Information Leaflet: Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates within the Sandwich Model

Whereas conventional scholarships for doctorate or PhD studies assume that a scholarship holder will stay at a German institution of higher education, for several consecutive years, the "Sandwich Scheme" described hereafter is a flexible multi phase funding programme. Within the Sandwich Scheme, PhD students carry out their research and studies alternately in their home country and in Germany, following a schedule set in advance and under continuous supervision by a German academic. The doctorate is obtained at the homeland university.

Within the academic funding schemes of numerous development countries, training and further education of future and young university teachers is given special priority. Besides specialisation and increasing previously gained knowledge, students very often strive for a PhD or doctorate degree as frequently required according to the regulations ruling university careers in their home country. Even in cases where PhD studies would be possible in the student's home country, a doctorate degree from an industrial nation is often preferred for reasons of prestige. PhD studies abroad, however, carry with them risks: of alienation connected with very long study courses, loss of originally reserved lecturing posts at the home university, of research geared too much to the developed country and its needs, and finally the risk of temptation to settle in the host country.

In an effort to minimize these risks, the DAAD has developed the scheme of cooperative PhD funding (Sandwich-Scholarships, Becas Integradas) for nationals of developing countries whose universities offer doctorates.

This means the procedure can be as follows:

  • the German university lecturer/professor travels to the homeland of the future doctoral candidate to draw up a joint protocol signed by both the local and the German supervisor, which details the dissertation subject, the planned work measures, and their duration
  • preparatory studies and research for the PhD thesis in the home country (data collection and field research) without DAAD funding (special guidelines and procedures apply to some African countries)
  • studies and research at a German institution of higher education (1 - maximum 2 years)
  • if necessary, visit by the foreign academic supervisor and co advisor at the German institution (progress control, consolidation of institutional contacts)
  • completion of the thesis in the home country (without DAAD funding)
  • visit of the German supervisor to the home country of the PhD student (last corrections and participation at the viva as external examiner)

The main characteristic of this Sandwich Scheme is the individually tailor-made PhD programme schedule set with the greatest flexibility possible regarding the beginning and duration of each individual funding phase.

Eligibility, application forms and documents for this programme are the same as for research grants for doctoral candidates and young academics and scientists. The extensive and detailed research proposal must be accompanied by a work- and time schedule agreed upon by the academic advisors, both in the home country and in Germany.