FWJ - Voluntary Scientific Year

What is the Voluntary Scientific Year?

From biomedicine to chemistry, from physics to the engineering sciences: on the Voluntary Scientific Year (FWJ) scheme, you can assist on a research project of your choice for a year. With your supervisors and team colleagues, you can do research relating to areas such as stem cells, gene therapies and vaccinations, or obtain new findings in the fields of quantum physics, laser research and materials science. Practical work in research labs will give you a realistic inside look at scientific careers in an international environment. On the FWJ scheme, you can complete a 12-month research project or two six-month projects within a work group at Hannover Medical School (MHH) or one of its partner institutions.

Who can take part?

The Voluntary Scientific Year is aimed at those who have obtained their university entrance certificate (Abitur) and are interested in doing a degree or a vocational training programme in the natural sciences. They can use the Voluntary Scientific Year:

  • to gain practical experience;
  • to explore career options;
  • as a constructive time-out while they wait for their studies or training to begin. Time spent on the Voluntary Scientific Year scheme counts towards the required number of terms some prospective students need to wait (Wartesemester) before obtaining a place of study. If they have already been offered a study place, this will be kept for them.

What do we offer?

As well as work in an interesting field, we can offer you:

  • reliable supervision and guidance by a specialist member of staff;
  • interesting seminars on personal development for career starters;
  • an allowance and additional payments for board and accommodation, totalling up to 400 euros per month;
  • an ID card entitling you to benefits on public transport and reductions for events;
  • a reference once you have completed the scheme.

Additionally, social-security contributions will be paid on your behalf.


The FWJ begins in September of any given year. The deadline for applications is 31 March. Your application documents should contain the following;

  • Letter of application detailing your motivation for applying, and perhaps indicating your interest in a particular specialist field;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Last school report and, if applicable, documentation of vocational training.
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