ERA Green Hydrogen Fellowships for international PhD students • DAAD
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Climate neutrality by the middle of the 21st century is the declared goal of Germany and the EU. Green hydrogen is an important component in the transformation of the energy sector and the decarbonization of emission-intensive sectors. Within the framework of the German and the European hydrogen strategies, we intend to recruit and qualify future specialists and young scientists. In addition, international cooperation, especially in the European Research Area, shall be strengthened and interdisciplinarity and innovative capabilities promoted. The "ERA Fellowships – Green Hydrogen" programme, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is complemented by comprehensive networking measures and the establishment of four working groups. The working groups will focus on: production, transport and infrastructure, market stimulation (i.e. further development of the market for hydrogen) and cross-cutting issues (i.e. regulation, socio-economic and legal framework). Fellows will continue to be involved in those after the end of the funding period and thus will both receive and offer long-term support from and to the German research and innovation location for green hydrogen.
Who can apply?
PhD students in the field of Green Hydrogen (GH2) from universities in the extended European Research Area (ERA)* who want to actively participate in one of the four working groups, also after the end of the fellowship.
*Applicants from the following countries are eligible to apply for a fellowship: EU member states, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Israel, Kosovo, Morocco, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Türkiye, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
What can be funded?
The programme provides funding for
- a research project or continuing academic training at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education in Germany or a non-university research institute, which is being carried out in agreement with a supervisor in Germany or
- a self-organized internship in a German company or a non-university institution in the field of GH2.
Duration of the funding
1 to 24 months for research fellowships and 2 to 3 months for internships.
The fellowship cannot be extended.
The fellowship covers:
- a monthly fellowship instalment of 1,200 Euros
- payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover
- a lump sum towards international travel costs
- if the fellowship is awarded for more than six months: one-off study allowance (usually 260 Euros; if you come from a DAC country, you will receive an allowance of 460 Euros)
- if the fellowship is awarded for more than six months: Monthly rent subsidy
- if the fellowship is awarded for more than six months: Monthly allowance for accompanying members of family. Please also read our Important Scholarship Information / 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
- Green Mobility Top Up (Support for climate-friendly travel) or partial reimbursement of carbon offset payments for air travel
- grant for participation in a conference
- if necessary: German language course (2 or 4 months) before the start of the study stay in Germany; the DAAD decides whether to fund participation and for how long depending on German language skills and project. Participation in a language course is compulsory if the study programme is taught in German.
- if the fellowship is awarded for more than six months:
- Payment of course fees for an online German language course after receipt of the Fellowship Award Letter
- allowance for a personally chosen German language course during the fellowship 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 Letter of Award or in Germany during your funding period
The selection committees are composed according to subject and, if applicable, regional criteria. The committee members are appointed by the DAAD Executive Board and are primarily university teachers from German universities. They evaluate the applications and decide on the awarding of the fellowships. DAAD staff members organize the meeting but have no voting rights.
Special consideration will be given to:
- academic performance and progress (incl. grade point average, grade progression)
- Knowledge of the language of instruction or working language
- 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 (analysis and evaluation stages)
- Incorporation of project within the overall doctorate (in terms of content and time)
- Suitability of the applicant’s profile and the research project/internship to the objectives of the program (potential for personal and professional development, use of international networking in the working groups as well as own active contributions in the working groups)
- Motivation: professional and personal reasons for the stay abroad and the host university/the internship provider, knowledge of the local language (if different from the working language); regional knowledge
- Extracurricular commitment: extracurricular knowledge and skills, social commitment
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.
- Applicants have to be enrolled at their home university.
- Funding is only available from the starting date of the internship
Very good English language skills are essential. However, we do not require an official English test. The author of the invitation letter must confirm that your English language skills are sufficient to pursue the research project in Germany.
Applications can be submitted anytime.
The fellowship can be commenced at the beginning of each month.
Please note that applications have to be submitted at least 4 months before the planned starting date.
Funding for the fellowship programme is available until the end of 2025. Please keep this in mind if you want to apply for a fellowship for more than 18 months.
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
- Letter of motivation (1-3 pages) taking into account the following question: What do you hope to gain from your project in Germany (personally, professionally, for your career)? The letter of motivation must also include a statement in which working group you would like to actively participate.
- For applicants for a research fellowship: 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.
- For applicants for an internship: detailed description of your planned internship in Germany (max. 3 pages)
- Schedule of planned research work/internship
- Confirmation from the academic host or the host institution of your internship in Germany; the confirmation must refer to your project and guarantee that the host institute in Germany will provide you with a workplace. Also read our Important Scholarship Information / section C, point 3.
- University degree certificate and transcripts of records of your last academic degree (as a rule, Master or equivalent; Bachelor, if you have not yet completed your Master at the time of application). If the documents of your last academic degree are not yet available at the time of application, please be sure to submit them subsequently as soon as possible.
- Proof of admission as a doctoral candidate at the home university
- Other documents which support your application (example: certificates of employment, proof of practical training/internships or social commitment etc.)
- 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'. For this call for applications, it is possible to send in references digitally as an alternative to uploading it on the portal. Please note the information given under 'Application location' for this purpose.
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.
You submit your application via the DAAD online portal, including the letter of recommendation.
Alternatively, the University teacher writing the reference for you may upload it to our reference database himself/herself using the following link:
Only references may be uploaded. Other application documents may not be uploaded under this link.
The reference file must be named as follows:
"reference_Surname Applicant_First Name Applicant"
Please download the reference form from the DAAD portal and send it to your referee. Give him/her the upload link and the information on how to name the file.
Contact and Consulting
Information and advisory centres
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
German Academic Exchange Service
Section ST43 – Research Fellowship Programmes
Team Green Hydrogen
More detailed information
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
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 him/her to complete the form and to write a freely formulated reference (as described in the form). Please note that the reference form can only be generated in the portal during the application period.
Please generate one reference form per referee.
3. Applying online in the DAAD portal
- 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.
- Fill out the application form and upload 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, open every weekday from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm (CET or CEST).
Please consider this when you are planning your application.