Finding Scholarships

Here you can find information on various kinds of DAAD funding for foreign students, graduates and postdocs as well as on funding offered by other selected organisations.

Please note:
The usage of the application portal is possible only to a limited extent with mobile devices. Please use your desktop computer. Technical requirements

Eine Druckversion dieser Ausschreibung (PDF) steht Ihnen in den weiteren Registerkarten (z.B. „Bewerbungsvoraussetzungen“) zur Verfügung.

A print version of this announcement (PDF) is available in the further tabs (e.g. “Application requirements”).

Please note: The programme is expected to be announced again in August 2019. An application this year is therefore unfortunately not possible.

One of the priority funding points to which the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) attaches particular importance in its Framework Programme on "Research for Sustainable Development” ( is Sustainable Water Management – NaWaM:
"One of the major challenges of the future is to ensure the supply of clean water to the world population. Population growth, water pollution and the increasing water consumption per capita have a strong impact on water quality. In addition, expansive climate changes and change in land use influence global and regional water cycles and thus question the medium and long-term availability of water." In view of this background, the BMBF specifically promotes research projects to develop, adapt and internationally disseminate technologies and strategies for the sustainable management of the resource "Water". Of particular interest in this context are the thematic fields of Water and Energy, Water and Health, Water and Nutrition, Water and Environment, as well as Water in Urban Areas.
The DAAD Special Programme funded with the resources of the BMBF on "Sustainable Water Management" is focused on the promotion of young scientists from Brazil, Chile, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Namibia, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam.

The programme "Study Scholarships and Research Grants for Foreigners" offers highly-qualified doctoral students from the above countries the opportunity to complete their PhD in applied research in the thematic fields of "Water and Energy”, “Water and Nutrition”, “Water and Environment”, “Water and Health” or “Water in Urban Areas”. Studies are to be carried out in Germany and should be technology-oriented. The objective of the programme is to qualify experts in sustainable water management technology for the respective home countries, to enhance technological cooperation between those countries and Germany.

What can be funded?

Applications are open to excellently qualified doctoral candidates from the above-mentioned countries who graduated in disciplines with relevance to sustainable water management no longer than six years ago.

Applicants are invited to do a doctorate at a university in Germany.
The choice of the host university and the scientific supervisor lies with the applicants themselves.

The scholarship includes an obligatory, six-month non-university internship in Germany. Eligible types of companies and organizations are listed in the attachment.

Applicants are obliged to attend an accompanying German course during their studies, preferably a free-of charge course offered by the host institution if available.

Duration of the funding

48 months (36-month research period for Ph.D. studies in three 12-month sequences with an annual review on progress and professional ability, 6-month language course and 6-month internship during the scholarship term or at its end). The duration of the grant is decided by a selection committee and depends on the project in question and the applicant’s work schedule.

Fixed Schedule
Preparatory Visit: 5 – 14 days between February and June 2018
German course: October 2018 – March 2019
Host institute: April 2019 – March 2022
Internship: April 2022 – September 2022 (or during the scholarship)


  • Six-month intensive language course prior to the start of the research stay
  • Monthly payments of 1.200 Euro
  • Annual research allowance of 460 Euro
  • Flat-rate travel allowance for outward and return journey
  • Payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover

Under certain circumstances, doctoral grant holders may receive the following additional benefits:
  • Monthly rent subsidy
  • Monthly allowance for accompanying family members
  • Payment of course fees for the online language course “Deutsch-Uni Online (DUO) ( for six months after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter
  • Allowance for a self-chosen accompanying German language course during the grant period
  • Reimbursement of the fees for the TestDaF test which is either taken in the home country after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter or in Germany before the end of the grant period if free-of-charge courses are not offered by the host institution.

Please note: Study trips or field work outside of Germany are not encouraged and cannot be funded.


Applications will be reviewed by an independent selection com-mittee consisting of experts in the relevant fields.

The decisive selection criteria for doctoral students are the relevance and quality of the research proposal, the soundness of the academic and career plans as described in the motivation letter, the academic achievements in the master's degree programme in the home country, and the English language skills.

Experience abroad and knowledge of other foreign languages can be of significance. Additional documents that prove academic capability or provide information about extracurricular activities will also be considered in the selection process.

What requirements must be met?

  • As a rule, applicants should have graduated with a mas-ter’s degree no longer than six years before the time of ap-plication.
  • Applicants who have been resident in Germany for longer than 15 months at the time of application cannot be con-sidered
  • Prior communication between the applicant and the academic supervisor is required including a short preparatory visit. The preparatory visit is mandatory and can only be waived in well-founded cases. (e.g. if applicant and supervisor have already been in close contact or know each other from common projects). In such cases, the applicant must provide a written agreement from the future supervisor that the visit is not necessary. Funding is available for the visit on application. (In case of a positive decision of the selection commission, information about requirements and procedure will be provided together with the letter of award)
  • Proposals must be relevant to the two above mentioned thematic fields in applied research

Language skills

  • Applicants are generally expected to have a good knowledge of English (TOEFL 80 or IELTS: 6.0)
  • If available, German language certificate (TestDaF, Zertifikat Deutsch, Deutsches Sprachdiplom, Sprachkenntnisformular DAAD)

Please note that the access to the application portal only appears while the current application period is running. After the application deadline has expired, the portal for this programme is not available until the next application period.

Application documents

Certificates, proof of credits, certifications and translations may be scanned in non-certified form and uploaded to the DAAD portal. The DAAD Head Office in Bonn will only request certified copies of the submitted documents in paper form if a grant is awarded.

1. Documents to be uploaded to the DAAD portal:

  • Online application form
  • Letter of Motivation (2 pages max., see attached instruction)
  • Full curriculum vitae in tabular form (3 pages max.)
  • List of publications (max. 3 pages), if applicable
  • Summary of the Master’s Thesis (2 pages max.)
  • Detailed description of the research proposal, after due discussion with the academic supervisor of the German host institution (max. 10 pages). The description must comprise a detailed schedule of the planned research work. Please submit the proposal and schedule with your original application and an updated version after the preparatory visit.
  • Confirmation of supervision by a scientist from a German university or higher education institution, with documenta-tion of the supervisor’s cooperation with the relevant industries, organizations and/or municipalities. Please submit with your original application. An updated version can be submitted after the preparatory visit. It would be beneficial to nominate a person from your home country as a mentor or co-supervisor, preferably with industry contacts, or a mentor of your current or prospective employer, where applicable.
  • University degree certificate indicating final grade(s) (Bachelor and Master); the certificate must be submitted before the grant-supported research begins if it is not available at the time of application
  • All university certificates on all annual examinations with individual grade (transcripts of records), incl. explanation of grading system
  • Other documents which support your application (example: certificates of employment, proof of placement, etc.)
  • German or English translations of documents submitted in the national language
  • Language certificate as described above

2. To be submitted by post:
  • One recent reference by a scientist of your own choice – preferentially the supervisor of your master thesis - must be submitted in a sealed envelope or sent directly by the referee to the DAAD in Bonn by the closing date for applications. Please regard the instructions given on the tab “Submitting an application“.

Application deadline

31 October 2017

Application location

Please submit the reference by post to:
German Academic Exchange Service
Referat/Section ST43
Kennedyallee 50
53175 Bonn

Please note

  • Your application is only valid if you submit all the required documents to the DAAD portal (see Item 1) and by post (see Item 2). The postmark date serves as proof that the application has been dispatched on time.
  • The DAAD portal closes at 24.00 hrs. Central European Time (CET) on the last application day.
  • Late or incomplete applications cannot be considered. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their applications are complete.
    The application documents remain with the DAAD. Data relating to applicants is saved by the DAAD in accordance with the Federal Data Protection Act insofar as this data is needed to process applications.

Information and advisory centres

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
German Academic Exchange Service
Referat/Section ST43
Kennedyallee 50
53175 Bonn

More detailed information


General information on the application via DAAD portal

You can access the DAAD portal by clicking "Application portal" at the end of the page. Here you will find an online application form in which you can enter your application data.

This is what you have to do:

1. Register in the DAAD Portal (Read notes about registering in the portal)

2. Request references (if necessary according to the call for proposals, see "Application procedure")
The form, which has to be completed by a referee, has to be generated in the DAAD portal in the section "Request reference" after registration and downloaded. Please send the form by e-mail to your referee and ask for the completed reference form to be returned to you in a sealed envelope. In each case, please provide your referee with the application address thus enabling him/her to send the recommendation letter there direct.

Please note that the form for completion by a referee can only be generated during the application period (from about 6 weeks before the application deadline).
Please generate one form for each referee.

3. Applying online in the DAAD portal (Read notes on applying in the portal)

  • Download and complete the online application form
  • Prepare application documents
  • If necessary, translate documents (unless they are already in German or English).
  • Scan paper documents (except references) and save in PDF format. Please note that you can only upload PDF files to the portal.
  • Upload the completed application form and the required appendices (except references and any work samples which you might have to submit) to the portal in PDF format. Translations, if applicable, should be uploaded together with the document issued in the original language.
  • Submit the uploaded application documents online.

4. Sending application documents by post
  • Submit the required references (in sealed envelopes) to the indicated application address at the DAAD in Bonn

Please note:
If you have any technical questions or problems your local information and advice centres could not help you with, please do not hesitate to contact our technical Portal hotline: +49 (0228) 882-8888 or via e-mail, open every weekday from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm and from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm Central European Time (CET).
Please consider this when you are planning your application.


Status: Graduates
Doctoral candidates
Country of Origin:
Only specified

The scholarship for this programme is restricted to certain countries of origin. You can find an explanation for this on the details page of the scholarship programme under the application requirements.

Only specified

Restricted to the following disciplines:

  • Mathematics/Natural Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine/Agriculture, Forestry and Nutritional Science
  • Engineering
Further application requirements »