Frequently Asked Questions


Here we answer the frequently asked questions about funding and applications from BI-International. If your questions are not answered, please do not hesitate to contact us.

General Questions

Quite good – especially if you are applying for the first time or are a young professional, BI-International strongly encourages you to do so. If you have any questions about the application or the process, please contact the office. Anyone who is actively working in a library or information environment, regardless of where they work and what background or education they have, can apply.
Good chances of being approved are subject-related current topics for a stay in Germany, such as long-term archiving, digital services, cultural diversity, sustainability, public-private partnerships, information literacy, collection management, community management.

But also stays in libraries of partner communities or “looking over the shoulder” of German colleagues who are working in a specific area or project that is of particular interest in their own library are always a good motivation.

If you are already working in partnership with libraries abroad or in Germany and are now planning a project-related trip to visit your local colleagues, of course you may apply for a grant as well.

A lot in any case. You can expand your network through contacts abroad and also exchange experiences beyond your stay in Germany. You can learn directly how certain methods, services or technologies are applied or have the chance to visit lighthouse institutions as part of a fellowship. An exchange of expertise helps anyone who wants to think outside the box. This can be beneficial for professional development and looks great on your CV.

No, if you are employed in a library, archive or documentation center and have a different professional background, you can also apply for a grant. Feel free to contact us with any questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

The commitment or approval of a grant is subject to the availability of the budgeted funds or the budget release by the Federal Foreign Office.

The German Library Portal offers an overview of the library system in Germany on the English pages:

There is also a nice publication about libraries in Germany:

Jürgen Seefeldt and Ludger Syré: Portals to Past and Future – Libraries in Germany. Commissioned by Bibliothek und Information Deutschland e.V. With a foreword by Heinz-Jürgen Lorenzen. 5th revised and enlarged edition. Hildesheim: Olms Verlag, 2020

By doing your own research. BII can be of assistance. Usually, anyone planning a professional stay or a study trip should make their own efforts to contact the libraries in Germany and ask directly for the possibility to stay there as a professional visitor. Yourself know best in what you are interested in.

Also, the guest libraries need to prepare for the visit. If you have a contact and both agree than on a certain time frame for your stay, you may start an application process via BII in the next step. Finally for an application, you will need official letter(s) of invitation from the guest institution in Germany and your final date of visit.

For international questions about applications or if technical problems arise during the application process, please contact the BII office in Berlin.
BI-International is the standing committee of BID e.V. (Library & Information Germany) for international cooperation and professional exchange. BI-International can support professional visits, group study trips and participation in congresses with a grant from federal and state funds and with the cooperation of the Goethe-Institute. BII consists of a board with currently nine members and has an office in Berlin.

Funding and financial support

Funding is provided for professional visits in Germany for library professionals or groups within the framework of the three main programs. These can be professional stays in libraries, archives or documentation centers or institutions and departments related to the subject. Furthermore, BII supports participation in congresses, online education, conferences or professional events for which a fee is charged. Funding is usually provided in the form of a travel grant.

BI-International offers three types of main funding programmes for which applications can be submitted throughout the year: • for specialized stays (internships) in libraries, archives and similar institutions
• for participation in conferences on-site and virtually. Funding is also available for paid online training, virtual conferences, or digital professional events
• for study trips for groups

Employees in libraries, archives and information institutions are eligible to apply. International library professionals and librarians may apply for funding for both active and passive participation in a professional conference in Germany. In the case of group study trips, funding is provided for a thematically oriented professional program within the framework of a study trip. The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 15. For the application process we ask for a short CV.

Yes, a compulsory internship can be carried out in Germany as part of training or studies. Additional voluntary internships are not funded.

Yes, newcomers, career starters and young professionals are expressly encouraged to apply for funding. Take advantage of the opportunity to establish international relationships at the beginning of your career. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

As a rule, university members in the field of library and information science are not sponsored.

Students, trainees and trainee librarians in these disciplines, on the other hand, can be considered if they are actively involved in a conference with a lecture/contribution in the above-mentioned manner.

Otherwise, the following applies to professional stays and group trips: Students are excluded from general funding.

For group study trips, interpreters or travel companions are not funded.

General: No travel related to a business activity will be funded.

Employees in libraries, archives, and information institutions who are actively employed may apply. It does not matter if they are employed in the public sector or in the private sector where you are employed.

Funding programmes

For professional stays in Germany the amount of the grant is calculated upon a per diem of 80 Euro for the duration of the trip. The duration may last between 3 working days and a maximum of 3 weeks. You will receive additional 80 Euro if you travel to Germany from another country within Europe. You may receive 160 Euro additionally if you come from a country outside Europe.

The scholarship holder organizes his/her own travel, pays the expenses and is responsible for the corresponding international insurance.

An application for a study tour for a group must be submitted for the entire trip at once. One person from the group must be designated to submit the application on behalf of all. The grant is awarded individually for the registered participants and is not transferable. The number of participants is limited to 3-15 persons. A grant of 80 Euro per person per travel day will be paid. Maximum grant amount is 6000 Euro. The calculation of the daily rates is based on the hours of the professional program. BII will just support the trip with a grant, and may not refund the whole travelling costs.
Travel to and from Germany is not funded. It is recommended to involve the respective local Goethe-Institut in the planning process. BI-International can assist with the program design. A professional program should take place on two to five days during the study trip.

The funding will be paid as a grant in Germany to the applicant on behalf of the whole group and not in advance.

Planning, booking and travelling are on the group’s own responsibility and at one’s own risk. Please make sure you have all visa and insurances organized yourself.

Both active and passive participation will be funded. For attending online conferences:

Starting in 2021, library professionals can apply for funding for online participation in a virtual or hybrid conference abroad starting at € 50 for applicants outside Europe and € 100 participation fee for high income countries. Due to the ongoing pandemic, applications for 2021 can be submitted until 14 days BEFORE the start of the conference until further notice!

Attending international conferences on site in Germany:

Funding is available for participation in an international event related to library and information science (congresses, meetings, conferences, continuing education, etc.) which is held in Germany. You will receive additional 80 Euro if you travel to Germany from within Europe. You may receive 160 Euro additionally if you come from a country outside Europe. The Early Bird conference fee will be fully funded by BII.


You can find the online application forms on our startpage, via Funding programmes.

For international library professionals wishing to come to Germany: usually applications can be made during the year round. The application must be received by BI-International at least six weeks before the start of the trip. Please consider enough time also for you visa and other formalities in regard to immigration requirements to Germany, also during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online Conferences:
For applications for online conferences or training, the following applies: submit application up to 14 days before the conference.

Please note: only fully completed applications with all supporting documents will be processed. Decision and notification will be made via email after review by the BII jury.
You can find the online application forms on our startpage, via Funding programmes or directly.

The BII jury consults as soon as possible after receiving the applications. We generally try to communicate the decision as soon as possible.

Applications should be completed as fully as possible. An application should also be submitted within the specified deadlines. As a rule, just one grant per applicant is possible per year. Multiple grants for one person per year are not possible.


For international librarians coming to Germany 80 Euro per day of stay will be funded. Travellers from Europe receive an additional one-time payment of 80 Euros, and travellers from outside Europe receive 160 Euros extra. For conferences, only the early-bird rate or early-booking discount is covered by BII. For group travel, weekends, national holidays or days without a professional program are not eligible for funding. The maximum sponsorship amount per group is 6000 Euro.

No, BI-International only grants a subsidy for the travel costs incurred, a kind of travel compensation.

For international librarians coming to Germany, BII is funding 80 Euro per day of stay. Travellers from Europe receive an additional one-time payment of 80 Euros, and travellers from outside Europe receive 160 Euros extra. For conferences, the early-bird rate or early-booking discount is covered by BII. For group study trips, weekends, national holidays or days without a professional program are not eligible for funding. The maximum sponsorship amount per group is 6000 Euro.

Regulation for international library professionals coming to Germany: The funding amount is handed over in person in Germany and is not paid out in advance. For online conferences, the participation fee is paid out via Paypal.


Those who receive a travel grant from BI-International are obliged to submit a meaningful written report. The report must contain a clear reference to the sponsorship by BI-International.

BII is granted the right to publish the report in full or in excerpts online, e.g., on the BII blog NEWS. Everyone who writes a report is obliged to clarify the copyright and publication rights of any photos used in the report in advance. All photos must be under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license. The report should be sent in electronic form (preferably as a PDF file) by e-mail.

Please send your report by mail to the BII office no later than six weeks after the end of your stay abroad: [email protected]. Alternatively, you may report via your Social Media Channel during a conference.

Formal criteria:
• Submission deadline: Within 6 weeks after the trip
• German or English text fully written out and structured, submission in digital format (as WORD or PDF files). Images as jpg. or gif. (up to 640 x 480 pixels) including caption. File size up to 2MB.
• Length: Min. 3 pages, max. 10 A4 pages.
• Attachments: Images (photos, graphics etc.) incorporated into text, if useful for illustration of content. Please send us a photo which we can use and put into the teaser for the blog post of your report.
• Additional information: Your name or all name(s) of author(s), name of photographer, references, if applicable, in bibliography at the end of the document; links incorporated in text or in footnotes.
• A personal picture of your stay for our blog/teaser would be very nice to have and share.

Copyright for photos:
Please note, in case you want to include pictures in your report, you are responsible to clear the rights and communicate it clearly. We recommend that you use only your own photos or if you are not the photographer, to name the source/photographer/rights of the picture. Please put all your pictures under a Creative Commons Licence CC BY-SA 4.0. Please describe that clearly with the respective Licence Code (
This is how a description of a pictures should look like: Title of Picture or Subtext, Name of photographer, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Please bear in mind that people depicted in pictures need to give their consent if you intend to publish your picture, due to data privacy.

Some suggestions on content criteria for the report:
• Review of the library and information infrastructure of the country visited, name of the institution visited
• the conference name you attended, an overview over main discussed themes or a special focus
• an overview over the main stations of the group study trip or your stay
• Special features by comparison with your home country
• Description of visited institution(s) – objectives, position and relevance within the local system
• Current trends, projects, innovative developments
• Optional some brief background information if useful and necessary (e.g. with regard to visits to lesser known countries): historical information, form of government, population and educational structure, book market …
• Your personal impressions: expectations and experiences, value for your own professional activities, suggestions, conclusion, what you learned during your stay

Of course, you are also free to publish later on your experiences additionally in the press or any library journal of your choice or to report on a national conference about your impressions. Please mention BI-International’s financial support. 

You are welcome to. Please mention the financial support from BII and let us know where you want to publish your travel report. For our part, we will be happy to point this out in our blog and on our social media channels. Alternatively, those who participate in online conferences can also report live from the event via their own social networks.

Alternatively, those taking part in online conferences can also report live from the event via their own social networks. Or if you do a study trip. We would be happy if you let us know your channel in advance. If you also want to report live during your professional stay or study trip, please let us know in advance. We appreciate if you use the hashtag #bibinternational and mention our social media channels on Twitter @BII_news and on LinkedIn.

We are working on a solution. In general, fellows should have the opportunity to blog about their activities.

The written report (preferably in PDF form or as a Word document) should be emailed to the BII office within six weeks of the end of the trip. Alternatively, those who participate in (online) conferences can also report live from the event via their own social networks.

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BI-International, a commission of BID

c/o Deutscher Bibliotheksverband
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