a virtual and a shorter physical exchange.

  • The Erasmus programme does not provide funding for staff training at EU institutions.
  • It also does not provide funding to organisations managing EU programmes.
  • You cannot travel to several different destinations within the same Erasmus exchange. However, it is possible to visit two institutions located in the same city or less than 100 kilometres apart.

Has your position ended and you have not yet defended your doctoral thesis? Are you still enrolled in the department as a doctoral student? Then the following applies to you:

  • Unfortunately, you cannot apply for Erasmus+ staff training (you have to be employed at the University for this). The requirement from LU's Erasmus Office is that you need to be an hourly employee corresponding to 50% of a full-time position and the mobility must take place during the employment period, so if you meet this requirement (or are grant-funded), you can apply for funding.
  • You can apply for an Erasmus+ teaching staff mobility. However, this is conditional on you being affiliated with the department and performing a certain amount of teaching (hours). Please note that it is up to your head of department to approve an application for teaching staff mobility. As stated, the requirement from LU's Erasmus Office is that you need to be an hourly employee corresponding to 50% of a full-time position and the mobility must take place during the employment period.
  • You can apply for Erasmus+ student mobility (3rd cycle). The mobility does not have to be credit-bearing to be approved. As a doctoral student, you must have a supervisor at the sending university. Although there is no requirement to have a (assistant) supervisor at the receiving higher education institution, this is highly recommended.
  • You can apply for an Erasmus+ traineeship grant for a placement at any kind of institution in Europe (university, library, archive, company, organisation, etc.).

You should supplement this with other funding that you apply for yourself well in advance.

Please note! You can apply for an Erasmus+ traineeship grant before the end of your doctoral position. This will allow you to be placed at an organisation somewhere in Europe and finish your thesis.

An open window looks out over a city by a river. In the foreground, just to the left outside the window, is the beautiful stone facade of a baroque church. Further away you see houses and rooftops, and on the other side of the river the city continues. The sky is blue, and it is sunny outside. What we see are parts of the city of Porto in Portugal.

The Erasmus+ programme

opens up several different mobility windows for doctoral students of the HT Faculties

To the Canvas course “Planning and applying for a European mobility placement”

Billy smiles broadly and looks to the side. He has short blond hair and stubble. He is wearing a white T-shirt. The photo was taken outdoors. Greenery and another person, facing away, can be seen in the background.

Billy Jones travelled to Bonn for a conference

Katja is smiling and looking at the camera. She has blue eyes and red hair put up in a bun. Strands of hair hang down in front of her ears. She is wearing a pink knit sweater and a light blue coat. She is standing outdoors, with the wind blowing her hair slightly to the side.
Photo: Marion Schöning

Katja Heldt visited both Paris and Hellerup

Take inspiration from other doctoral students who have travelled abroad!

Funds and foundations that provide funding for research stays abroad

Not everything is a bed of roses ...

A period abroad can be very challenging (more information soon)

Want to speak with one of HT's travel ambassadors?

Contact the HT International Office!

Contact details, HT International Office

E-mail
international@ht.lu.se

Visiting address
SOL, Helgonabacken 12, A141-143, Lund

Postal address
Box 201, 221 00 Lund

Map

International office staff

International coordinator
Fanni Faegersten
Phone: +46 (0)46-222 8773
Email: fanni.faegersten@ht.lu.se

International coordinator
Katarina Wingkvist
Phone: +46 (0)46 - 222 8075
Email: katarina.wingkvist@ht.lu.se

International secretary
Lina Södergren
+46 (0)46 222 3424
lina.sodergren@ht.lu.se

Page Manager: malin.sjobergkansliht.luse | 2023-12-18