Important information for scholarship applicants
You would like to apply for a DAAD scholarship? Information and answers to questions about application conditions and requirements, preparing your application and the subsequent selection procedure are available here.
A. Requirements for scholarship application
No, there is usually no fixed age limit. There are individual exceptions in programmes in which this is explicitly requested by an international partner. Some scholarship programmes stipulate that only a certain amount of time should have elapsed since the last degree was taken (see also question 2). For details, please refer to the respective Call for Applications at under the heading "Application requirements".
Yes, an application may be permissible under the following circumstances which may have a delaying effect on studies or doctoral projects:
- pregnancy and childbirth
- care of children up to the age of 12 (maximum of three years per child)
- care of care-dependent relatives
- disability or chronic illness
- prolonged, serious illness
- compulsory military service
- if applicable, other circumstances.
The dates of birth of children and periods of childcare or care of relatives or longer periods of absence due to illness or disability should be indicated in the application form; the last free text field "Other comments / Information" is available for this purpose. DAAD reserves the right to ask you to submit appropriate supporting documents.
Proof of disabilities or illnesses can be provided in the form of a disability card or medical certificate. If possible, the medical certificate should indicate the periods of absence.
Other circumstances must also be justified and substantiated with supporting documents.
Yes, in programmes which require a first university degree, you can apply in your last year of study. You must then meet all the academic requirements set out in the Call for Applications by the time your scholarship period begins. Your degree certificate has to be submitted before the funding period begins.
Yes, if you have been in Germany for a maximum of 15 months by the closing date for applications and the Call for Applications makes no other specifications.
This is possible under certain circumstances:
- If you wish to apply for a short-term scholarship (up to 6 months), you must have lived and have been normal resident in your country of residence for at least one year at the time of application.
- If you would like to come to Germany for more than 6 months, you must also have obtained your last degree (e.g. Bachelor/Master) in your country of residence or obtain this degree by the time the scholarship period begins.
We strongly recommend that you seek information and advice and find out which scholarship programmes are available to you, and whether you have to apply from your country of residence or country of origin. Contact persons are listed in the under "Contact and advice".
Not all programmes require a general minimum language level for funding applications. Depending on country of origin and scholarship programme, however, certain language skills may be expected. You can find out which requirements these are in the "Application requirements" section of the Call for Applications. Please read these requirements thoroughly to find out what applies to your programme.
For scholarships in Germany, however, the following generally applies: when you submit your application, you must provide proof of your current proficiency in the language of instruction (German, English, or German and English) in your chosen study programme.
No, DAAD scholarships are awarded to applicants wishing to complete a full-time course of study with compulsory attendance in Germany. This is why applicants wishing to take a blended learning or distance/e-learning programme or part-time programme are not eligible for DAAD funding.
B. Preparing your application
In a letter of motivation, you are required to describe your professional and personal reasons for wishing to study in Germany on no more than three pages.
A letter of motivation is required when you apply for a study scholarship or a grant for a language or specialist course. This letter gives you the opportunity to describe your personality and the reasons why you are applying for DAAD funding. The following information and questions will help you write an informative letter of motivation.
- Facts about your education, skills and knowledge
- Studies: study programme, number of semesters, if applicable, degree
- Professional experience, if applicable
- Specialised knowledge, skills and language skills
- Prizes and awards (if applicable)
- Academic motivation
- Why do you wish to take the study programme or attend the language or specialist course for which you are applying?
- What appeals to you about your chosen university?
- What are your expectations of studying in Germany or attending the course (personal, professional, for your career)?
- Reasons for applying for a scholarship
- Why are you applying for a DAAD scholarship?
- What do you expect of this scholarship?
- How will the scholarship help you achieve your academic, professional and personal goals?
- Personal interests
- Here you can outline special extracurricular achievements and commitments or personal qualities that say something about your character.
- Facts about your education, skills and knowledge
A proposal is a detailed and precise description of the project you have agreed to complete with your academic supervisor. In a proposal, you define the goals of your research work, reflect upon theoretical and methodical procedures and you describe the individual steps.
- What is the subject of your research project?
- Which steps are planned?
- What is the time schedule for your planned research project?
The description (maximum of 10 pages) should contain details about:
- The research field in general and the current state of research literature:
- What is the current state of research?
- Which theories/work of other academic will you draw upon?
- What theoretical framework or scientific models will you use? Discuss the reasons why you are drawing on this theory or model. Are there competing theories/models and, if so, why are you not using these in your project?
- What is your research question?
- Key research questions (hypotheses), research objectives and the academic relevance of the project:
- What do you intend to find out?
- What goals are you pursuing with your project?
- Research strategies/methods:
- How do you intend answering the research questions?
- How do you want to collect data (document analyses, quantitative or qualitative survey, experiment, etc.)?
- Which academic literature will you use?
- How will you evaluate results?
- What preparation have you already done or intend doing before funding begins?
- Ethical issues/anticipated difficulties related to collecting data
- Research bibliography: List of books and essays upon which your work is based.
Please note that the time plan must be uploaded to the DAAD portal as a separate document.
C. Planning your project
If you wish to carry out individual research or complete a doctorate in Germany, you need confirmation from a university teacher that you are being supervised in Germany (see question 2). If you are taking part in a structured doctoral programme, proof of existing contacts to a doctoral programme coordinator must be submitted in the form of copies of correspondence. If you wish to take a Master's degree in Germany, all you need to provide is information about your chosen programme (see "Application procedure" in the Call for Applications).
Hosts can be university teachers or academic teaching staff who work at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education or a non-university research institution in Germany. If possible, the host should have a professorial qualification in an academic field.
Your academic supervisor must confirm that he/she is willing to help you carry out your research project or doctoral degree in a "Letter confirming academic supervision", which you must submit with your application. Ideally, the letter of confirmation (informal) from your supervisor
- indicates that the description of your research project and schedule have been discussed,
- confirms that a workplace is available for you, and
- indicates which working language is spoken at the host institute.
D. Writing your application
Application procedures may vary depending on scholarship programme. To find out where and how to apply, please read the "Application procedure" section of the Call for Applications in the Scholarship database (). Seek advice if you have any questions.
What does this mean?
You have to apply online. To do this, you must register in the DAAD portal. In the , first select your chosen scholarship programme and then the tab "Submit application". Note that this tab is only shown during an ongoing application period. The closing date for applications is indicated in the "Application procedure" tab.
I have technical problems with my online application. What can I do?
Which documents do I have to upload to be able to submit an application to the DAAD portal?
Your application is only complete if you submit all the application documents listed in the Call for Applications. With the exception of references and work samples in the case of artists (e.g. DVD), these documents must be uploaded to the DAAD portal. In some cases, individual documents (e.g. university certificate) may be submitted at a later date if this is explicitly permitted in the programme's Call for Applications.
Do I receive confirmation that my application has been received?
Yes, as soon as you have submitted your application online, you will automatically receive confirmation that your application has been successfully submitted and an e-mail informing you that a message has been sent to you via the portal's messaging system. The message confirms that your application has been received.
Is it sufficient to submit my application electronically via the DAAD portal?
Yes. For most DAAD programmes, all you need to do is submit your application electronically via the DAAD portal. Please note that in some programmes, the "application summary" generated in the portal must be printed out and sent by post to the application address. Read the details in the Call for Applications under the "Application procedure" tab and note the closing date for applications. This applies both to the online application and submission by post (the postmark date is valid). References, if required by the Call for Applications, must also be submitted by post (see question 3).
References in scientific subjects should be written by university teachers with a doctoral degree who can provide information about the following:
- What are your academic achievements?
- What are your academic and personal qualities?
- Is your project well planned, feasible and relevant?
- What significance does the scholarship have for your academic and professional career?
Unless otherwise stated in the Call for Applications, you can submit your application either in German or English. Please note that application documents that are not in German or English must be translated either into German or English. The translations do not have to be certified for the application procedure and you may do the translations yourself.
You can find out what language certificates you need when you apply for a scholarship in the "Application procedure" section of the Call for Applications.
No, not initially. DAAD reserves the right to request certified documents after a positive selection decision has been made.
E. The selection procedure
Scholarship applications are reviewed by an independent and voluntary selection committee. This may be made up of local and/or German university teachers, researchers and DAAD lectors. Depending on scholarship programme and the local situation, the best applicants may also be required to introduce themselves personally. Depending on programme, the selection decision is made either by the local selection committee directly or – in the case of a two-stage selection procedure – by another independent committee of academics in Germany. DAAD staff are not entitled to vote in the scholarship selection procedure.
The key selection criteria are:
- the quality of the project
- for study and research visits, courses of continuing education: a convincing and well-planned project (see above, question B.2)
- for structured study programmes and language or specialist courses: a well-founded choice of course, as documented by the letter of motivation (see above, question B.1)
- academic achievements
Depending on scholarship programme, additional selection criteria may be relevant, e.g. language skills. To find out what applies to your programme, read the Call for Applications in the Scholarship database ().
F. Scholarship benefits
The scholarship payment depends on the academic qualifications of the scholarship holders and on the scholarship programme. Scholars taking a Master's programme typically receive € 850, doctoral candidates and postdocs € 1,200. Rates for university teachers are usually € 2,000 for assistant teachers, assistant professors and lecturers, € 2,150 for professors. You can find an overview of other possible benefits in each programme's Call for Applications in the Scholarship database ().
DAAD grants an allowance towards travel expenses.
Under certain conditions, DAAD offers an allowance for accompanying spouses, child allowance and insurance benefits for spouses and children. For scholarship holders with a funding period of over six months, please read the Call for Applications in the Scholarship database () to find out if a programme provides for family members. If the funding period is less than 6 months, no family benefits will be granted.
Scholarship holders and accompanying family members must be covered by health insurance from the first day of their stay in Germany. In many programmes, insurance coverage is part of the scholarship. Please read the "Scholarship benefits" section of the Call for Applications in the Scholarship database ().
If your chosen programme does not include insurance coverage, under certain circumstances you may be able to take out inexpensive health, accident and personal liability . If you have any more questions, contact DAAD's insurance office: or ++49-228-8828770.
Scholarship holders wishing to work part-time during their scholarship period, i.e. pursue gainful employment, always require the approval of DAAD. Your academic supervisor or course coordinator must also give their consent. DAAD will verify that the part-time employment does not interfere with the purpose of the scholarship. Additional income exceeding € 450 gross per month shall be deducted from the monthly scholarship payment.
A second scholarship from an international provider of up to € 450 will not have an effect on your DAAD scholarship. If the second scholarship exceeds this amount, the excess amount shall be deducted from the DAAD scholarship.
DAAD does not pay tuition fees for its scholarship holders. Even as a scholarship holder, you should therefore ask your chosen host university whether tuition fees are charged for your programme.
Although tuition fees are not generally charged in Germany, studying at some locations is not always free. In the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, international students from non-EU/EEA countries (Bachelor and Master's level) at state universities have to pay a fee of € 1,500 per semester. Private universities in all federal states may also charge tuition fees. These can vary. Both state and private universities in all federal states may also charge fees for so-called "weiterbildende Masterstudiengänge" (non-consecutive Master's degrees), that often require previous professional experience or lead to a specific additional qualification. These include, for example, the so-called LL.M degree programmes for law students. Fees for these programmes are sometimes very high so you should find out about them in advance.