Helpful administrative facts
Team leader International Affairs and the promotion of Early Career Researchers
Vice Dean of Research, Oldenburg-Groningen Affairs and the Promotion of Early Career Natural Sciences Researchers
Helpful administrative facts
This is useful information for academics who are planning a research stay in Groningen or who want to establish a cooperation or consolidate an existing cooperation with the RUG/UMCG.
Medical students preparing for a stay in Groningen can contact the Office of Academics Affairs at for further information:
Business trips abroad must always be booked and approved in writing in advance. A written application for a business trip is made using a request form for the authorisation of business trips. A business trip abroad must be indicated as such. Be sure to submit the application before departure, fully completed, and signed by the competent authorities. (For the latter, see the Guidelines for the approval of business trips).
For business trips associated with certain types of recurring official duties, it is possible to apply for a business trip permit that is valid until the end of the calendar year (also using the form business trip approval request form).
Under section 84 (1)(2) of the NBG (Civil Servant Act), only necessary and reasonable costs are reimbursed as travel expenses. Travel expenses are processed using the Request for settlement of an approved business trip. The claim should be submitted promptly after the business trip, and within 6 months at the latest (exclusion period). If the costs are expected to exceed EUR 200, it is possible to apply for an advance of up to 80% of the upcoming costs. It is also possible to apply for an international per diem.
Apart from the business trip application, staff who are on business abroad must carry a secondment certificate (officially known as an A1 form), showing that they continue to be subject to German social insurance regulations. This applies to all paid staff, i.e. employees, civil servants and student and research assistants. Such a secondment certificate is not only required for longer stays abroad of several days, weeks or months, but also for very short stays (including appointments lasting just a few hours) and is thus required for every border crossing made for professional reasons.
The secondment certificate must be requested from the social insurance agency. Members of staff cannot request the certificate directly but must complete and forward the requisite form. At the University of Oldenburg, Division 2, Section 2.5 (Payroll Section) is responsible for applying for these certificates.
If a member of staff works in the same country repeatedly for a limited period of time, a new secondment certificate must be requested for each period. The expected duration of the employment must be stated in the application.
Legal accident insurance for staff on business trips:
Staff who undertake business trips on behalf of or in the interests of the university are covered by legal accident insurance for all activities and work performed in causal connection with the business activities, with the exception of persons who are to be provided with accident insurance under civil service regulations.
However, staff are not always insured for the entire duration of the business trip or for every activity, even if they have to stay or move outside their place of work and residence during the business trip in the interests of the service.
In this context, the general principles apply according to which the insurance coverage only pertains to activities which have a substantial legal connection with the insured activity.
Therefore, when a person engages in purely personal activities during the business trip that are unconnected to the professional activities (eating, drinking, sleeping, etc.), the insurance coverage ceases to apply. Such activities fundamentally belongs to the private sphere and therefore to the personal life of the concerned individual.
The fact that a member of staff is free to choose the precise manner and time of implementation of the given assignment does not contradict the acceptance of a business trip. On the other hand, in cases in which an official or business trip is substantially linked to private interests in terms of time and place, it must be examined whether an actual causal connection exists with the professional activity at the time of the accident. The decision on this matter must take into account all circumstances of the specific case.
For instance, if a member of staff carries out activities in the location independently of the professional activity which are based on personal interests (e.g. visiting museums, attending cultural events) and are unrelated to the actual assigned tasks, these activities also belong to the uninsured private sphere of the member of staff.
Finally, it should be noted that only accident events are covered under the legal accident insurance, not endogenous illnesses occurring during the business trip (e.g. appendicitis or flu). In such cases, the individual's health insurance is liable for payment.
In the event of an accident, an accident report must be submitted without delay to the personnel officer in Division 1 who is responsible for the individual concerned.
The Lower Saxony Accident Insurance Fund (Landesunfallkasse Niedersachsen (LUK Niedersachsen)) ultimately clarifies whether accident insurance applies.
NB: PhD students who are enrolled as PhD students but who finance their doctorate with a scholarship and are therefore not employed by the university are not legally insured against accidents during a stay for research purposes in Groningen, as the insurance coverage is limited to activities within the university's organisational area of responsibility.
You will find further information on the subject (in German) at: https://lukn.de/rehabilitation-leistung/versichertenkreis/kinder-schueler-studierende/universitaet.php
Employer's liability insurance:
In principle, the University of Oldenburg is liable for material damage caused by staff on business trips in the course of their work - but only at the current value. However, damage due to gross negligence or intent is excluded. The damage caused must be documented and communicated to the personnel officer in Division 1 who is responsible for the concerned person.
Staff members and civil servants working in the Netherlands on a temporary basis (usually for no more than 24 months), who continue to be covered by statutory health insurance in Germany can also receive sickness benefits in kind in the Netherlands. This also applies to co-insured family members who are accompanying or visiting the person in question. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is required for this. The EHIC is issued by the health insurance company of the person covered by statutory health insurance. Further information on benefits in kind in the Netherlands can be obtained directly from the health insurance company. (Reference: https://www.dvka.de/media/dokumente/merkblaetter/arbeiten_im_ausland/Arbeiten_Niederlande.pdf) (in German).
Useful information on health insurance coverage during a temporary stay in the Netherlands can also be found in the leaflet "Urlaub in den Niederlanden” (in German). https://www.dvka.de/media/dokumente/merkblaetter/urlaub_im_ausland/Urlaub_Niederlande.pdf
The University of Groningen (RUG)/University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the University of Oldenburg (UOL) work together closely in the European Medical School. This cooperation is governed by a cooperation agreement.
By signing the authorisation agreement, researchers from Groningen become associate members of Faculty VI, and therefore also of the UOL. Associate members of the UOL are entitled to use all facilities of the University subject to the relevant regulations. In Faculty VI and its organisational units, researchers can be granted the following possibilities in individual agreements with the host organisational units:
- Application and participation rights with regard to obtaining and managing third-party funding in accordance with the rules of the UOL
- Access to laboratory areas and equipment within the available resources of the working group or Faculty VI and the department in question
- Participation in research, particularly the implementation of research tasks, including the right to apply to the appropriate commissions
- Regular reporting on joint research projects
- Publication of joint research results under the address of the UOL
- Participation in teaching (for example through teaching assignments)
- Participation in the self-administration according to the regulations for UOL associate members
- Participation in appointment committees according to the respective status groups (e.g. professors).
The basic prerequisite for an authorisation is the investigator’s research experience. At least one of the points listed under criteria a) and b) must be met. Alternatively, criterion c) may be applied.
a) Close collaboration with researchers from Oldenburg ranging over at least 3 years, documented through:
- Joint publications
- Jointly awarded third-party funding (EU, etc.)
- Joint supervision of graduate students
b) Interest in taking part in the establishment of the University Medicine in Oldenburg, documented through:
- Participation in teaching
- Participation in commissions and committees
c) Strategic considerations:
- Fit of the PI for a planned coordinated programme
- Support in the development of a research area
The Faculty Council decides whether criteria a) and b) are met. The Faculty Council also decides on the alternative application of criterion c) after prior consultation with the deanery. The authorisation agreements automatically end after 5 years, a new application is possible.
Applications can be submitted annually on October 1 and should be addressed to the dean. The letter should contain a current curriculum vitae (including a list of third-party funding from the last 5 years and the 5 most important publications) and state to what extent criteria a) and b) have been fulfilled, and whether criterion c) should be applied.
This is the Dutch counterpart to the authorisation agreement which is meant for external academics/researchers, e.g. from the University of Oldenburg. If required, the host UMCG department initiates an agreement with the Human Resources department and the external academic/researcher to use the premises and resources available at the UMCG.
In this case, a Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer, BSN) must be applied for at the city hall of Groningen. The application must be made in person, on presentation of a passport/ID card.
Information on this agreement, as well as on possible further forms of integration, can be obtained from the management/contact person of the cooperating department at the University of Groningen (UG).
School VI offers doctoral candidates the opportunity to obtain a joint degree in cooperation with the University of Groningen (UG). The doctoral candidates are supported by a German-Dutch team of supervisors, and the phases of the doctorate are divided as evenly as possible between the two locations.
A binational doctorate is of particular interest for prospective researchers who want to work in an international context and/or are interested in cross-border research. In addition to the wide range of opportunities, doctoral candidates benefit in particular from intensive supervision, a larger research infrastructure and insight into the research culture of the partner institution/other country.
The binational doctoral procedure of the University of Groningen and School VI has been laid down in detail in the "Agreement for a Joint Supervision of a Doctorate".
If you are interested in a binational doctorate, please contact Mrs Nina Löchte at:
Provided that places are available, it is usually possible to participate in courses of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS) at the UMCG. If interested, doctoral candidates should contact Dr Desiree Jansen, Policy Advisor at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences:
Further information on the courses offered can be found here.
Generally, funds cannot be transferred directly to the Netherlands. However, for certain funding formats, it may be possible to spend a small part of the subsidy amount in the Netherlands. In such cases, the relevant details must be clarified in advance with the funding bodies.
If, in the context of research cooperation between the University of Groningen and the University of Oldenburg, expenditures are incurred on the part of Groningen which are to be covered by the Oldenburg budget, these can often be transacted via the electronic purchasing system (EDE) of the University of Oldenburg or alternatively via the Oldenburg research group (invoice recipient: University of Oldenburg). The following guidelines must be observed:
- In principle, the user must ensure that the items to be ordered are allowed to be used at the place of use.
- Orders can be placed with suppliers in Germany or in the Netherlands via the Oldenburg EDE (electronic purchasing system) by a person employed at the University of Oldenburg. Orders must state the department of the UMCG to which delivery is to be made.
- Alternatively, items from the UMCG stock may be used. The items can then be billed to the university medical centre or the section of School VI - School of Medicine and Health Sciences that uses them. Invoices should not exceed the amount of EUR 1000. The UMCG letterhead should be used for invoicing; supplier invoices should not be forwarded to the UMCG. If possible, items should be combined in a lump sum.
Matthias Nolte (EDE)
and Joachim Stelljes (Finance, School VI)
are available if you have any questions in this regard.
Student assistants temporarily employed based on section 6 of the WissZeitVG (Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act) must be enrolled at a German university.
If this is not the case because they are enrolled as students in Groningen, an unfounded fixed-term may apply according to section 14, paragraph 2 of the TzBfG (Act on part-time and temporary work). However, this is only possible if a fixed-term or permanent employment relationship has not previously existed with the same employer (i.e. the State of Lower Saxony). Temporary employment as a student assistant is then only possible for up to two years.
If an appointment is planned via third-party funded projects which explicitly include the funding of student assistants, a time limit may also be set based on section 2 paragraph 2 of the WissZeitVG. However, a final examination of the possibility of such a time limit is only possible after submission of the respective grant notices.
Further information can be provided by Jörg Sprenger, Division 1,
Nina Löchte, Team Leader of International Affairs and the Promotion of Early Career Researchers:
Dr Adriana Peréz Fortis, Coordinator of the Cross-Border Institute of Healthcare Systems and Prevention:
Prof. Dr Anja Bräuer, Vice Dean for Research, Groningen Affairs and the Promotion of Early Career Natural Sciences Researchers:
Dr Corinna Glasner, UMCG coordinator Joint Graduate Research Training Group:
Dr Adriana Peréz Fortis, Coordinator of the Cross-Border Institute of Healthcare Systems and Prevention:
Dr Martin Smit, Director of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences:
Prof. Dr Jochen Mierau, Scientific Director of the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health:
Dr Barry van der Strate, Head of the UMCG Research Office:
Dr Nicolien Wieringa, UMCG Research Office:
Dr Simona Fossa-Margutti, contact person for Dutch-German cooperation at the UMCG:
UMCG International Office:
Last revised: September 2020
The information provided here is accurate to the best of our knowledge. While we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date, we accept no liability for the information and provide no guarantee as to its completeness, current relevance or factual accuracy.