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 which grant scholarships can be roughly divided up into six groups.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The major research institutions in Germany, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation , award scholarships based on purely scientific criteria.
- 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.