General Information

On this page you will find important information about the requirements and procedures for project funding.

Before you contact us, please read the general information as well as specific information for host organisations and artists and cultural actors at risk. Please note that due to limited capacities, we can only consider enquiries from artists and cultural actors if they are already in contact with potential host organisations. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to process enquiries if potential host organisations are not available. Please understand that, at present, we cannot connect you with host organisations in Germany or third countries. 

Please pay particular attention to the information on secure communication!

What kind of support does the Martin Roth-Initiative provide?

  • The Martin Roth-Initiative (MRI) supports artists and cultural actors at risk by providing financial support for temporary relocation to Germany or within their home region (usually third countries). All funding is channelled through designated host organisations. Host organisations in Germany can be cultural institutions or collectives (e.g. museums, theatres, festivals, etc.); in third countries the MRI is working mostly with civil society organisations, shelter programmes and human rights organisations which not only host scholarship holders but also provide support for their personal wellbeing and, if possible, professional development. Host organisations are responsible for the administrative and organisational implementation of the temporary relocations.
  • IMPORTANT: All MRI scholarships must be provided in collaboration with a host Organisation

Who is eligible for a Martin Roth-Initiative scholarship?

Artists and cultural actors worldwide who:

  • are exposed to danger in their home countries, especially because of their artistic or cultural work,
  • are still active in their home countries or have only recently left their home country,  
  • do not have access to a safe abode (e.g. due to dual citizenship),
  • have the necessary language skills to facilitate collaboration with a host institution, and residence in the host country.

Please note that all the above criteria must be met in order to be eligible for a scholarship.

Definition of existing risk

  • All those are at risk who face threats, are under surveillance, and/or are being persecuted by state and/or non-state actors because of their work or due to other circumstances (e.g. based on their gender, their sexual orientation, critical statements made in public). The threat can manifest itself in the form of physical and psychological force, oppression or censorship as well as a prohibition to work.

Duration of the scholarship

  • Scholarships in programme line 1 (stay in Germany) last up to 12 months.
  • Scholarships in programme line 2 (stay in third countries) last 3 - 6 months.

How does the application process work?

  • Potential host organisations and/or artists and cultural actors at risk can contact the Martin Roth-Initiative at any time. When contacting us, please observe our Data Protection Statement and the information on secure communication. Contact details and all further information can be found here.
  • After an initial assessment you will be granted access to our application forms. These include all necessary documents for the project application (host organisation) as well as a personal statement form for artists and cultural actors at risk. The MRI team will be happy to advise you on the application process. Please note our application periods for submitting your application.
  • After a formal review of all submitted documents, scholarship holders are selected by an independent committee consisting of members of the German art and cultural scene and of representatives of civil society institutions.

What does support for the Martin Roth-Initiative involve?

  • a monthly scholarship commensurate with local conditions based on the scholarship guidelines of the German Federal Foreign Office,
  • individual support services for the scholarship holders* (e.g. necessary insurance, psychosocial support, language courses, trainings, networking measures, etc.),
  • if necessary, financial support for additional personnel for the host organisation (please note that we cannot fund permanent staff and freelance work that is not directly related to the purpose of the grant),
  • counselling by the MRI and further training (for example on topics such as safety, sensitive public relations, psycho-social support) as well as networking measures and exchange of experience with other host organisations and scholarship holders.
  • Please note that the scholarship visa does not automatically entitle you to take up employment or self-employment.

How long does an application process take?

  • Program Line 1 (stay in Germany): Please note the current application periods listed below.
  • Programme line 2 (stay in third countries): Each case is an individual case and poses different challenges. The duration of the application process until a decision is reached depends on various factors (quality of the application, availability of a host organisation, visa regulations, etc.). Please note that the MRI is not an emergency program and processes may take several months. The MRI cannot give any guarantee of (rapid) Support.

Information for Artists

Which funding can I apply for?

  • Temporary relocation to Germany: Due to limited capacities, you may currently only apply for funding in Germany if a suitable host organisation is already available. Please note the current application periods and starting dates.
  • Temporary relocation to third countries in your home region: You may apply for a short-term fellowship in a third country in your home region on an ongoing basis. Due to limited capacities, you may currently only apply if a suitable host organisation is already available. We will discuss possible funding opportunities with you and the host organisation.
  • In both of the above-mentioned cases, the MRI cannot guarantee funding.

How can I apply for support from MRI?

  • Please make sure that your situation responds to the criteria listed under "General Information".
  • Please contact the MRI (see “Contacting MRI”). Please observe the information on secure communication below.
  • If your security situation and the chosen communication channel allow, please describe as concisely as possible
  1. how you became aware of the MRI,
  2. which nationality you hold and in which country you are currently located
  3. which artistic/cultural activity you pursue,
  4. what kind of support you are looking for, and
  5. why you need support.
  • If all eligibility criteria are fulfilled, you will be granted access to our application form (Personal Statement), which you must complete.

How long does an application process take?

  • For applications to programme line 1 (stay in Germany) please note the current application periods and starting dates.
  • In general, the duration of an application process depends on whether a suitable host organisation is available. This applies both to stays in Germany and in third countries.
  • The MRI is not an emergency programme and cannot provide immediate support or accelerated processes. Please note that some applications may take several months and that MRI is unable to guarantee the provision of Support.

Information for Host Organisations

How can you support artist or cultural actors at risk?

  • As mentioned above, MRI is dependent on cooperation with host organisations that organise and implement the temporary relocation. This means that MRI concludes funding agreements with host organisations, which in turn take care of the artistic, professional and personal integration of the scholarship holder. Host organisations are therefore responsible for the payment of a monthly stipend and the provision of support to scholarship holders in everyday matters. Ideally, a host organisation can integrate the scholarship holder into its professional structures and networks and provide a setting that enables the scholarship holder to further his or her work and professional opportunities. (Please note that short term "rest & respite" residences in Programme Line 2 have a focus on the mental and physical recovery from repressive experiences.)
  • You are welcome to contact us regarding the support of a specific artist or cultural actor at risk, or to signal a general willingness to cooperate. We will be happy to advise you and jointly determine together possibilities for the implementation of a project. Please always observe our instructions for secure communication.

Who can be considered as a host organisation?

  • recognised and established cultural institutions and collectives (e.g. museums, theatres, festivals, art associations, etc.) as well as non-governmental organisations in Germany and third countries

What requirements must a host organisation meet?

  • The host organisation must have a legal form (e.g. e.V., gGmbH, GmbH, etc.). Private individuals may not apply for funding.
  • The host organisation must not pursue any economic gain from the project.
  • The host organisation should have experience in dealing with public funding or be willing to acquire the necessary skills to comply with the Federal Budget Code.
  • The host organisation must be able to integrate an artist or cultural actor at risk into its professional structures (except during "rest & respite" residences in Programme Line 2) and to provide a necessary level of personal support.
  • The host organisation must be willing to deal with issues concerning security and to take the necessary measures to guarantee safety standards.
  • The host organisation must have sufficient organisational and administrative capacities to deal with matters relating to visas and right of residence (if necessary with the support of the MRI).

Application Periods

Programme line 1 (stays in Germany) & Programme line 2 (stays in third countries): 

The funds of the Martin Roth Initiative have been committed to ongoing projects. Unfortunately, we are therefore currently not able to accept and approve new applications until further notice. In the foreseeable future, we will announce a public call for applications on our website.

We kindly ask for your understanding that due to the situation described above, we are also unable to fund emergency cases. If you or a person you know are in need of urgent support, we may be able to advise and refer you to other programmes. Please consult the following section for more information on encrypted ways of contacting the MRI.


Contact us

Before you send us a specific request, please read the general and specific information and criteria carefully. Please also observe the following information on secure communication in order to reduce risks for all parties involved (these are recommendations for improving digital protection, 100% security cannot be guaranteed).

We recommend that you use encrypted communication services. We have listed two free providers below through which you can reach us. Before you do so, please check whether the installation or use of the respective service in your home country (or country of residence) could lead to security issues (suspicion, prosecution). If necessary, inquire locally and/or research (if possible) on the internet, for example under Privacy International.

  • Protonmail: This e-mail service allows for end-to-end encrypted messages between Protonmail users. You can create an account free of charge at and send us a message to info [at] mri-application [dot] de (please note that this is a protonmail email address). Attention: If you send an e-mail from another provider to this address, it will not be encrypted!
  • Signal: This encrypted messenger provider works on the same principle as Whatsapp. Install the Signal app on your smartphone and contact us at ___ . (Please note that it is currently not possible to contact us via Signal. We will shortly provide a new mobile phone number.)

ATTENTION: Unencrypted e-mails or phone calls are comparable to postcards in terms of security. This also applies to channels like Facebook, SMS, Skype and - to a certain extent - Whatsapp. If you still wish to contact MRI in this way, please make sure that you do not disclose any sensitive data (names of persons at risk, information on the risk situation, etc.) when contacting MRI.

  • E-mail: info [at] martin-roth-initiative [dot] de
  • Telephone number: +49 (0)30 284491-77

Please note in our information on data protection which data we collect and process from you and for which purpose in the context of e-mail communication.