Join us at Mathematics Münster

Getting Started: Information for a smooth start into Mathematics Münster

Before diving into your research there are a few organisational things to do and to know.

  • For international researchers


    To make the most of your time at Mathematics Münster and experience life in Münster, it helps to be fluent in English and German.
    If German is not your native language and you feel like you would like to improve your language skills, you can enrol for German classes at the WWU Language Centre. However, attendance fees may apply and the courses are quickly fully booked. Check with your supervisor(s) to discuss available options for external language courses.


    As an international researcher (PhD or Postdoc) at the University of Münster, there are some formalities that you need to take care of before and after you arrive. The WWU Welcome Centre provides you with assistance and a list of formalities and to do's. You can contact the Welcome Centre for questions regarding these formalities.

    • Citizens of certain countries require an entry visa when arriving in Germany.
    • If you are non-EU citizen and wish to stay in Germany for longer than three months, usually you will have to replace your visa with a residence permit after you arrive.
    • Registration of address must take place two weeks at the latest after arrival in Münster. New citizens from EU member states should not forget registering at the Citizen’s Office. Those moving to Münster from non-EU states require a certificate regarding their residence status.
    • Opening a bank account: a German bank account is required by the university for you to receive your salary and expense reimbursements.
    • You will need various insurances:
      • Social Insurance and health insurance (compulsory for researchers and any members of their family accompanying them)
      • Liability and accident insurance (recommended in Germany)
    • Taxes (changing payroll tax class, paying taxes, tax declarations, …)
    • Pension contributions: you can receive a pension from the German statutory pension scheme when you reach retirement age, provided you have at least five qualifying years. If you have not paid into the system for a full five years and return abroad, you can, under certain conditions, apply to have the pension contributions reimbursed.

    Detailed information on resident/work permit, employment contract, appointment and salary provides the administration for personnel matters of the WWU.

  • For doctoral researchers

    Enrolling as PhD student

    To complete your PhD at the University of Münster you have to be enrolled as a PhD student for at least one semester before you finish your PhD. While continuous enrolment as a PhD student is not necessary to complete your PhD, enrolment offers a lot of benefits, e.g. for

    • ticket for regional public transportation (regional trains, busses, trams) within North-Rhine Westphalia, also to Osnabrück and Enschede (NL),
    • reduced prices in the Mensa (students pay significantly less than the employee prices) and for the university sports programme,
    • possibility to attend the language courses at the Language Centre, Graduate Centre and Career Service.

    To enrol as a PhD student at the University of Münster you need to

    1. ask your supervisor to sign the form for Betreuungszusage/Confirmation of doctoral supervision,
    2. complete the online enrolment form. You may enrol for the winter semester from mid August to 15 November and for the summer semester from mid February to 15 May. You will then receive an email with a PDF (your online application for enrolment sheet),
    3. sign the PDF and send or take it to the Student Admisisons Office along with the required documents (original or certified) as mentioned on the PDF,
    4. pay the semester fee. The semester fee is approx. 343€.

    The coordinator  for International Doctoral Candidates from the Graduate Centre can assist you with questions regarding being or becoming an international doctoral student.  Information booklet by the Graduate Centre

    Mathematics Münster Graduate School

    The Mathematics Münster Graduate School (MMGS) was founded in June 2019. The MMGS is a joint graduate programme of the Cluster of Excellence “Mathematics Münster” (MM) and the mathematical institutes of the University of Münster. Resolution of the MMGS (Gründungsbeschluss MMGS; in German)

    To formally become a member of MMGS and MM you need to sign some additional paper work (mostly concerned with data protection). Being a member of MMGS and the Cluster is independent of the enrolment as a PhD student.

    The admission form to MMGS can be signed at  Janina Rahenbrock's office at Einsteinstr. 62.


  • Life and Work at Mathematics Münster


    We recommend all incoming scientists to look for suitable accommodation as early as possible. The housing market in Münster is tense, especially at the beginning of the university semesters (April and October).


    • Lunch/food: The Mensa (student dining hall, also frequented by a lot of employees) is located right across the street. Payments are possible with cash, but having a “ Mensa card” reduces the price you pay. With your work contract you should have gotten a letter stating that you are an employee of the University of Münster. With this letter you can purchase a Mensa card for employees at the information desk in the Mensa. The card costs 5 € which will not be refunded.
    • Münster offers a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and pubs in every price class. For tips on where to go, check out the external platform "Münster geht aus [de]".
    • Cycling: Münster is a great place to cycle with lots of options to buy or rend bikes, e.g. SwapFiets or the bike station. Public transport by bus is available throughout the city. If you however do need a car, you can apply for a university parking permit.


    •  KatalogPlus is the central starting point for your literature search. Using a single interface, you can search all the resources that are available at Münster University. This includes the catalogue for all the libraries of Münster University, i.e. the central (ULB), branch and departmental libraries. Furthermore, you can search a growing number of resources like articles, journals, databases or videos.
    • Find the Mathematics and Computer Science Library at Einsteinstr. 64, first floor.
    • If the item you are looking for is not listed, you can place an order. Please check that the expenses will be covered (asked your supervisor and/or the cluster) and place your order with Martin Paul (Librarian at Mathematics and Computer Science Library).


    Depending on your funding you may or may not have some teaching obligation, you can ask your supervisor about this. If you do not have any teaching obligation, but wish to gather experience anyway, you can talk to your supervisor to see if anything can be done (some funding schemes might explicitly forbid teaching).

    Family and Career

    Mathematics Münster embraces a family friendly environment and offers  family and career support:

    The parent-child-room at the department is equipped with toys, a baby changing facility and a workspace. During the weekly colloquia as well as during other periods, we arrange for professional child care to look after children while their parents attend the colloquia. Also during conferences child care can be easily arranged there.

    Psychological well-being

    If you are in need of psychological or social support the WWU has a range of offeres. Find a collection of links in the members-only section.

  • Workspace

    Intranet and User ID

    • After you signed your work contract the IT Center of Münster University (WWU IT) will issue you a WWU user id (WWU-Kennung). This user id is used for (almost) all things IT related at the University of Münster. You can change a lot of settings of your WWU IT account via the WWU IT portal.
    • Attached to your WWU user id is your official email account (perMail); please find here Instructions for setting up your mail programme. An alias for your email address can be set up in the WWU IT portal.
    • My WWU: Intranet of the university with plenty of information about university life, rules and formulas, e.g. the vacation application form. Use your WWU ID and password to access the intranet.

    Office, IT and accounts

    • Depending on your research area you are associated to a secretary who you can ask questions regarding formalities, contract, office, etc.   
    • You will be provided with a computer (either desktop or laptop) which falls under the ‘jurisdiction’ of the so-called IVV5 (IT Support Unit 5). Depending on your preferences (and preferred OS) this computer can be set up to be administered by the IVV5 or by yourself. Please contact IVV5 to discuss which model is best for you.
    • If you want to enter the building out of opening hours you need an additional (electronic) key (transponder). The transponder can be requested from the caretaker/janitor located in the building Einsteinstr. 62. To apply for a transponder you will need your WWU user id.
    • Saving files/data: For your personal files there are three standard places to save them.
      • Your Netzlaufwerk (h:-drive, serverhome) can be accessed by you from every university computer and is located on a server. It is also back-uped every night. WWU IT portal
      • Sciebo/Owncloud: You have to register once on Sciebo with and your WWU password. There is a sciebo client to download/install on your computer (if it is not already installed by the IVV 5).
      • Your local physical hard drive (not back-uped)
      • Your work group and/or the project you are involved in may have additional drives/file shares.
    • Mailinglists you should be members of: 
      • If PhD student:
      • If Postdoc:

    If you have not been subscribed yet, send a mail to

    • Use the OpenVPN Client to access the WWU network from outside the university network (Instructions)
    • Personal homepage: you have a very basic personal homepage stating your office location, contact details and affiliation. You can edit this information and keep them up to date. To navigate to your homepage, find your name on the List of People at the Department.
      Html can be used to edit the "Freifeld".
    • Your office (floor and bins) will be cleaned regularly. You are however in charge of cleaning your desk, shelves, equipment, etc. yourselves.


    • Office equipment (pens, paper, technical equipment) can usually be ordered. Please speak to your secretary and/or your supervisor.
    • Your mail, e.g. your salary statement, are usually collected by your secretary. Please drop by regularly to check if you have mail.
    • Being sick/ill: If you are sick, please tell the secretary assigned to you (and your supervisor) at the first day of your illness. If you miss work for more than 3 working days you will need a medical certificate. If you are well again/are back at work please tell the secretary assigned to you again, so she/he can handle the necessary paper work.
    • Vacation: You have 30 days of (paid) vacation per year (if you are only employed part of the year or part-time, the number of days might be reduced accordingly). The holiday leave application form can be found in the MyWWU/holiday. Please make sure that you hand in this form to your assigned secretary in advance as your superior (normally your supervisor) has to sign the form as well.
  • Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster

    Membership requests: The Cluster is open to all new researchers (on doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial level) at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science in Münster whose research fits into the outline of Mathematics Münster. A membership can be applied for at the Cluster office. Application consists of the signed data protection statement and in case of PhDs and Postdocs, their supervisor or mentor needs to provide a supporting statement (2-3 lines). Memberships will be decided upon by the executive board.
    Researchers who are funded by the Cluster will automatically become a member of the Cluster.

    In the Members-Only section you find information about the Cluster and its committees. You you can also apply for funding/support, e.g.:

    • Travel and Expenses (Reiseantrag stellen)
      Use this form to apply for financial support for your travel to conferences, workshops, summer schools, research stays, …
    • Guests (Gäste ankündigen/beantragen)
      Use this form, if you want to invite (travel reimbursement, accommodation) or announce guests you have invited to Mathematics Münster, e.g. to collaborate on research or for a talk.
    • Gender Equality Funds (Gleichstellungsmittel beantragen)
       Use this form if you want to apply for child care support, e.g.
      - travel companion for childcare during conferences
      - child care at the parent-child room during lectures/conferences…
      - emergencies child care at home
      - a mobile children’s room “kidsbox”
      - one person office for pregnant women and young parents
      - support for returning from family-related time-out
      - interim funding of the own job
      - Maternity leave extension

    Publication database/CRIS: Please keep your CRIS database updated, especially the text, summary and link fields, if available in English and in German. Publications which are especially important to you can be highlighted by “selected publications”. The content will be integrated onto the website. This way, your research profile will be up to date and applicants can get an accurate insight into your research topics.

    Additionally, we like to present all new publications on the webpage and iDisplays. Please send your publications (including preprints) as bibtex entries to, indicating for each publication the research unit it relates to (especially if you are doing research in area C).

    Please always include the wording to acknowledge DFG-funding in publications: "Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany's Excellence Strategy EXC 2044 –390685587, Mathematics Münster: Dynamics–Geometry–Structure."

We collected relevant information making your start here easier. If there is something missing or unclear, please let us know. Suggestions are welcome to improve this list.

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