TUM-Beihang Research Exchange

With the aim to intensify existing research collaborations, as well as to foster international mobility and networking of young researchers, Beihang University and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have recently established a Research Exchange Program for doctoral candidates. Beihang University (previously known as the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) is one of China's top universities with more than 30 schools/colleges in natural sciences, engineering, medicine, economy, education, liberal arts etc.  

Key program details

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

For the period of the research stay, TUM exchange candidates will work on their research project under the supervision of a Beihang faculty member and will have access to library, laboratory, and other resources comparable to locally-enrolled doctoral candidates at Beihang. While at Beihang, TUM exchange candidates may also attend postgraduate courses in English. 

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

The TUM-Beihang 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 the TUM supervisor
  • have already found a supervisor at Beihang University 
  • be a regular member of the TUM Graduate School (no guest doctoral candidates)
  • have attended the TUM Graduate School Kick-Off Seminar
  • have passed the interim evaluation/feedback talk at the time of the anticipated exchange start date

In order to apply for the program, please 

  1. Contact your TUM supervisor to discuss your interest in doing a research exchange at Beihang University and determine if your TUM supervisor might be able to recommend a suitable host for you at Beihang.
  2. Usually, the best way to contact a potential host at Beihang is through your TUM supervisor. However, you may also search for a potential host directly by yourself. 
  3. After you have identified a potential host at Beihang, please contact him/her with your CV and your motivation letter directly via e-mail. 
  4. Once the potential host at Beihang is willing to supervise you during your stay at Beihang, please fill in the Program Application Form, the Study Plan, as well as organize the support letters for your exchange from your TUM supervisor and your host at Beihang.
  5. Submit all application documents to the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM Graduate School before the application deadline.
  6. Upon approval of the application by the TUM Graduate School, the TUM-GS Program Exchange Liaison Officer will forward all applications to Beihang for assessment.
  7. If Beihang approves of your application, the TUM-GS will forward you the admission package, including an admission note, a support document for your visa application and a detailed guide for Beihang.  

For application, please submit following application documents via email and post to the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM Graduate School: 

  1. Program Application Form
  2. Application Form for the TUM-GS Exchange@Beihang Grant
  3. Support letter for the exchange from the TUM supervisor
  4. Confirmation letter from the host at Beihang that he/she will supervise you during your research stay at Beihang 
  5. CV
  6. Motivation letter (max. one page)
  7. Copy of your passport (valid at least for another 6 months after intended program start date) 
  8. Copy of your Master's degree transcript

There are two program intakes each year that coincide with the semester dates at Beihang:

  • Application deadline for fall semester (mid-September to early January): May 1st  
  • Application deadline for spring semester (early March to mid-July): October 1st    

As course starting dates and other service offers (e.g. housing options) are usually limited to semester start, applicants should plan the start date of their research stay at Beihang accordingly.

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

  • one-time travel support of 1,000 EUR 
  • 1,200 EUR in total to support accommodation and living expenses in Peking for the entire research stay of 3-6 months at Beihang

In order to apply for the Exchange@Beihang Grant, please submit the Exchange@Beihang Grant Application Form together with the other program application documents (e.g. confirmation of stay) to the Program Exchange Liaison Officer at the TUM Graduate School.  

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

For all information about the TUM-Beihang Research Exchange Program, as well as program application please contact the Program Exchange Liaison Officer: 

Mrs Zizheng Zhang 
International Cooperation & Alliances
TUM Graduate School
Email: zhang@zv.tum.de 
Phone: +49 89 289 10631

Getting to Peking and settling in

Beihang University is located in the Haidian District in north-west Peking municipality, close to other renowned universities like Peking University or Tsinghua University. It is also close (at least by Chinese standards) to some of Peking's top tourist attractions like the Summer Palace or the Fragrant Hills. The district is also famous for its electronics area with various national and international tech-companies.

The campus of Beihang can easily be reached via Peking's extensive subway network and offers plenty of eating, shopping, sports, medical and other service facilities. For more information about campus life, as well as extensive visa and insurance information, please visit Beihang's excellent website on campus life

TUM candidates participating in the TUM-Beihang Research Exchange Program may apply for on-campus student housing at Beihang. The available option is a double-occupancy bedroom with bathroom shared with another international candidate at Beihang (not necessarily from TUM) at the International Student Dormitory. The monthly rent is approx. 650 RMB per person. Successful applicants will receive more information on accommodation after program admission.  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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

My TUM supervisor does not have any existing contacts with faculty members at Beihang. 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 Beihang is a requirement for application, you need to find a faculty member (usually a professor) at Beihang who is willing to be your host. You can find all contact details and research areas of professors at Beihang 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 program application.

I am employed by my chair/research group at TUM, may I apply for the program and the Exchange@Beihang 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@Beihang Grant?
If your TUM supervisor agrees, you may apply for the program. However, please inform yourself as soon as possible whether your scholarship provider has any own specific regulations about research stays abroad and the possible continuation of your scholarship payment during your stay at Beihang.

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

Do I need to speak Chinese in order to participate in the program? What other language skills do I need? Although, Chinese language skills would definitely be helpful, Chinese is not a requirement for the program! All applicants should have an excellent command of English but we do not need official proof or e.g. TOEFL/ IELTS test scores.

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

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

I wish to do a shorter research stay at Beihang. 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 Beihang. The maximum exchange period is one semester (=6 months). 

May I split the 3-6 months research into several shorter research periods? 
In very exceptional cases, you may split the required exchange period of 3-6 months into several research stays. However, you will only be awarded with the Exchange@Beihang Grant once. Further, please note that you may not be able to attend courses at Beihang and may not benefit from on-campus housing in case of several shorter research periods. 

May I submit my application after the official program application deadline?
There are two intakes per year at Beihang that coincide with the semester start dates of the fall and the spring semester. As course starting dates and other service offers (e.g. housing options) are also limited to semester start, it is essential to submit your application documents according to the official program application deadlines.

After application, when will I receive the outcome of my application? 
After the application deadline, applicants shall usually be informed of the application outcome within 6-8 weeks. However, the decision procedure may be prolonged due to incompleteness of application documents or public vacations.  

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 Beihang. However, you need to cover other expenses like visa, accommodation, travel, food, books and teaching materials (if needed), insurance etc. by yourself. Successful TUM program candidates will receive the TUM-GS Exchange@Beihang Grant of 1,200 Euro in total to support your expenses in Peking as well as a one-time travel support of 800 EUR. 

How and when will I receive the Exchange@Beihang Grant?
In case of a successful admission, you will receive the Exchange@Beihang Grant after your arrival in Peking to your German bank account. In order to receive the Grant, please send us a copy of your flight ticket/boarding pass and a payment receipt within the first month of your research stay at Beihang.

Besides the Exchange@Beihang 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 will also apply for the TUM-GS Internationalization Support. Do I have to mention the Exchange@Beihang Grant in my application for the TUM-GS Internationalization Support? 
Yes, please mention the Exchange@Beihang Grant in your application. Further, please note that for reimbursement of expenses as part of the Internationalization Support, it is essential that you mention all the funding you have already received as part of the Exchange@Beihang Grant! You will only receive reimbursement of expenses that have not been already covered by the Exchange@Beihang Grant. 

I will also receive reimbursement of expenses from my chair/research group. Do I have to mention the Exchange@Beihang Grant? 
Yes, you have to list all funding sources and amount of received funding when applying for the official reimbursement of travel expenses (Antrag auf Erstattung der Reisekosten) at the TUM Travel Reimbursement Office (zentrale Reisekostenstelle). You will only receive reimbursement of expenses that have not been already covered by the Exchange@Beihang Grant (and - if applicable- the TUM-GS Internationalization Support). In case of double reimbursement of e.g. your flight ticket, you will have to pay back the Exchange@Beihang Grant to the TUM Graduate School. 

I need to cancel or shorten my research stay at Beihang. What will happen with my Exchange@Beihang Grant? 
If you need to cancel your research stay within the first three months after you have started your research at Beihang, you will have to repay the entire Exchange@Beihang Grant to the TUM Graduate School. You may be exempt from the repayment if you are able to provide a very 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 Beihang, you do not need to repay the Exchange@Beihang Grant.  

I wish to take my family with me to Beihang. Does the TUM-GS offer any family support? 
You may apply for the TUM-GS Family Mobility Allowance. The TUM-GS Family Mobility Allowance is a monthly allowance for immediate family members who accompany the doctoral candidate during his*her research stay of 3 months and longer.

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

Is it possible to attend postgraduate courses at Beihang and will they be recognized by my home Graduate Center?
You may combine your research at Beihang with the participation in certain courses. Beihang offers a wide range of postgraduate courses in English. As a TUM-Beihang exchange candidate, you may attend theses courses during your research stay at Beihang. During program application, you need to indicate the courses you are interested in attending. We highly recommend to double-check with your Graduate Center whether the courses you wish to attend at Beihang might be recognized at TUM as part of your subject-related training.

Where can I find the postgraduate course program? 
You can find all postgraduate courses in English at Beihang directly on Beihang's website. 

Can I sign up for any postgraduate course I choose? 
Yes, you can apply for any postgraduate cours. Please contact the International Division at Beihang for any questions. 

Are there any Chinese language courses? 
Depending on your Chinese language level and time, Beihang offers various Chinese language courses ranging from 4 to 20 hours/week. If you plan to do a research exchange at Beihang, you may also consider taking part in the Chinese language courses offered by the TUM Language Center

Will Beihang or the TUM/TUM-GS take care of my visa application?
No, you have to take care of your own visa application. However, upon admission to the Exchange Program, Beihang will issue you a support letter for visa application. Depending on your citizenship - please inform yourself about the respective visa regulations in due time! Please also visit Beihang's website on campus life where you can find extensive information on visa and residence permit. 

Will TUM/TUM-GS or Beihang take care of any travel, accident or health insurances?
No, program candidates are responsible for their own insurances. Please clarify with your health insurance provider in due time whether your research stay in Peking will be covered by your current insurance scheme. Furthermore, all international exchange candidates are required to register for the Comprehensive Insurance & Protection Scheme for foreigners staying in China. 

Does Beihang offer on-campus housing?
Exchange candidates may apply for on-campus housing in the form of a double-occupancy bedroom with bathroom at the International Student Dormitory. Please see section "Getting to Peking and settling in" for more information on accommodation.

May I develop my research collaboration with Beihang into a joint doctoral degree? 
No, TUM does not offer any joint or double doctoral degree programs with Beihang.