DAAD Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates and Young Scientists

Deadline: Each country has its own specific deadline
Open to: Excellently-qualified university graduates who hold a Diplom or Master’s degree
Grant: Monthly award of 750 euros (graduates holding a first degree) or 1,000 euros (doctoral candidates)


Research grants provide young foreign academics and scientists with an opportunity to carry out a research project or a course of continuing education and training at a German state (public) or staterecognised higher education institution or non-university research institute. The prime goal is the funding of the doctoral dissertation. Specifically, this scholarship serves the following purposes:

  • research projects at a German university for the purpose of gaining a doctorate in Germany; for projects of these kinds, we would particularly refer to the structured doctoral study programmes, such as Research Training Groups or Doctoral Research Groups, International Postgraduate Programmes, Graduate Schools, Max Planck Research Schools, etc.
  • research projects or continuing education and training, but without aiming for a formal degree/qualification.Postdocs can also refer to the funding opportunities offered by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation.


Depending on the award holder’s academic level, the DAAD will pay a monthly award of 750 euros (graduates holding a first degree) or 1,000 euros (doctoral candidates). As a rule, the scholarship additionally includes certain payments towards health insurance cover in Germany. Furthermore, the DAAD generally will pay an appropriate flat-rate travel allowance, unless these costs are covered by the home country or by another funding source.

Award holders completing a stay of more than six months receive a study and research allowance plus, where appropriate, a rent subsidy and family allowance. Funding for attendance of a language course is decided on a case-by-case basis.

The length of the grant is set by the grant committee at the selection session. Depending on the project in question and on the applicant’s work schedule, grants can be paid generally for between one and ten months, in the case of full doctoral programmes in Germany for up to three years, and in exceptions for up to a maximum of four years.


  • Applications for DAAD research grants are open to excellently-qualified university graduates who hold a Diplom or Master’s degree at the time they commence the grant-supported research and, in exceptional cases, graduates holding a Bachelor’s degree or already holding a doctorate/PhD (postdocs).
  • It is required that doctoral candidates wishing to take a doctorate/PhD in their home country will already have been admitted to an appropriate course at their home university.
  • The application papers must generally include written confirmation of academic supervision by a professor in Germany and expressly refer to the applicant’s project, thereby confirming that the host institute will provide a workplace. If the applicant is planning to complete a doctorate at the German host university, the letter of confirmation must come from the academic supervisor (Doktorvater/Doktormutter) for the applicant’s doctoral programme/thesis.
  • Applicants who intend to gain their doctorate within the scope of a structured doctoral study programme are required to present a letter of admission from their study programme or at least proof that they are being considered for admission.
  • Besides previous study achievements, the most important selection criterion is a convincing and well planned research or continuing education and training project to be completed during the stay in Germany and which has been coordinated and agreed with an academic supervisor at the chosen German host institute.
  • At the time of application, generally no more than six years should have passed since gaining the last degree; in the case of doctoral students, no more than three years should have passed since starting the doctoral process; and in the case of postdocs, no more than two years should have passed since gaining the doctorate. In the case of postdocs who are applying for a short stay (of up to six months), no more than four years should have passed since gaining the doctorate. Depending on the country of origin of applicants, for example, special conditions prevailing in the home country education system, etc., exceptions are possible. The country-specific information on the DAAD homepage will provide you with more detailed information.
  • Applicants, who have been resident in Germany for longer than one year at the time of application, cannot be considered

Application procedure

  • Detailed information on what application papers need to be submitted can be found on the Application Form for “Research Grants and Study Scholarships.”
  • Besides presenting the academic and personal reasons for the planned study project in Germany, the application must be accompanied by an extract from the host university’s website with concrete details (title of the degree programme, study plan and the expected length of studies, language of instruction, admissions requirements plus information on any tuition fees) for the chosen degree programme.
  • The DAAD will not consider incomplete applications. Country-specific information, dates and deadlines, application address and advice

Applications deadline

Please note that the scholarships awarded to foreign students differ for each country, meaning that each country has its own deadline for collecting the applications. Country-specific Information on the DAAD Scholarship Programmes 2013/2014 can be found here. This information includes the language skills which applicants from your country of origin must meet, any special age-limit regulations which may apply, as well as information on the exact deadlines for the submission of the application papers and on where applications should be sent.

For more information please refer to the local DAAD Office contact in the first instance, or the official website.

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