Research Grants - Bi-nationally Supervised Doctoral Degrees / Cotutelle • DAAD
Doctoral candidates/PhD students
|Country of Origin:||
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.
Applicable to the following disciplines:
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A print version of this announcement (PDF) is available in the further tabs (e.g. “Application requirements”).
The aim of this programme is the funding of bi-national doctoral projects at the home university and at a university in Germany.
The programme offers two options:
Option a) Doctorate with bi-national supervision: The doctoral project is supervised both by a university teacher at the home university and an academic adviser at the host institute in Germany (so-called "sandwich model"). The project must be coordinated with both supervisors. Doctoral candidates start their doctoral degree in their home country but subsequently spend research periods in Germany. The doctorate is completed in the home country with participation of the German academic adviser; the doctoral degree is awarded by the home university.
Option b) Doctorate following the “Cotutelle” procedure: Funding of bi-national doctoral degrees at the home university and at a university in Germany according to the so-called "Cotutelle" procedure. The prerequisite is an individual cooperation contract between the participating universities about the doctoral project which is to be supervised. After successful completion of the doctorate, the German university and the foreign partner university award a doctoral degree together.
Who can apply?
Depending on the nature of the project:
a) Bi-national supervision following the “sandwich model”: Applicants who have completed a Master's degree or Diplom (in exceptional cases a Bachelor's degree) at the latest at the beginning of their scholarship.
b) “Cotutelle” procedure: Applicants who have admission to a doctoral programme at the latest at the beginning of their scholarship.
What can be funded?
Option a) Doctorate with bi-national supervision following the “sandwich model”: Research stays at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education or a non-university research institute in Germany as part of a doctoral programme in the home country.
Option b) Doctorate following the “Cotutelle” procedure: Research stays at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education for the preparation of a doctoral thesis, which is supervised and carried out bi-nationally on the basis of an individually concluded cooperation contract.
Duration of the funding
- Total maximum 24 months
- The length of the grant is decided by a selection committee and depends on the project in question and your work schedule.
- The grant may be used flexibly for several shorter stays.
- You should outline how you plan to divide your time between Germany and the home university and possibly specify plans to visit a third country (e.g. for the purpose of collecting material) in a work and time schedule in your application.
- During stays at their home university, the grant is interrupted.
- Option a) Bi-national supervision following the “sandwich model”: Grants are initially awarded for up to 12 months. Extensions depend on whether the selection committee considers the previous award period to have been successfully completed.
- Option b) Doctorate following the “Cotutelle” procedure: Grants are initially awarded for up to 18 months; there is the possibility for an extension of the scholarship for up to 6 months.
- Monthly payments for doctoral candidates during the stay in Germany: 1,200 euros.
- Payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover
- Travel allowance, unless these expenses are covered by the home country or another source of funding
- One-off research allowance
- Travel and accommodation expenses according to the German Federal Travel Expenses Law for supervising university teachers for one trip of up to 10 days
- undertaken by the foreign university teacher to Germany to monitor progress
- undertaken by the German university teacher to the home university of the scholarship holder to take part in final examinations.
The nature of the trips should be specified in the work and time schedule submitted with the application.
- monthly rent subsidy
- monthly allowance for accompanying members of family
- 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 grant holders to learn German in preparation for their stay in the country, 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; 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. Due to the pandemic, German courses may take place online.
- Allowance for a personally chosen German language course during the grant period
- Reimbursement of the fees for the TestDaF or DSH test which has either been taken in the home country after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter or in Germany before the end of the funding period
An independent selection committee consisting of specialist scientists reviews applications.
Central selection criteria are:
- a convincing and well-planned research or training project
- academic achievements
In addition, in order to ensure equal opportunities, the selection committee may take into account special life circumstances, about which you can provide information in the application form.
For further information on the selection procedure, please refer to the Important Scholarship Information / Section E.
What requirements must be met?
- No more than six years should pass between the final examinations and 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.
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
- 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.
- Schedule of planned research work for the entire funding period (including a possible extension) and visits from academic adviser
- Proof of permission to take a doctoral degree at the home university, if applicable
- University degree certificate indicating final grade(s); if it is not yet available at the time of application, it must be subsequently submitted before the scholarship begins
- Option a) Letter confirming supervision by an academic adviser in Germany, which refers to your proposal and confirms that the host institute will provide a workplace
- Option b) Individual cooperation contract between the home university and the cooperating German University (Cotutelle contract). If this is not yet available at the time of application, it must be subsequently submitted before the scholarship begins; in this case, a confirmation of supervision by the academic contact person in Germany, which refers to your project, must be uploaded to the portal.
- Other documents which support your application (example: certificates of employment, proof of practical training/internships or voluntary commitment, etc.)
Current note: If a language certificate is part of the application documents, please note the following: In the absolute exception, if you are unable to submit a language certificate due to Corona (e.g. due to the closure of universities or language test centres and if no digital language test is possible either), please upload an appropriate justification with a self-assessment of your current language level according to the CEFR instead of the missing document (tips for self-assessment of your language skills can be found here, under section A, point 8).
In these cases, the absence of a language certificate does not lead to a formal rejection of your scholarship application by the DAAD. However, submitted language certificates are included in the assessment. If you acquire language certificates after the application deadline, please submit them later.
Please note that you will still need proof of language proficiency in order to apply for a place at a German higher education institution and thus to be able to take up the scholarship.
To be submitted by post:
One recent reference from a university teacher which provides information about your qualifications (hand-signed, no digital or scanned signature). Please regard the instructions given on the tab “Submitting an application“.
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.
The access to the DAAD portal generally opens about 6 weeks before the application deadline at the latest.
Application deadlines are updated at least once a year. In most cases, they are in the same period as the previous year. You can find the current dates here:
- 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.
- Incomplete applications cannot be considered. You are responsible for ensuring that your applications are 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 section "PhD studies and research"
- Website ”Research in Germany”
- Website ”GERiT – German Research Institutions”
- DAAD website "Important information for DAAD scholarship applicants"
Submitting an application
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
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.
The reference is confidential and may not be viewed by the applicant!
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 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
References must be sent in the unopened envelope to the application location.
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 for a scholarship with application documents, a reference and a DVD with work samples (no commercial goods, no merchandise value, no 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 and from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm (CET).
Please consider this when you are planning your application.
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