Frequently Asked Questions


How will I get to Germany? When will I need to be there?

Successful applicants will need to arrange and pay for their flights to Germany and will need to arrive in Munich by Sunday 16 July 2017.  Specific times and flights will be suggested to successful applicants.

Do not purchase tickets before your place on the summer school has been confirmed.

When the final list of attendees has been confirmed, the International Relations Office will share others’ contact details so you may arrange to travel in a group of other Imperial attendees, should you wish.

Where will the Global Fellows Programme and research placement take place? Where will I stay?

During the Global Fellows Programme (17 – 21 July), accommodation will be provided next to the course venue (TUM Science and Study Center, Burghausen).  Participants may have to share a bedroom with another course participant. Accommodation will be provided in Munich on the nights of 16 and 21 July and return transport from Munich to the course venue in Burghausen will be arranged.

If you wish to arrive earlier or depart later, you must arrange your own accommodation.

Can the Graduate School/International Relations Office help me arrange travel?

No, students should book travel directly themselves.  Websites such as are useful for reviewing prices and can sometimes offer better deals for students.

Can I combine this with other travel?

You are free to combine this with other travel before/after the course.  Regardless, a maximum of £300 can be refunded for travel costs.

Will I need to get a visa? How will I get a visa?

You may need to get a visa before travelling to Germany.  The course will take place close to the border with Austria. The course venue is in Germany while the accommodation is in Austria so participants will require entry permission for both countries. The International Relations Office will assist successful applicants who require a visa to arrange the necessary paperwork. 


Who can apply? What are the criteria for selection?

Eligibility Criteria

Imperial College participants must:

  • Be a current doctoral student (from any discipline, please note this programme is not open to MRes students)
  • Be between 6 and 30 months into their PhD at the time the programme takes place (6 and 48 months for part-time students)
  • Have an interest and awareness of issues affecting Cities of the Future and a willingness to engage with current topics in responses to developing global cities  
  • Be willing to share their experiences on the programme with the Imperial campus community on their return
  • Not have taken part in a previous Imperial international doctoral summer school/ Global Fellows Programme

Successful applicants will:

  • Gain the most from this specific programme and explain how in their application
  • Have realistic expectations of the experience and explain their goals for the programme in their application
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for engaging with peers from  TUM
  • Possess awareness of the skills necessary to develop links with international collaborators
  • Show an awareness of concerns for Cities of the Future and a willingness to engage with current topics in these areas
  • Be willing to be a good ambassador for Imperial

Students should explain how they meet the above criteria in their application (note applicants who have not addressed this requirement will not be offered a place on the course). 

Students should have a keen interest in Cities of the Future and be willing to engage with topics and concerns in this area. However applicants do not have to have an in-depth background in the area.

Students who arrange research visits as part of visiting TUM will be considered favourably in the application process however undertaking a research visit is not a compulsory requirement. In 2016 ~50% participants stayed for a 3 week research visit following the overseas Global Fellows Programmes.  

Can I apply to more than one Global Fellows Programme?

Yes, students can apply for more than one international summer school but will only be able to participate in one (if your application is successful).

Can I apply if I have already completed another Global Fellows Programme?


Can I apply if I am more than 30 months or less than 6 months into my PhD?

No, unfortunately this opportunity is only open to students between 6 and 30 months into their PhD (6 and 48 months for part-time students).

Can I apply if I have already fulfilled my Graduate School professional skills course requirements?


Can I apply if I am an MSc or MSci student?

No, this course is only open to doctoral students.


What is the content of the course?

Students from Imperial and TU Munich will work together on a 5-day course to develop their research and professional skills.

Participants will work in small groups, assisted by a tutor from one of the participating institutions. The course provides students with a chance to develop their professional and research skills in an international environment.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Creativity and development of collaborative research
  • Effective team working 
  • Effective communication with impact
  • Networks and networking  
  • Current research into Cities of the Future

 At the end of this course students will have:

  • A greater understanding of research in different institutions
  • Generated a new interdisciplinary collaborative research proposal
  • Examined group dynamics and team roles important in working collaboratively
  • Considered how to communicate effectively
  • A greater understanding of current issues in Cities of the Future

Links are made to the research environment and participants are encouraged to apply the new insights gained from the course to their doctoral study at Imperial.

Why should I take this course?

The research environment is increasingly competitive and requires both excellence in research and developed professional skills.  This course is designed to challenge researchers to assess their research skills and develop their interdisciplinary awareness, examining opportunities to collaborate and develop research.  The course will focus on professional skills essential for researchers and also feature insights from current researchers on Cities of the Future.

Attendance on the course fulfils the Graduate School professional skills course requirements for the Early Stage Assessment.


How much does the programme cost?

Excluding students’ travel, accommodation for the duration of the Global Fellows Programme (17 - 21 July) will be arranged and paid for by Imperial. Students will also receive a £300 contribution to their travel costs Please note, only flight costs on economy class tickets will be reimbursed. During research placements, accommodation, meals and other incidentals will be the responsibility of students themselves.

Students will also be responsible for paying for their travel to/from Germany, with up to £300 refunded by Imperial after purchase. Expense claims must be submitted by no later than Monday 26 June 2017.

Is there any financial assistance/funding available? How will I receive reimbursement for my travel costs?

Up to £300 of travel costs will be refunded by Imperial following proof of purchase. This can only be done after you have purchased tickets. An expenses claim form along with receipts will need to be provided to the Graduate School. Expense claims must be submitted and received by no later than Monday 26 June 2017. Full instructions on completing and submitting the expense claim will be sent to all particpants after selection.

Students completing a 3 week research visit after the programme will be eligible to apply for a bursary from the International Relations Office.

Is there any additional assistance for students in need?

No, for students who do not have access to the available funds, we recommend they speak to their supervisor/ department about the possibility of obtaining funding from other sources. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer discounted rates on an individual basis.

Health and Safety

Imperial students will be covered by the Imperial Travel Insurance scheme for the duration of the Global Fellows Programme and research placements.  Please see the Insurance section of the website for full details.

For further info, please refer to the guidance provide by the UK Government Foreign Travel Advice website.

Research placements

Why should I do a research placement?

From our experience, students that stay on after the Global Fellows Programme component of the programme are able to build stronger relationships and greatly expand their academic networks by spending time in overseas labs and research groups.  It is also a great way to learn about a different research culture and environment.

How do I find a research placement? Can you help me find a research placement?

In finding a research placement at TU Munich, you are first encouraged to discuss this with your supervisor/department at Imperial.  This should help you gain a sense of existing collaborative relationships with TTU Munich and to gauge the potential of finding a host supervisor via your Imperial department.  If no collaboration or connections are active, please look through the Faculties list on the TU Munich website to see which departments or groups may be suitable for a placement.

If you identify an academic or group which you think might be suitable for a placement, you should contact them directly to see if they would be willing to host you during the placement period (23 July-11 August).  Once agreement is received, please include this information in your application for the programme.  If successful, applicants will be asked to forward confirmation emails, so please keep track of any correspondence related to your research placement.  In 2016 ~50% participants in an overeseas Global Fellows programme completed a research visit. 

How can I fund my placement?

You should discuss with your supervisor possible sources of funding from themselves or within your department to help pay for your accommodation and expenses during your research placement. Please also include this information in your application.

The amount of money needed will vary depending on accommodation requirements, but students should budget for about £1000. 

Particpants will be eligible to apply for a busary from the International Relations Office to help with the costs of undertaking a placement.