Known in its native tongue as the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), the German Academic Exchange Service is an organization dedicated to international academics. Since being founded in 1925, DAAD has provided nearly 2 million students with funding and scholarship grants in support of higher education opportunities.
The organization primarily focuses on providing financial assistance to undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students from across the globe. Generally, DAAD offers its scholarships for studying at German universities with the secondary goals of promoting German studies and language as well developing an international community committed to exchanging academic ideas, policy, and research. Additional scholarships for research and study are available to German students looking to study in North America.
DADD Scholarship Awards
Although some awards are specific to undergraduates, the majority of DAAD scholarships are intended for graduate students, doctoral students, and postdoctoral researchers. Some awards such as the German Studies Research Grant are available for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Funding duration and amounts vary depending on the exact program, and additional awards may also fund internship placement or student group visits.
To search for all available scholarships or to learn about in-depth application requirements and program details, visit the DAAD Scholarship Database for more information.
Undergraduate DADD Scholarship
DAAD offers an a specific Undergraduate Scholarship award for undergraduate international students looking to study at a German university. This award includes a monthly stipend of EUR 750 intended to cover health, accident and liability insurance as well as a travel allowance.
DADD Scholarship Graduate
DAAD offers Study Scholarships for Graduates of All Disciplines designed specifically for graduate students of all fields. Additional graduate awards also exist for international students in the following specified fields:
- Performing Arts
- Fine Art, Design/Visual Communication, and Film
Ph.D. DADD Scholarship
For PhD researchers and postdoctoral students, DAAD offers a number of scholarships such as the Leibniz – DAAD Research Fellowship, which offers up to 15 fellowships. The award amount is listed at a monthly installment of EUR 1200.
Eligibility Criteria for DADD Scholarship
Scholarships are granted for a period of study between 4 months and 10 months, covering either one semester or an entire academic year. The scholarship period is governed by the German academic year, meaning the study period must take place between September/October 2018 and July 2019 for the current deadline.
Except for programs taught only in English, conversational German language skills and beyond are considered. An independent selection committee of international academics experts is assembled each year to select the Undergraduate Scholarship recipients. From the DAAD website, this committee looks for students who:
- “are currently second and third year students and will be in their third and fourth year during their stay in Germany
- are seeking DAAD support for a 4-10 month period in Germany during the German academic year
- possess outstanding academic records and personal integrity, as evinced by both their grades and letters of recommendation
- have well-defined study, research or internship plans for their stay in Germany
- submit the DAAD language evaluation form with their application, although German language competency is not mandatory
- demonstrate an interest in contemporary German and European affairs and who explain the significance of their project in Germany to their future studies, research or professional goals
- are enrolled, full-time students in an undergraduate degree-granting program at an accredited North American college or university
- will return to the US or Canada after the scholarship period to complete their bachelor’s degree”
Graduate and PhD
- Qualified students includes students in final year of undergraduate study.
- Adequate knowledge of German language depending on study program.
- DAAD offers specialised award programs for applicants from artistic disciplines and the field of architecture.
Application Process of DADD Scholarship
The application is submitted online through the DAAD Portal, which opens approximately six weeks before the application is due. Paperwork must be completed in English, although an exception may be made for French-speaking Canadians to hand in transcripts in French along with all other documents in English.
An independent selection committee reviews applications and determines graduate award recipients from criteria such as
- “academic achievements
- convincing academic and personal reasons for the planned study project in Germany”
Recent PhD students who have completed a PhD or equivalent qualification in 2016 or later are to be considered for the award, provided an appropriate Leibniz Institute can support their academic and research project.
Required Materials for DADD Scholarships
Prospective undergraduate scholarship recipients must submit the following documents to the DAAD Portal to complete the application:
- Online application form from the DAAD Portal
- 3 Page Curriculum Vitae
- Academic and Personal Statement; “Letter of Motivation”
- Statement of Support and Credit Eligibility
- Study Abroad or Exchange Program Proof of Acceptance. Either a letter from a mentor or formal invitation from a German university may qualify.
- Current College Transcripts scanned through the application portal.
- Signed Language Evaluation Form from a German Department faculty member. For students with no German language knowledge, submit the certificate and indicate “No knowledge of German”
- A signed original reference form and two copies from two separate faculty members in the major of study, sent by mail in a sealed envelope, or emailed directly by the professor to firstname.lastname@example.org. In certain extenuating circumstances, a standard letter of recommendation may suffice.
- 3-page curriculum vitae
- 1-3 page Academic and Personal Statement and Project Plan
- Letter of Admission
- German Language Competency
- Listing of prior academic and research publications
- 2 letters of recommendation from senior academics
- 1 page abstract of the research project
- 5-10 page description of a research project
- Appropriate certifications such as Ph.D. Diploma and Master degree certificate
It is important to note that these scholarships are given out every year, so these deadlines are applicable each year. If the deadlines have passed, start preparing for next year. Remember, those that prepare most thoroughly have the best chance at receiving those scholarships.
While undergraduate applications tend to open in December, and the most recent deadline was January 31. Applicants will generally receive notification of acceptance in May. The application portal closes at 11:59 p.m. Central European Time (CET).
The most recent application deadline was November 4. Expect a similar deadline for the next round since these scholarships are given out each year.
The most recent deadline was March 8. Award winners are to be notified in June.