A. Scholarship requirements
1. Is there an age limit for DAAD scholarships?
There is no fixed age limit. However, some scholarship programmes specify that only a certain amount of time should have elapsed since the last degree was earned. For details, please refer to the Call for Applications.

2. I have not completed my university degree at the time of application. Am I still eligible to apply for a scholarship?
Yes, in programmes for graduates you may apply at the earliest in the last year of your studies and you must satisfy all the academic requirements specified in the Call for Applications by the time the funded studies begin. You should submit your degree certificate before funding begins.

3. I'm already in Germany. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, if you who have been resident in Germany for no longer than 15 months at the time of application, you are eligible to apply. The reference date is the application deadline.

4. I am not currently living in my country of origin. Am I still eligible to apply for a scholarship?
Please note that your country of permanent residence or the country in which you have lived in the year before your application is usually of relevance for the application procedure. We strongly recommend that you obtain information and advice and find out which scholarship programmes are open to you, and whether you have to apply from your country of residence or country of origin. You can find out where your nearest contact person is in the scholarship database (www.funding-guide.de) under the "Contact and advice" tab.

5. Can I apply for a scholarship whatever subject I am studying?
The DAAD offers scholarship programmes throughout the world that are open to all subjects. There are also subject-specific programmes. In the scholarship database (www.funding-guide.de) you can select the scholarships that are offered for your group of subjects.

6. What language skills do I need to apply for a scholarship?
The required language skills generally depend on study plans and subject: In the arts, social sciences and in law, at least a good knowledge of German is usually expected. For the natural sciences and engineering, and if English can be spoken at the host institute or if the study programme is taught in English, proof of good English language skills may also be accepted. Depending on country of origin and scholarship programme, however, certain language skills may be required. The "Application requirements" in the Call for Applications specifies what requirements these may be.
B. Preparing your application
1. The Call for Applications specifies that a "Description of my study plans" or a "Letter of motivation" has to be submitted. What exactly does this mean?
You will find notes on how to write a motivation letter in section G: "How do I write a letter of motivation?"

2. The Call for Applications calls for a comprehensive and precise "Description of my research project." What does this mean?
You will find notes on how to describe your research project in section G: "How do I describe my research project?“

3. I would like to improve my German before I arrive in the country. Are there online language courses which I can take in my home country?
Yes, you can learn German online. Find out on the DAAD website Deutsch-lernen.net about the different options that are available for learning German. Special online German language courses are offered by the Goethe-Institut, for example, or Deutsch-Uni Online (for scholarship holders whose scholarships last longer than 6 months, the DAAD covers the costs of a DUO module.)
C. Planning your project
1. Do I have to have contacts in Germany when I apply?
Yes, if you are carrying out individual research in Germany or – in artistic subjects – wish to continue your education individually, you need an invitation from a German supervisor (see item 2). If you are participating in a structured study or doctoral degree programme, you only need to provide information about your chosen programme (see "Application procedure" in the Call for Applications). If you already have a contact at your host university, it is also advisable to enclose appropriate proof (e.g. e-mail correspondence).

2. I need a supervisor for my individual project in Germany. Who can be my academic host?
Hosts can be university teachers or academic teaching staff who work at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education or a non-university research institute in Germany. If possible, the host should have a professorial qualification.

3. I have found a supervisor for my individual project. What documents do I need from him for the application?
Your academic supervisor must confirm that he/she is willing to help you carry out your research project or doctoral degree in a "Letter confirming academic supervision," which you must submit with your application. Ideally, the letter of confirmation (informal) from your supervisor  indicates that the description of your research project and schedule has been discussed,  confirms that a workplace is available for you, and  specifies the language that is spoken at the host institute.
D. Application
1. How do I apply?
Application procedures may vary depending on scholarship programme. To find out where and how to apply, please read the "Application procedure" section of the Call for Applications. Please contact us if you have any questions. You can find out where your nearest contact person is in the scholarship database (www.funding-guide.de) under the "Contact and advice" tab.

2. In the Call for Applications it says I have to apply through the DAAD portal.
- What does this mean?
You have to apply online. To do this, you have to register in the DAAD portal. Select first the Call for Applications for your chosen scholarship programme and then the tab "Application portal" in the scholarship database (www.funding-guide.de). Please note that this tab is only visible in the period in which it is possible to apply for this scholarship programme or when the DAAD portal is open for applications.

- I have a problem with my online application. What can I do?
If technical problems occur, send an e-mail to portal@daad.de.

- Which documents do I have to upload to be able to submit an application to the DAAD portal?
Your application is only complete if you submit all the application documents listed in the Call for Applications. With the exception of your references and work samples (e.g. DVD), all of these documents must be uploaded to the DAAD portal. In some cases, individual documents (e.g. university certificate) may be submitted at a later date if this is explicitly permitted in the programme's Call for Applications.

- Do I receive confirmation that my application has been received?
Yes, as soon as you have submitted your application online, you will automatically receive confirmation that your application has been successfully submitted and an e-mail informing you that a message has been sent to you via the portal's messaging system. The message confirms that your application has been received.

- I have sent my application to the DAAD portal. Is my application now binding?
No. For your online application to be binding, you have to print out the "Application summary" generated in the portal and send this summary together with the documents which did not have to be uploaded (such as references or work samples) to the application address. Please take note of the application deadline indicated in the Call for Applications. This applies both to the online application and to the dispatch of the "Application summary" by post (the postmark date is valid).

3. Several copies of the application have to be submitted. In what order should documents be submitted?
Each copy must contain an application summary of your online application and, if applicable, references. Please submit your documents in the order in which the documents are listed in the Call for Applications. Example: 2 copies In some subjects, work samples (e.g. on a DVD) are required. Only one copy of work samples needs to be submitted to the application address.

4. Should the individual copies be stapled or bound together?
No, please do not staple or bind documents together, or submit documents in a file. This makes it more difficult for us prepare applications for the selection committee.

5. The Call for Applications states that I have to submit a reference from a university teacher. Who can write a reference for my application?
References in scientific subjects should be written by university professors who can provide information about the following:  How are your academic achievements?  What are your academic and personal qualities?  Is your project well planned, feasible and relevant?  What significance does the scholarship have for your academic and professional career?

6. Do I have to apply in German?
Unless otherwise stated in the Call for Applications, you can submit your application either in German or English. Please note that application documents that are not in German or English must be translated either into German or English. The translations do not have to be certified for the application procedure and you may do the translations yourself. In most scholarship programmes, translations have to be submitted again in certified form if a scholarship is awarded.

7. What language certificates do I need when I apply for a scholarship?
You can find out what language certificates you need when you apply for a scholarship in the "Application procedure" section of the Call for Applications.

8. My native language is English or German. Do I still have to provide proof of my knowledge of English or German?
No, in this case a language certificate is not required.

9. Do my certificates and transcripts (lists of grades) have to be certified for my application?
No, not initially. If your certificates and transcripts are not in German or English, you can translate the documents for your application yourself. The DAAD does not usually ask you to submit certified documents (if a positive decision is made) until after the selection has been made.

10. Does my application have to arrive on/before the deadline or just be postmarked by the deadline date?
For most of our programs we have specified whether it's a postmark or arrive by deadline. If it isn't specified, generally applications that need to be sent to the DAAD New York office are postmark deadlines and ones that must be sent to Germany are arrive by.
E. Selection
1. Who makes a decision about my application?
A pre-selection or assessment of submitted applications is usually made in your home country by a pre-selection committee. The pre-selection committee may be made up of local university teachers (with special consideration given to former DAAD scholarship holders and former holders of scholarships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation), German university teachers and lectors appointed by the DAAD, lecturers from the Goethe Institute, representatives of responsible ministries or partner organisations of the DAAD or the DAAD's regional office. An independent committee made up of German university teachers is responsible for making the final decision. If necessary, experts in the respective subject are asked to submit written statements. DAAD employees have no right to vote in the scholarship election procedure.

2. According to which criteria does the selection committee make its decision?
Important selection criteria are  description of proposal and reasoning - for study or research stays and course of continuing education: a convincing and well-planned project (see chapter G: “How should I introduce my research project?”) - for structured study programmes or language and short courses: a well justified choice of course (see chapter G: “How do I write my letter of motivation”?)  academic achievements Additional documents that prove academic suitability or provide information about extracurricular activities will also be considered in the assessment.
F. Scholarship
1. How high is the monthly scholarship payment?
The scholarship payment depends on the applicant's academic qualifications. It is usually € 650 for students, € 750 for postgrads and around € 1,000 for doctoral candidates and postdocs. Payments for university teachers are usually € 2,000 for assistant teachers, assistant professors and lecturers, € 2,150 for professors (as of May 2014). You can find an overview of other possible benefits in each Call for Applications.

2. Who pays for outward and return travel expenses?
Unless travel expenses are covered by another source of funding, the DAAD pays a contribution towards the scholarship holder's travel expenses.

3. Can I bring my family with me?
If the funding period is less than six months, there are no provisions to unite families and therefore no family allowances can be paid. For scholarships with a funding period of over six months, please read the Call for Applications to find out if this programme provides for family members.

4. Do I have to take out health insurance in Germany?
Scholarship holders and accompanying family members must be covered by health insurance throughout their stay in German from their first day in the country. Health insurance coverage in Germany is regulated differently depending on country of origin. You will be informed about the conditions of health insurance and the services provided by the DAAD when you receive the Scholarship Award Letter.

5. Am I allowed to take on a part-time job as a scholarship holder in Germany?
Scholarship holders wishing to work part-time during their scholarship, in other words pursue gainful employment, always require the approval of the DAAD. The host must also approve the part-time job. The DAAD is responsible for making sure that the part-time job does not endanger fulfilment of the scholarship purpose, as described in the introduction of the Call for Applications. Casual earnings which exceed the so-called "Income limit for part-time workers" (currently € 450 a month) are credited against the monthly scholarship payments.
G. Notes and advice on application documents
How do I write my letter of motivation/proposal? – Guidelines
A letter of motivation is required when you apply for a study scholarship or a grant for a language or specialist course. This letter gives you the chance to describe your personality and the reasons why you are applying for a DAAD scholarship. The following information and questions will help you to write an informative letter of motivation.

Facts about your education, skills and knowledge
o Studies: study programme, number of semesters, if applicable, degree
o Professional experience, if applicable
o Academic knowledge, skills and language skills
o Prizes and awards (if applicable)

Academic motivation
o Why do you wish to take the study programme or attend the language or specialist course for which you are applying?
o What appeals to you about the university you have chosen?
o What are your expectations of studying in Germany or attending the course (personal, professional, for your career)?

Reasons for applying for a scholarship
o Why are you applying for a DAAD scholarship?
o What do you expect of this scholarship?
o How will the scholarship help you achieve your academic, professional and personal goals?

Personal interests Here you can outline special extracurricular achievements and commitments or personal qualities that say something about your character.

How should I introduce my research project? – Or: How do I write a research exposé?
In a research exposé, you define the goals of your research work, reflect upon the theoretical and methodical procedure and you describe the individual steps.

The objective
What is the content of your research project?
Which steps are planned?
How do you plan your work schedule?

The structure
The description should provide information about the following:

1. The research field in general and the current state of research literature:
What is the current level of research?
Which theories/work of other scientists do you refer to?
Discussion of the theoretical framework or model What is your research question?

2. Key research questions (hypotheses), research objectives and the scientific relevance of your project:
What do you intend finding out?
What goals are you pursuing with your project?

3. Research strategies/methods:
How do you intend answering the research questions?
How do you want to collect data (document analyses, quantitative or qualitative survey, experiment, etc.)?
Which scientific literature will you use?
How will you evaluate results?
What is your schedule?
What preparation have you already done or intend doing before funding begins?

4. Ethical issues/anticipated difficulties collecting data

5. Provisional schedule (in tabular form)
How much time do you need for the individual research phases (before, during and, if applicable, after the scholarship period)?

6. Research bibliography
List of books and essays upon which your work is based.

Not all of these points may apply to your project. When composing your letter of motivation, please also refer to the "Rules of good scientific practice" contained in the DAAD leaflet of the same name.
A. Undergraduate Scholarship
1. I am not a Canadian or US citizen, can I still apply?

Yes, international students in Canada and the US may apply if they are enrolled in a four-year program leading to a bachelor's degree.

2. How much German do I need to know?

German language ability is not a requirement for this grant, however students should demonstrate language skills commensurate with their study and research needs. You must have the DAAD language certificate filled out, even if you don't speak any German yet. If you don't fit any of the categories listed, just have the instructor fill out the field for Sonstige Bemerkungen.

3. I am planning to take a language course before the German semester starts. Can the funding be extended to this class?

Not if the class is part of your study abroad program, but if you are planning your own stay in Germany, DAAD has a limited amount of funding for language classes. This funding is available for students who will be in Germany for the academic year. Please state in your proposal that you would like to take a language class. Be aware that you may have to arrive in Germany in late August to participate.

4. I am applying for a study abroad program/exchange, but won't have official acceptance into the program until after the Undergraduate Scholarship program deadline. Can I still apply?

Yes, please include a letter from your study abroad office or the program you are applying to. The letter should certify that you are indeed applying for the respective program. It should be on letterhead and have an original signature. Once you receive acceptance into your study abroad program we will need an original letter for your file.

5. Do all copies of my transcript(s) have to be in sealed envelopes from my school's transcript office?

Certificates, transcripts, and translations may be scanned and uploaded in non-certified form.

6. Will I receive credit for the coursework or internship in Germany?

You will need to make the arrangements to receive credit yourself. In order to apply you have to show us that you are in principle eligible to receive credit from your home institution.

7. Will DAAD make housing arrangements for me?

No, DAAD scholarship holders find their own accommodation. Most German universities have dormitory space available and will assist with housing.

8. How do I design my own stay in Germany? Start your preparations early!

Make sure that your home institution will give you credit for your study, internship or research project. Get in touch with faculty members in Germany and find a mentor. If you have trouble finding a contact in Germany, speak to your academic advisors for suggestions. Your application will stand a much better chance of being approved if you can provide evidence of an established contact at your chosen German host institution. If you do not have any contacts to help you find an internship, get in touch with the organizations listed below. These organizations may charge a fee. Cultural Vistas German American Chamber of Commerce Steuben-Schurz-Gesellschaft WISU Das Wissenschaftsstudium

9. My first language is French and I study at a French language university in Canada. Can I submit my application and recommendation letter in French?


10. What advice can you give about the project proposal?

The project proposal is one of the most important documents to hand in. Make sure to carefully review it and have it reviewed by your advisers for content but also grammar and spelling. The essay gives you the opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants. A successful project proposal should clearly state why you are going to Germany and show the link to your academic work and career plans. Please do not hand in a life history, but address the following points: WHAT, WHERE, WHEN & HOW

11. Can I apply if I intend to go to Germany in September?

The Undergraduate Scholarship supports grantees for up to 10 months. Normally the grant period coincides with the German academic year starting in October. In a few cases it is possible to apply from September 1st (If you are on a study abroad program from September through December or from September through June, for example.)

12. Can I apply for study or research periods shorter than four months?


13. Is it possible for a First-Year-Student to apply?

No, students in their first or Freshman year are not eligible to apply for the Undergraduate Scholarship.

14. When do I apply if I am planning to go to Germany between January and April 2017?

Even if you are going to Germany in early 2017, you have to meet our January 31, 2016 deadline. If you do not have acceptance into a study abroad program yet, please let your adviser certify that you have or intend to apply. If you are designing your own research or study abroad, make sure that you are in touch with your mentor early on, so you can obtain an invitation to Germany.

15. I am planning to go to Germany in the summer of 2016. Am I eligible to apply?

If you are spending only the summer of 2016 (e.g. from May to July) you are not eligible for Undergraduate Scholarship funding; you should have applied before the January 2015 deadline. However, if you are planning to stay in Germany from the summer through December 2016, you may apply for Undergraduate Scholarship funding from September through December.

16. Advice on recommendation letters:

The recommendation letters should be by professors, not teaching assistants. If you have not been taught by professors and your letters are by assistants, make sure a professor co-signs the letters. The letters should be by professors in your major fields of study (not necessarily a German professor). Letters by high school teachers or employers will not be accepted.

17. How should I hand in several copies of the recommendation letters?

DAAD needs to receive one original of each document and three copies. The same is true for recommendation letters: Please ask the faculty members who are writing recommendation letters to include three copies for us.

18. How can I make sure you receive the recommendation letters on time?

You can include the sealed recommendation letters with the rest of your application. If any of your professors want to send them directly please include a list of the recommenders with your application, so we know whose letters still to expect.

19. My university does not have a Study Abroad office. Who should sign the letter of support and credit eligibility form?

In this case you should ask your undergraduate academic adviser. Make sure to list a specific adviser with their individual contact information.

20. What are the odds of me receiving a DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship?

The success rate of our applicant pool has been anywhere from just below 20% up to 30% in the past few years. We cannot make any predictions as to how many applicants we will have in a given year.

B. Study Scholarships and Research Grants
1. How much German do I need to know?

German language ability is not a requirement for this grant, however students should demonstrate language skills commensurate with their study and research needs.

2. I’m a student at one of the partner universities but missed our internal campus deadline/prefer not to apply through my university. Can I apply directly to the DAAD New York office?


3. I’m a recent graduate and currently not enrolled in a university. Can I submit reference from my employer or a non-academic person?

We prefer letter from North American professors. If it’s absolutely impossible, you may submit a reference from an employer or non-academic person.

4. Can I apply for study periods shorter than ten months?


5. If I’m interested in applying for the study/research grant to complete a degree in Germany, do I need to be admitted or accepted into a German university by the time of application?

No, as German universities’ admission deadlines are later than our deadline, it’s often impossible/not necessary to be admitted to a German university by the time of application.

6. I’ve just started my master’s program in Germany. Can I apply for the Study Scholarship for my second year?


7. Can I open the recommendation letter from my professor?

no, one reference letter (three copies - one for each copy of the application) from your university teacher in a sealed envelope with original signature AND have your reference send the letter via email to gradscholar@daad.org. Please ensure that your reference emails a scan of the original which includes his/her signature.

8. Do I only need to submit/upload the transcript from my current university or from all post- secondary institutions?

Submit/Upload all post-secondary transcripts.

9. Is there a specific format requirement for proposals?

We do not have specific format requirements. Double or single line spacing is up to your personal preference. Our general guideline is to be considerate toward the reviewer - i.e. a font that's not too small (min 10 point, 12 pt is usually the most comfortable) and of a basic, non-fancy, easy to read style; make sure there are some margins on the side for them to make notes. If you feel you've explained things well and clearly in less space, going under the limit is always okay.

10. I’m interested in applying for the short-term research grant by the May deadline, and my university is one of the partner universities. Should I apply through my university or directly to the NY office?

Please apply directly to the NY office.

11. Can the funding start in April 1, instead of Oct. 1?

No, scholarships must take place during the German academic year, October 1 to July 31

12. Is it acceptable to apply to a program which is taught completely or primarily in the English language (but at a German university)?

Yes, as a matter of fact, German universities offer a lot of master’s degree programs that are taught in English, and you are eligible to apply for those programs to receive a grant.

13. Is it acceptable to apply to a program which is offered jointly by multiple universities (including one German university and other European/non-European countries)?

We may consider for funding, if the study abroad part is less than 25% of the total award period. The stay abroad will be only permitted if it is foreseen in the curriculum of the study program. It should not be conducted in the home country.

14. The deadline for admission to the German university I want to attend isn't until later, what do I submit for proof of contact?

Those who are applying to begin a full degree course of study at a German university do not need to submit proof of contact in their scholarship application. Later if you are awarded the scholarship, you must prove that you have been admitted before your departure.