Research Grants – Doctoral Programmes in Germany • DAAD
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This scholarship programme offers you the opportunity to complete your doctoral degree in Germany. The scholarships are funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
Who can apply?
You can apply if you have above-average qualifications and you completed your Master's degree or Diplom, or in exceptional cases a Bachelor's degree, at the latest by the time the funding period begins.
What can be funded?
The programme provides funding for a doctoral project at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education or a non-university research institute in Germany. This can be either:
- an individual project supervised by a university teacher (doctoral supervisor)
- participation in a structured doctoral study programme
Duration of the funding
- Funding is provided for a maximum of four years; the length of the funding period is decided by a selection committee and depends on your project and study plan.
- Grants are initially awarded for a maximum of one year. Extensions depend on whether the selection committee considers your previous award period to have been successfully completed.
- Monthly payments of 1,300 euros
- Payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover (see also our important information for scholarship applicants / section F, point 4)
- Travel allowance
- annual research allowance. If you come from a DAC country, you will receive a flat rate of € 460 (€ 230 in the fourth year); for all other countries the grant is € 260 (€ 130 in the fourth year).
- monthly rent subsidy
- monthly allowance for accompanying family members. Please also read our important information for scholarship applicants / section F, point 3.
- In the case of a disability or chronic illness: subsidy for additional costs which result from the disability or chronic illness and are not covered by other funding providers: Further information
To enable you to improve your language skills in preparation for your stay in Germany, DAAD offers the following services:
- Payment of course fees for an online language course after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter
- if necessary: Language course (2, 4 or 6 months) before the start of the research stay in Germany; the DAAD decides whether to fund the grant holder's participation and for how long depending on language skills and project. If a language course scholarship is granted and the working language at the host institute is German, participation is compulsory.
- Allowance for a personally chosen German language course during the grant period
- Reimbursement of the fee for a TestDaF or DSH test, which you can take either in your home country after you have received your Scholarship Award Letter or in Germany during your funding period.
An independent selection committee consisting of specialist scientists reviews applications.
The selection criteria are:
- Academic achievements (grade point average, development of grades)
- Academic progress
- Knowledge of the language(s) of instruction or working language(s)
- If applicable, scholarly achievements after graduation, (e.g. publications, lectures, conference papers)
- Quality of research proposal and preparation (originality, topicality and relevance of the project, choice of host institution and first contacts)
- Feasibility and consistency of study plan and schedule
- Incorporation of project within the overall doctorate (in terms of content and time), if relevant
- Career prospects: significance of the research project and stay in Germany for further academic, professional and personal development
- Motivation: academic and personal reasons for wanting to visit Germany, German language skills (if different from working language)
- Non-study-related activities: non-study-related knowledge and skills, civic engagement
The selection committee also gives due consideration to equal opportunities; you can provide relevant information in the application form.
For more information on the selection procedure, go to Important Scholarship Information / Section E.
What requirements must be met?
Please check if the following criteria are fulfilled:
- As a rule, applicants should not have graduated any longer than six years before the application deadline
- If you have already started your doctorate, it also applies that the start of the doctorate should not be longer than 3 years ago.
Please also read our Important Scholarship Information / Section A, point 2.
- Your application cannot be considered, if you have been resident in Germany for longer than 15 months at the application deadline.
For applicants from the fields of human medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry, other regulations are applicable. Please refer to www.daad.de/extrainfo.
Application deadlines are updated annually in the second quarter. In most cases, they are in the same period as the previous year. You can find the current dates here:
Certificates, proof of credits, certifications and translations may be scanned in non-certified form and uploaded to the DAAD portal. The DAAD reserves the right to request certified copies of the documents.
Documents to be uploaded to the DAAD portal:
- Online application form
- Full curriculum vitae in tabular form (max. 3 pages)
- List of publications (max. 10 pages), if applicable
- Description of academic and personal reasons for your planned project in Germany (letter of motivation: 1-2 pages), taking account of the following question: What do you hope to gain from your project in Germany (personally, professionally, for your career)? Please upload the letter of motivation under ‘study project/motivation’ in the DAAD portal.
- A proposal, prepared and formulated by yourself, as well as a description of previous research work (max. 10 pages in total). A proposal is an extensive and detailed description of the research project which has been discussed with the academic adviser. Please also read our Important Scholarship Information / section B, point 2. Please upload the proposal under ‘research project’ in the DAAD portal.
- In the case of individual projects supervised by a university teacher (academic adviser)
- Schedule for planned research work (must be agreed with academic supervisor)
- Letter confirming supervision by the doctoral supervisor. Please also read our Important Scholarship Information / section C, point 3. Please upload the confirmation from the academic host under ‘acceptance of host institution’ in the DAAD portal.
- In the case of planned participation in a structured doctoral study programme:
- Module plan (to be uploaded in the DAAD portal under 'schedule')
- Proof of existing contacts to the coordinator of the doctoral programme (to be uploaded under ‘acceptance of host institution’ in the DAAD portal).
- Letter of admission to a study programme; this may be submitted at a later date if it is not available at the time of application
- University degree certificate indicating final grade(s): the certificate must be subsequently submitted before the grant-supported research begins if it is not available at the time of application.
- One recent, supporting letter of recommendation (previously: 'reference') from a university teacher which provides information about your qualifications. Please regard the instructions given on the tab 'Submitting an application'.
In the current application procedure, the recommendation can be sent to the DAAD by post as an alternative to uploading it on the portal. Please note the information given under 'Application location' for this purpose.
- Other documents which support your application (example: certificates of employment, proof of practical training/internships and voluntary commitment etc.)
The application procedure occurs online through the DAAD portal.
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.
- Your application is only valid if you submit all the required documents to the DAAD portal on time.
- For submitting references by post, the postmark date serves as proof that they have been dispatched on time.
- (If further documents are to be submitted by post, please send them as soon as possible.)
- The DAAD portal closes at 24.00 hrs. (CET or CEST) on the last application day. If possible, please do not send your application on the final date in case technical problems occur.
- Incomplete applications cannot be considered. You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete.
- The application documents remain with the DAAD. Your personal data is saved by the DAAD in accordance with the Federal Data Protection Act and with the EU Data Protection Regulation insofar as this data is needed to process the application.
Contact and Consulting
More detailed information
- DAAD website 'Important information for DAAD scholarship applicants'
- DAAD website section 'Doing a PhD and Research in Germany'
- Website 'Research in Germany'
- Website 'GERiT – German Research Institutions'
Submitting an application
General information on the application via DAAD portal
Applications for this scholarship programme are possible in the period June until the stated application deadline.
Click on ‘Application portal’ at the bottom of the page to go to the DAAD portal. There you will be provided with an online application form to 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 recommendation form
You can generate the recommendation form (previously: 'reference form') in the DAAD Portal as a writable PDF under 'Request reference'. Please send it to your referee and ask him or her to complete the form in full. When you have received it back, please upload it in the portal under 'Letter of Recommendation'.
Alternatively, the referee can send the form by post to the application address (see tab 'Application procedure' under 'Application location'). The postmark will then be used to ensure that the form was sent by the deadline.
Please note that the form for completion by a referee can only be generated during the application period.
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 and save in PDF format. Please note that you can only upload PDF files to the portal.
- Upload the completed application form and the other application documents 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
Letters of recommendation can be sent to the application location (see tab 'Application procedure') as an alternative to uploading them in the portal.
The postmark date serves as proof that they have been dispatched on time.
Information for applicants from non-EU countries:
Please remember to specify the exact contents of your postal consignment in the documents for the customs authorities, e.g. 'Application documents for scholarship (contains no commercial goods, no merchandise or insurable value)'.
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 email@example.com, open every weekday from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm (CET or CEST).
Please consider the availability of the hotline as well as possible processing times of your request when you are planning your application.
Please select your status and your country to enable you to submit an application
Your status and/or country is not in the list? If your status and/or country is not included in the list, you cannot apply for this scholarship programme. To ensure that only scholarship programmes for which you are eligible to apply are shown, please select your status and your country in the results list (left-hand column).