TUM-UNESP Research Exchange

With the newly established research exchange program between TUM and the Universidade Estadual Paulista „Júlio de Mesquita Filho" (UNESP), São Paulo, Brazil, the TUM Graduate School supports international mobility of TUM doctoral candidates by providing 5 research placements at UNESP per year. The program is a key initiative to further develop the long-standing TUM-UNESP partnership in research and education through joint collaboration in doctoral training.   

Founded in 1976, nowadays UNESP is one of the largest and most important universities in Brazil. As one of the three public universities maintained by the government of the state of São Paulo, UNESP is the best case of a multicampus university with 24 different campuses across the entire state of São Paulo. The TUM-UNESP Research Exchange Program covers all 24 campuses and research areas ranging from engineering, life and health sciences, computer sciences, natural sciences as well as social sciences and humanities.

Key program details

TUM doctoral candidates participating in the research exchange will be enrolled as non-award doctoral candidates at UNESP for research stays of 3-6 months under the supervision of their host supervisor. They are not charged any tuition fees at UNESP but may be eligible for charges for non-academic or non-obligatory facilities, services or activities.  

Exchange candidate's progression, thesis supervision and examination will remain the principal responsibility of the TUM supervisor and academic department/school. At the completion of the exchange program, exchange candidates will be provided with a joint TUM-UNESP certificate confirming their participation in the research exchange program, but will not be awarded a joint/double degree or academic transcript. 

The TUM-UNESP Research Exchange is open to TUM doctoral candidates from all disciplines. In order to be eligible for the program, the applicant must: 

  • have the approval/support from his*her TUM supervisor
  • have found a supervisor at UNESP
  • be a regular member of the TUM Graduate School (no guest/visiting doctoral candidates) 
  • have attended the TUM Graduate School Kick-Off Seminar (at the time of anticipated exchange start date the latest)
  • have passed the interim evaluation/feedback talk at the time of anticipated exchange start date

In order to apply for the program, please 

  1. Talk to your TUM supervisor to find out whether he*she can recommend you a specific researcher at UNESP, or
  2. (in case you do not have a specific researcher in mind) Contact the Program Exchange Liaison Officer with your research exchange proposal and timeline, as well as prefered host research group/institute. The TUM-GS will then contact UNESP to discuss your interest in visiting UNESP as a research exchange candidate and determine if there is a suitable advisor for you. Should this apply to you, please contact the TUM-GS program coordinator at least 6-8 weeks before the application deadlines in May/December, as it may take several weeks to receive a response from UNESP faculty and receive an invitation letter. 
  3. Once you have received an invitation from a UNESP host supervisor, you will need to submit the following documents to the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM Graduate School:
  • TUM-UNESP Doctoral Research Exchange Program Application Form
  • motivation letter for application for the TUM-UNESP Doctoral Research Exchange Program, 
  • your academic CV,
  • support letter from your home superivsor at TUM, 
  • invitation letter from your host supervisor at UNESP,
  • research exchange outline, incl. content and timeline of your exchange period 

3.   Upon approval of the application by the TUM-GS, your application documents will be forwarded to UNESP by the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM-GS.

The academic year at UNESP is generally divided into first semester (from the beginning of March to mid July) and second semester (beginning of August to the beginning of December). In alignment with the academic year at UNESP, there are two application deadlines each year in December and May:

  • The deadline to apply for a March start date is December 1st. 
  • The deadline to apply for a August start date is May 1st. 

Outgoing TUM doctoral candidates participating in the TUM-UNESP Research Exchange Program may apply for the exclusiv Exchange@UNESP Grant consisting of:

  • one-time travel support of 1,000 Euro in total (based on the actual ticket price)
  • 1,200 EUR in total to support accommodation and living expenses for the entire research stay of 3-6 months at UNESP

In order to apply for the Exchange@UNESP Grant, please submit the Exchange@UNESP Grant Application Form together with the other program application documents to the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM Graduate School.

The Exchange@UNESP Grant may be combined with other TUM-GS internationalization funding schemes.

For all information about the TUM-UNESP Research Exchange Program, please contact: 

Ms Charlotte Janosa
TUM Graduate School
Email: janosa@zv.tum.de 
Phone: +49 89 289 10624

Getting to São Paulo and Settling In

The UNESP Foreign Student Guide provides a great overview of the different UNESP campuses (including contacts and research focuses), as welll as a introduction to Brazil, São Paulo state, public holidays etc. 

Although, citizens of many countries do not need a visa to enter Brazil for touristic or short-term business visits (conference etc.), they still need to apply for a visa (Temporário IV) for study/research purposes (even for stays of less than 90 days). Therefore, please inform yourself in due time e.g. at the Consulate General of Brazil in Munich whether you are required to apply for a visa for your intended research exchange at UNESP. Please note that the visa application must be requested before your departure in your place of residence! It is not possible to apply for a student visa in Brazil.  

Please note that you will have to have a suffcient health insurance for the entire research period in Brazil. This health insurance must cover repatriation as well. You are likely required to submitt such a proof of insurance for your visa application.    

There are multiple fights from European cities to destinations in Brazil, with São Paulo International Airport – Cumbica (GRU) being the most obvious destination airport for your research exchange at UNESP. To arrive at your final UNESP campus in São Paulo state, you will need to go to a specific bus terminal that will vary depending on the campus you are going. You may contact the local international office at your UNESP campus to request more information about how to get to campus or you may also contact our TUM Liaison in São Paulo, Mr Sören Metz for support. 

Upon arrival at your designated UNESP campus, please contact your local international office as soon as possible to register your personal information and receive information on how to register with the Brazilian Federal Police. Registration with the Brazilian Federal Police is mandatory within the first 30 days after arrival that will guarantee a legal stay in Brazil. Please note that a fine will be charged for every day of delay! 

UNESP does not offer on campus accommodation for international students and researchers, as this service is only provided for low-income Brazilian students. Therefore, exchange candidates are required to look for their own accommodation. Please keep in mind that UNESP has 24 campuses in 24 different cities among São Paulo state, and you will need to search for accommodation carefully in your city of destination. You may also talk to the responsible person at the local international office in your destination Campus and receive information about what are the better neighborhoods in the city etc. or see if they have tips on RepúblicasRepúblicas are houses or apartments where UNESP students live together near campus and share expenses, such as rent, food, tv and internet, etc. An overview of all campuses as well as the contact of the local international office can be found in the UNESP Foreign Student Guide .

In São Paulo city living costs might be considerably higher in comparison to countryside cities. Therefore, the estimated living costs may vary depending on where your UNESP campus will be located.  

São Paulo City (per month, noncommittal estimation)
Housing: R$ 1,500.00
Food: R$ 800.00
Public Transport (Bus and Subway): R$ 400.00

Countryside Cities (per month, noncommittal estimation)
Housing: R$ 1,000.00
Food: R$ 500.00
Public Transport (Bus): R$ 300.00

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Please find an overview of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the TUM-UNESP Research Exchange Program below:

I do not speak any Portuguese. Can I still apply for the program? Are there any language requirements? 
Although, a basic command of Portuguese will be useful for everyday life, Portuguese is not a requirement for the research exchange. You should be able to communicate and do your research in English, but an official language test etc. is not necessary. 

I am a Brazilian national/ I have a dual Brazilian citizenship. Am I eligible to participate in the Research Exchange Program? 
The program is open to all nationals. 

My TUM supervisor does not have any existing contacts with faculty members at UNESP. Can I still apply for the program?
Yes, you are very welcome to apply for the program. However, as the acceptance of a host at UNESP is a requirement for application, you need to find a faculty member (usually a professor) at UNESP who is willing to be your host. You can find all contact details and research areas of professors at UNESP directly on the website of the respective schools. Please contact a potential host with your CV and motivation letter directly. In any case, you should discuss your choice of host with your TUM supervisor before applying for the program.

I am employed by my chair/research group at TUM, may I apply for the program and the Exchange@UNESP Grant?
If your TUM supervisor/your boss agrees, you may of course apply for the program. Please bear in mind to discuss your options (e.g. Fortbildungsreise) with your supervisor/boss as soon as possible. After admission into the Exchange Program, you have to take care of your e.g. Fortbildungsreiseantrag etc.

I have a scholarship, may I apply for the program and the Exchange@UNESP Grant?
If your TUM supervisor agrees, you may apply for the program. However, please inform yourself as soon as possible whether your scholarship provider may have its own specific regulations about research stays abroad and the continuation of your scholarship payment during your stay at UNESP.

I am an "external" doctoral candidate, may I apply for the program and the Exchange@UNESP Grant?
If your TUM supervisor agrees, you may apply for the program. However, please discuss your plans with your external employer to find out whether there are any objections.

Is the number of exchange candidates limited?
There are up to five exchange placements and Exchange@UNESP Grants per year for TUM applicants in the program.

May I do several exchange stays at UNESP?
You can only do a one-time research stay at UNESP within the program. However, you are always welcome to arrange any individual research stays that are beneficial for your doctoral research. However, program benefits and related financial support will only apply for official program candidates.

I wish to do a shorter research stay than 3 months at UNESP. May I still apply for the program?
The exchange program with its benefits is only open to TUM doctoral candidates who wish to do a minimum 3-months research stay at UNESP. 

May I split the 3-6 months research stay into several shorter research periods?
In very exceptional cases, you may split the required minimum exchange period of 3-6 months into several shorter research stays. However, you will only be awarded with the Exchange@UNESP Grant once. 

May I submit my application after the official program application deadline?
You may also submit your application after the offcial application deadlines in May and December. However, please note that in this case, your application outcome may be delayed due to public holidays and vacation time at UNESP during semester break. Furthermore, you may have less chances to receive the Exchange@UNESP Grant as the grant quota may be already exhausted. 

What are the anticipated expenses for the research exchange?
As part of an official exchange program, you are not required to pay any tuition fees at UNESP. However, you need to cover other expenses like visa, accommodation, travel, food, books and teaching materials (if needed), insurance etc. yourself. Successful TUM program candidates will receive the TUM-GS Exchange@UNESP Grant of 1,200 Euro in total to support your expenses in São Paulo/the State of São Paulo as well as 1,000 Euro travel support.

How and when will I receive the Exchange@UNESP Grant?
In case of a successful admission, you will receive the Exchange@UNESP Grant after your arrival in São Paulo to your German bank account. In order to receive the grant, please send us a copy of your (return) flight ticket, boarding pass and a payment receipt within the first month of your research stay at UNESP. Please note that the Exchange@UNESP Grant must be mentioned in your final application for travel costs reimbursement at the TUM travel office and/or when applying for the TUM-GS internationalization support. The amount received within the Exchange@UQ Grant will be charged against the overall expenses. 

Besides the Exchange@UNESP Grant are there any other funding options?
TUM research/teaching associates and scholarship holders are usually applicable to apply for the TUM-GS Internationalization Support. Please visit the section on "Research Stay Abroad" on the TUM-GS website for further information. Please note that TUM-external institutions, e.g. the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) also offer own scholarship programs for research stays abroad. 

I need to cancel or shorten my research stay at UNESP. What will happen with my Exchange@UNESP Grant?
If you need to cancel your research stay within the first three months after you have started your research at UNESP, you will have to repay the entire Exchange@UNESP Grant to the TUM Graduate School. You may be exempt from the repayment if you are able to provide a good cause for cancellation (incl. proof of evidence). If you have to shorten your research stay but your research stay is still longer than 3 months at UNESP, you do not need to repay the Exchange@UNESP Grant.

I do not wish to participate in the official program but want to do a shorter/longer individual research stay at UNESP. May I still apply for the Exchange@UNESP Grant?
No, the Exchange@UNESP Grant is exclusively for candidates in the TUM-UNESP Research Exchange Program.