Bilingual internal documents/forms (English and local language)

Considering the fact that English is not the native language in countries, many international PhD students and academic staff members face problems when it comes to filling in the forms necessary for the application process or collecting documents that would confirm their mobility/study/research abroad. Therefore, it would be extremely important (and favorable for both parties involved) to create forms in both the national language of the receiving institution's country as well as in English. The aim of this practice is to produce bilingual documents that can be filled in without seeking assistance or causing confusion.


Better communication and cooperation Improved access to information Improved quality of service Improved procedure/efficiency

Basic information
Categories Language Support, Language Policy Administrative & Legal Support Visa, Residence & Work Permit
Mobility stages Pre-arrival phase Pre-departure Upon arrival
Delivery schedule Continuous
Importance Essential to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups R2 - R4 researchers PhD student/Early career researcher Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)
Types of contracts of researchers Full degree student Visiting scholar Exchange student Fixed term employee Permanent employee Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs)
Career stages of researchers 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience 10-15 years of experience Less than 6 months
Lengths of stays of researchers 0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months More than 12 months
Practice setup

The following steps should be considered in the setup phase:

  • collecting all the possible documents/ forms which are given to incoming PhD and academic staff

  • identifying which of the documents/forms are only in the local language


  • have those documents/forms that are available only in local/national language translated into English. This can be done by the institutional Language departments. Consultations with the institutional legal department and experts from national authorities will be required. Proofreading should be pursued by a person(s) knowledgeable also in legal discourse, especially regarding the used terminology.

  • once translated, categorise the bilingual documents/forms according to relevant topic areas (i.e. mobility/exchange stay related document -confirmation) and upload them the dedicated intranet section.

  • promote the newly established good practice among HEI administrative staff supporting incoming PhD students and academics.

Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • Language department
  • HR Department
  • Study department
  • Doctoral school
Partners involved in practice setup
  • EURAXESS centre
  • Eures office
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • Relevant documents/forms prepared


@ Internal Actors: the main responsibility could be borne by host HEI's IRO staff members. They could closely collaborate with the other departments (especially the Language department, HR department, Study department, Doctoral school, etc) and consult the translation with the institutional Legal department.



Practice delivery

Delivery activities are the following:

  • after the bilingual documents/forms have been prepared, IT support departments allocate a place on the institutions' site where the forms for foreign researchers can be downloaded from.

  • prepare a sample of a filled-in form (s) (with fake names and fake information, just to give incoming PhDs and academics idea of how the forms should be filled in.)

  • provide the incoming PhDs and academics with the link to the documents/forms before their arrival

  • offer the incoming PhDs and academics possible assistance if needed when filling in the form (s)

  • the links to the forms could be part of the Welcome email sent out to the incoming PhD students and academics before their arrival

This practice can be extended by compilation of the links to the bilingual forms that are available at the national authorities' websites (if applicable) that need to be filled-in. The links could be inserted also into the Researcher's Guide.


  • the links to the forms could be part of the Welcome email sent out to the incoming PhD students and academics before their arrival,


Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • Researchers association
  • Legal department
  • IT support department
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Percentage of all relevant documents translated to English