The selection procedure for the awarding of DAAD scholarships within the framework of individual funding and financial support in the context of project funding is a key feature of the academic self-administration within the DAAD: funding-related decisions are taken by independent selection committees working on an honorary basis.
The selection committees play a central role in the work of the DAAD. Committee members include university lecturers and, in the case of some programmes, experts from the sphere of economics and those from ministries and university and academic administration. Former DAAD scholarship holders also participate in the selection of German applicants for individual funding. Approximately 550 assessors are involved in about 85 DAAD selection committees.
To ensure a fair balance of continuity and renewal, the committee members are appointed by the DAAD's executive board for a period of four years. The principles for the appointment of members to the selection committees – Grundsätzen für die Berufung von Mitgliedern der Auswahlkommissionen (in German only) – regulate the procedures governing the committees' staffing.
Composition of the selection committees
The selection committees' specialist composition differs depending on programme, target group and target country. In general, a selection committee selects either only German or only foreign applicants. In rare cases, these groups are merged – in the fields of architecture or music, for instance. In addition to the differentiation between German and foreign applicants, separate selection meetings take place for each programme and are, in principle, subdivided into country/region of origin or target country/region. This ensures that the assessors' respective specialist or regional competence is acknowledged and deployed profitably in the selection process. Employees at the DAAD's headquarters participate in the selection committees in an advisory and coordinating capacity.
Depending on the programme in question, different criteria are applied to the selection of scholarship holders and projects. These are stipulated in the respective calls for proposals. In the context of individual funding, the selection committee decides to award a scholarship, for example, on the basis of the specialist qualifications and quality of the study or research project in question. The manner in which the selection committee assesses an applicant's development potential and ability to assume responsibility also plays an important role in this context. Personal selection interviews or presentations may also be conducted in some cases.As far as project funding is concerned, the selection committee makes its decision based on the relevance of the respective programme's objectives, its academic quality, relevance within the respective subject area and the sustainability and visibility of the project applied for. The manner in which the selection committee evaluates internationalisation and multiplier effects, the level of preparation or the innovation potential may also prove significant.