Overview: Funding opportunities

The DAAD scholarship database for foreign students, graduate students and scientists contains extensive information and a variety of possibilities for those who are seeking financial support for their studies, research work or teaching assignments in Germany. The database not only lists all the scholarships offered by the DAAD, but also diverse programmes offered by a wide variety of institutions.

Types of support

There are two forms of scholarships – financial and non-monetary scholarships – both of which are often coupled together:

In the case of financial scholarships, the recipient is awarded a fixed amount, paid out on a monthly basis over a defined funding period. These types of scholarships are often full scholarships, i.e., they generally cover the applicant’s entire living expenses. Recipients of partial scholarships, however, are required to secure additional financial support to cover their living expenses. When awarded a full scholarship, recipients are generally not permitted to receive funding from other scholarships simultaneously.

In addition to financial support, many institutions also offer non-monetary scholarships. Recipients are invited to workshops, lectures and scientific conferences where they also have the opportunity to network with other scholarship holders. In most cases, these non-monetary scholarship programmes aim to create a long-standing relationship between the scholarship holder and the institution well beyond the scholarship period.

All the programmes have one thing in common, however – no one is entitled to a scholarship.

The institutions

The institutions which grant scholarships can be roughly divided up into six groups.

  1. First, there are party-affiliated foundations. They maintain close ties to the political parties represented in the German Bundestag. Consequently, they expect applicants to share their socio-political views, which the applicants often express through their social commitment.
  2. The second group is comprised of corporate-affiliated foundations. Recipients can be chosen based on their subject of study, research emphasis, social attitude, or purely on their achievement – epitomizing whatever model qualities that distinguish the namesake of the foundation.
  3. The German federal states offer scholarships based on economic or performance-oriented aspects. To apply for such scholarships, applications should be submitted directly to the universities of the state in question. Applicants are generally required to hold a higher education entrance qualification or doctoral programme qualification to be eligible for such scholarships.
  4. Social institutions , such as the large churches in Germany, offer their own scholarships. In addition to outstanding achievement, the selection committee also places strong focus on financial hardship, as well as the applicants’ commitment to use their knowledge and skills attained in Germany for the benefit of others in their home country.
  5. The major research institutions in Germany, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation , award scholarships based on purely scientific criteria.
  6. There are also a number of student organisations run by volunteers, in which students assist other students and find supporters who are willing to help them finance their visit and thereby enable them to stay in Germany.

Checklist – qustions you should ask before applying

  • Does my profile truly match the programme?
  • Do my academic status, subject of study, country of origin, my achievements, the university I’ve chosen in Germany and my prior experience meet the criteria of the scholarship programme?
  • Can I attain all the documents required for the application (create a checklist and allow yourself extra time to gather these documents)?
  • Can I submit the application by the deadline?

General information for scholarship applicants

The DAAD Scholarship Database contains details on the programmes offered by the DAAD and by other scholarship awarding organisations for foreign students, academics and researchers interested in finding sources of funding to complete study or research stays in Germany.

Besides the programmes listed here, a number of more specialised funding programmes are also available for specific countries or regions which are not mentioned in the database. Information on these can be obtained from the DAAD Regional Offices, the German Missions Abroad (Embassies and Consulates General) or from the relevant offices at universities abroad, for example, the International Office. In addition, you can click here to find the latest announcements and calls for applications for new DAAD programmes.

The scholarships offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are awarded to younger university graduates (and in exceptions, also to advanced students) from all academic disciplines as well as from the fields of music, art, and performing arts. Funding is also available for young and early-stage researchers, university teachers and groups of students completing study visits under the guidance of a university teacher. This support is largely financed by the    Federal Foreign Office from public funds made available to it.

The DAAD policy on awarding scholarships is as follows: the DAAD aims to fund and support foreign students, graduates, doctoral students, and young and early-stage researchers whose previous research and academic achievements place them at least in the top third of their age group and who can additionally be expected in the future to become key players and top performers in their career fields combined with an awareness for the social responsibility which this involves.

Funding is available for stays at state (public) or state-recognised universities and at non-university research institutes in Germany.

As a rule, the minimum age for applications is 18. At the time of application, generally no more than six years should have passed since the graduate gained the last degree; in the case of doctoral students, no more than three years should have passed since starting the doctoral process; and in the case of postdocs, no more than two years should have passed since gaining the doctorate. In the case of postdocs who are applying for a short stay (of up to six months), no more than four years should have passed since gaining the doctorate. Depending on the country of origin of applicants, for example, special conditions prevailing in the home country education system, etc., exceptions are possible.

Information on the application papers to be submitted can be found in the application form (“Antrag auf ein Forschungs-/Studienstipendium” / “Application for a Research Grant/Study Scholarship”), which is available on the DAAD website (www.daad.de/en/form) or can be obtained direct from the German Missions Abroad (Embassies and Consulates General) , from the DAAD Lektors, the DAAD Regional Offices , and the DAAD Information Centres (ICs) , as well as from partner organisations. Applications for some countries and programmes require that the application form is completed online. Information on this can be found in the country-specific information published on the DAAD Homepage (www.daad.de/stipendien) or on the websites of the DAAD Regional Offices or the DAAD Information Centres (ICs) , from where the application forms can be accessed. Applications can only be processed when they have been submitted in full, including all required papers and documents. Most programmes require applications to be submitted in multiple. Incomplete applications (including missing papers or documents) cannot be processed by the DAAD and will result in the applicant’s exclusion from the selection process.

You can find information on the precise deadlines for the submission of applications and on the address to which applications must be submitted as well as additional country-specific information by going to the DAAD website: www.daad/de/stipendien . You can also obtain this information direct from the DAAD Regional Offices or from the German Mission (Embassy or Consulate General) in your home country.

The level of German language proficiency which applicants are required to have is primarily dependent on the planned study or research project. Foreign students wishing to matriculate at a German university must, as a rule, present proof of adequate proficiency in the German language.

Students can prove their German language skills by presenting one of the following language proficiency certificates: the “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH)” or the “Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF)”. However, students who gained the “Abitur” school leaving certificate at a German school abroad or who hold one of the following language certificates – “Sprachdiplom der KMK (Stufe 2)”, “Kleines Deutsche Sprachdiplom” or “Gro ß es Deutsche Sprachdiplom” of the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, or the “Zentrale Oberstufenpr ü fung” of the Goethe-Institute – will also be exempted from this requirement.

The DSH and TestDaF (TDN) certificates are each made up of three stages or levels: DSH-1, DSH-2, DSH-3 and TDN 3, TDN 4, TDN 5. An adequate knowledge of German is considered to have been proven when applicants pass the DSH with at least a grade point average score of DSH-2 or when applicants achieve at least TDN 4 level language skills in all TestDaF examination sections. In the case of lower scores (i.e. DSH-1 or TDN 3), the university in question is responsible for deciding on admission.

You can find detailed information on the TestDaF here on the DAAD website or direct from http://www.testdaf.de/. You can sit the TestDaF at numerous test centres in Germany and abroad. For the addresses of the test centres, just go to the above website.

The DSH can be taken at universities in Germany and at some foreign universities. You can find further information on the DSH here on the DAAD website or on the website of the Professional Association of German as a Foreign Language (Fachverband Deutsch als Fremdsprache – FaDaF) at the website: http://www.fadaf.de/.

Many universities offer free-of-charge language courses to prepare students for the DSH or TestDaF. However, the number of universities that charge fees for these courses is increasing. This means that the number of free-of-charge places on such courses is very limited. Courses offered by (private) language schools outside the university sector will certainly charge fees.

Although the DAAD does place a greater emphasis on the academic qualifications which applicants hold than on their German language skills, applicants will nevertheless be expected to take every opportunity to gain and improve their knowledge of German while they are still in their home country. When it awards a scholarship, the DAAD reserves the right to make it a condition that the applicant provides proof of adequate language skills in the form of a language proficiency certificate before leaving for Germany. In any case, we strongly advise all applicants who are nominated for a scholarship to make use of every opportunity open to them to improve their knowledge of the German language in the time between submitting their application and leaving for Germany.

The DAAD essentially differentiates between individual scholarships and group programmes. Besides a monthly payment, which the DAAD s.t. on the basis of the scholarship holder’s academic level, individual scholarships generally include other payments as well, such as travel expenses, health insurance, accident insurance, and personal/private liability insurance. Details can be found in the individual programme descriptions.

Even very well qualified foreign applicants may find integration into the German academic system difficult to manage due to the differences in the structures of the various higher education and general education and training systems. Only the host faculty at the German university of your choice is responsible for deciding on the equivalency, level and placement of any academic qualifications that you gained in your home country, and, in particular, of any final degrees you hold. For their part, the faculties base their decision on recommendations issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education Zentralstelle für das ausländische Bildungswesen (ZAB) , which is a unit of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (KMK).

Applicants, who have been resident in Germany for longer than one year at the time of application, cannot be considered.

You must not draw funding from other German scholarship-awarding organisations or from other German public authorities at the same time as you are receiving your DAAD scholarship. Any other foreign support or additional income from secondary employment will be partly offset against (i.e. deducted) from your scholarship. Scholarship holders must not take up any secondary employment until they have gained appropriate written approval from the DAAD.

The DAAD’s extensive scholarship database for foreign students, graduates and academics offers applicants a wide range of tips and information to help them successfully apply for a scholarship for a course of study, a research assignment or a teaching assignment in Germany.



Other Scholarship Organisations

Jean-Paul-Str. 12
D – 53173 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 833 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 833 – 199
Email: info@avh.de
Web: www.avh.de

Hügel 15
D – 45133 Essen

Phone: +49 (0)201 / 188 – 1
Fax: +49 (0)201 / 412587
Web: www.krupp-stiftung.de

Salvatorstr. 2
D – 80333 Munich

Phone: +49 (0)89 / 2186 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 2186 – 2800
Email: poststelle@stmukwk.de
Web: www.stmukwk.bayern.de

c/o Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI)
Breite Str. 29
D – 10178 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 2028 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 2028 – 2602
Email: cdg@cdg.de
Web: www.cdg.de

Kennedyallee 91 – 103
D – 53175 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 882731
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 882732
Email: formulantenaustausch@bvmd.de
Web: www.bvmd.de

Kasternenstr. 26
D – 53111 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 28980 – 0
Fax: +49 (0) 227 / 28980 – 10
Email: info@aiesec.org
Web: www.aiesec.org

– Stipendienreferat –
Diemershaldenstr. 45
D – 70184 Stuttgart

Phone: +49 (0)711 / 2159 – 572
Fax: +49 (0)711 / 2159 – 123
Email: lwb@diakonie.de
Web: www.dnklwb.de

Buschstr. 32
D – 53113 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 72990 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 72990 – 11
Email: deutsche@krebshilfe.de
Web: www.krebshilfe.de

Abteilung Studienförderung
Godesberger Allee 149
D – 53170 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 883 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 883 – 697
Email: presse@fes.de
Web: www.fes.de

Karl-Marx-Str. 2
D – 14482 Potsdam

Phone: +49 (0)331 / 7019 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)331 / 7019 – 188
Email: fnst@fnst.org
Web: www.fnst-freiheit.de

Am Römerturm 3
D – 50667 Cologne

Phone: +49 (0)221 / 277496 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)221 / 277496 – 29
Email: fts@fritz-thyssen-stiftung.de
Web: www.fritz-thyssen-stiftung.de

Oranienburger Str. 13-14
D – 10178 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 28444 – 3
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 28444 – 42
Email: fulkom@fulbright.de
Web: www.fulbright.de

Dr.-Carl-Benz-Platz 2
D – 68526 Ladenburg

Phone: +49 (0)6203 / 1092 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)6203 / 1092 – 5
Email: info@daimler-benz-stiftung.de
Web: www.daimler-benz-stiftung.de

Rosenthalerstr. 40/41
D – 10178 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 28534 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 28534 – 109
Email: info@boell.de
Web: www.boell.de

Lazarettstr. 33
D – 80636 Munich

Phone: +49 (0)89 / 1258 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 1258 – 356
Email: info@hss.de
Web: www.hss.de

Hausdorffstr. 151
D – 53129 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 91758 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 91758 – 58
Email: zentrale@kaad.de
Web: www.kaad.de

Rathausallee 12
D – 53757 Sankt Augustin

Phone: +49 (0)2241 / 246 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)2241 / 246 – 2591
Email: zentrale@kas.de
Web: www.kas.de

Hofgartenstr. 8
D – 80539 Munich

Phone: +49 (0)89 / 2108 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 2108 – 1451
Web: www.minerva.mpg.de

Kennedyallee 105-107
D – 53175 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 8163 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 8163 – 300
Email: post@obs-ev.de
Web: www.obs-ev.de

Sekretariat der Kultusministerkonferenz
Lennéstr. 6
Postfach 2240
D – 53012 Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)228 / 501 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 501 – 259
Email: pad@kmk.org
Web: www.kmk.org

Stabsreferat Kommunikation
Burgplatz 4
D – 99423 Weimar

Phone: +49 (0)3643 / 545106
Fax: +49 (0)3643 / 545118
Email: info@klassik-stiftung.de
Web: www.klassik-stiftung.de

Niederkirchnerstr. 5
D – 10111 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 2325 – 2005
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 2325 – 2008
Email: studienstiftung@parlament-berlin.de
Web: www.parlament-berlin.de

Widenmayerstr. 49
D – 80538 Munich

Phone: +49 (0)89 / 212154 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 2289469
E-Mail: info@sogde.org >
Internet: www.sogde.org >

Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 2
D – 55131 Mainz

Phone: +49 (0)6131 – 2185 – 0
Email: info@akademienunion.de
Web: www.akademienunion.de

Kastanienallee 35
D – 30519 Hannover

Phone: +49 (0)511 / 8381 – 0
Fax: +49 (0)511 / 8381 – 344
Email: info@volkswagenstiftung.de
Web: www.volkswagenstiftung.de

Goebenstr. 35
D – 65195 Wiesbaden

Phone: +49 (0)611 / 446648
Fax: +49 (0)611 / 446489
Email: info@wusgermany.de
Web: www.wusgermany.de