IDEA League Research Grant

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Elina Krause

Incoming Student Service/IDEA League Network Coordinator


+49 241 80 90831



What is the IDEA League?

The IDEA League is a collaborative network between the leading European universities of science and technology:

Delft University of Technology

ETH Zürich - Swiss Federal Institue of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology

Politecnico di Milano

RWTH Aachen University

Since its foundation in 1999, the IDEA League has promoted collaboration between the universities named above through joint degree programs, research initiatives, joint strategy papers, and quality management initiatives.

IDEA League Research Grant

The IDEA League grants promote research collaboration between the participating universities. Bachelor's, Master's, and Diplom students and doctoral candidates are eligible to apply for these grants.

The grant scheme enables students to undertake a research stay at an IDEA League university in order to do research, for example, for a thesis or dissertation. Grantholders do not attend courses and seminars at the host institution.

The IDEA League research grant is awarded on a competitive basis. The amount granted is 400 to 600 euros per month, depending on the number and quality of applications received per application round. There are no restrictions for the use of the grant and it is not expected to cover all costs of the exchange.

Application Documents

The following application documents must be submitted in English via the Incoming Online Portal:

  • Application form – please register via the Incoming Online Portal and use the form IDEA League Short-term Research Exchange Grant
  • Letter of motivation
  • CV/Resume including information on study or research abroad projects undertaken so far
  • Research proposal (signed) by the supervising professor at the host university, including a description of the applicant's responsibilities
  • Recommendation letter from the supervising professor at RWTH
  • Transcript of records (from CAMPUS)

Once you have submitted a complete application, please save it on your computer and send us your completed application form by . We do not need any additional documents.

Please note the following:

  • International Master's students in their first or second semester of study are not eligible to apply for the IDEA League research grant.
  • In order to offer the opportunity of studying abroad to the maximum number of students, students with no previous experience of studying abroad might be preferred.
  • If you have already started your exchange in ETH Zürich and are looking for possible scholarships, please note that you cannot change your registered student status at ETH. If you are not registered as an IDEA League exchange student, you cannot receive an IDEA League research grant.


Deadlines for the applications:

February 1 (exchange starts May 1 at the earliest)

June 1 (exchange starts September 1 at the earliest)

October 1 (exchange starts January 1 at the earliest)


The Application Process

  • First, the applicant decides on the research area in which to undertake the research project and then which IDEA League partner university would be suitable.
  • Subsequently, the applicant has to prepare by looking up information via the (potential) host institution's website, to find out about possible research projects or identify research areas within which the project may be conducted. There is a database for this at ETH Zürich. There are also instructions for projects at Chalmers University.
  • The applicant then gets in touch with the individual they researched at the host university. If contacting them via email, it is best to explain your motivation and to name a time frame, in which you would like to complete the project, along with your resume, a current transcript of records, and if available, documentation of work experience, such as work certificates or a recommendation letter.
  • Once you have found your supervisor, you can submit your application documents for the IDEA League Research Grant to the RWTH International Office.
  • Applications can be submitted for three deadlines. After each of the deadlines, a selection committee that decides on the successful candidates will review all applications. Successful candidates will receive a letter of acceptance approximately three weeks after the deadline.
  • It is also possible to apply for IDEA League exchange student status without the scholarship. The same application documents must be submitted three months before the start of the exchange.
  • Nomination for the grant should be received at least two months before the start of the exchange; in case a student needs a visa for Switzerland, this deadline is extended to three months. For a problem-free application process, please consider the following deadlines:
    February 1 (exchange starts May 1 at the earliest)
    June 1 (exchange starts September 1 at the earliest)
    October 1 (exchange starts January 1 at the earliest)
  • The International Office pays the grant to the successful applicant. During the research abroad period, grant holders remain enrolled at their home universities.
  • Once back at RWTH, each student has to provide a brief report in English including a photograph of themselves in the host lab to their home supervisor and to the International Office of RWTH. The photograph may be used for publication in RWTH media. Please use the template on the IDEA League website under testimonials.
  • Students participating in the grant scheme will be listed on the IDEA website following their research stay.


IDEA League is using to manage student projects suitable for the student grant scheme. On the following page, you can find an overview of the projects.