There are two possible options:
Option a) Doctorate with bi-national supervision:
Your doctoral project is supervised by a university teacher both at your home university and at the host institute in Germany (so-called 'sandwich model'). Your project must be agreed with both supervisors according to the following procedure:
- You start your doctoral degree in your home country.
- This is followed by research trips to Germany.
- You complete your doctorate in your home country and are also supervised by the German academic adviser.
- Your home university awards the doctoral degree.
Option b) Doctorate following the 'Cotutelle' procedure:
Funding is provided for doctoral projects that are carried out at the home university and at a university in Germany according to the so-called Cotutelle model. This is based on an individual cooperation agreement which is concluded individually for your doctoral project by the participating universities. After you have successfully completed your doctorate, the German university and your home university award the doctoral degree jointly.
The scholarships are funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
Who can apply?
a) bi-national supervision based on the 'sandwich model'. You can apply if you have earned a Master’s degree or Diplom (or in exceptional cases a Bachelor’s degree) at the latest at the start of the funding period.
b) 'Cotutelle model'. You can apply if you have been admitted to a doctoral programme at the latest at the start of the funding period.
What can be funded?
- In option a), a doctorate with bi-national supervision based on 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) are funded.
- In option b) a doctorate based on the 'Cotutelle model', research stays at a state or state-recognised institution of higher education in Germany are funded. These allow doctoral students to complete a doctoral thesis which is supervised and carried out bi-nationally on the basis of an individually concluded cooperation agreement.
Duration of the funding
- Funding is provided for between 7 and a maximum of 24 months.
- 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.
- The grant can be used flexibly for several shorter stays during your doctoral project.
- When you apply for the grant, you should outline in your study plan and time schedule (see ‘Application documents’) how you intend to divide your time between Germany and your home university.
- If you plan to visit other countries (e.g. to collect material), please specify these plans in your application. Such visits can only be funded if they take place in connection with your visit to Germany. Another requirement is that they do not exceed one quarter of your expected total funding period.
- The length of the funding period is determined by a selection committee and depends on your project and study plan.
- Monthly payments for doctoral candidates during the stay in Germany: 1,300 euros. Please note that no scholarship payments are made during stays at your home university.
- Payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover
- Travel allowances for up to three outward and return journeys unless these expenses are covered by the home country or another source.
- A research allowance
- Travel and accommodation expenses according to the German Federal Travel Expenses Law for your supervising university teachers for one trip of up to 10 days
- to Germany to monitor progress,
- to your home university to take part in final examinations.
Please indicate the trips in the work and time schedule (see 'Application documents') when applying.
- monthly rent subsidy
- monthly allowance for accompanying members of family. Please also read our important information for scholarship applicants / 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
To enable grant holders to learn German in preparation for their stay in Germany, 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.
- Allowance for a personally chosen German language course during the funding 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 the funding period
The selection criteria are:
- Academic achievements (grade point average, development of grades)
- Academic progress
- Knowledge of the language(s) of instruction or working language(s)
- If applicable, scholarly achievements after graduation, (e.g. publications, lectures, conference papers)
2. Quality of research project
- 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
- Incorporation of project within the overall doctorate (in terms of content and time), if relevant
3. Potential of applicant
- Career prospects: significance of the research project and stay in Germany for further academic, professional and personal development
- Motivation: academic and personal reasons for wanting to visit Germany, German language skills (if different from working language)
- Non-study-related activities: non-study-related knowledge and skills, civic engagement
The selection committee also gives due consideration to equal opportunities; you can provide relevant information in the application form.
For more information on the selection procedure, go to Important Scholarship Information / Section E.
What requirements must be met?
- 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.
For applicants from the fields of human medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry, other regulations are applicable. Please refer to www.daad.de/extrainfo.
- The required language level depends on the applicant's 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, proof of good English language skills may also be accepted if English is spoken at the host institute.
Selection date in March 2024 for funding from October 2024
Documents to be uploaded to the DAAD portal:
- Online application form
- Full curriculum vitae in tabular form (max. 3 pages)
- List of your published publications (max. 10 pages), if applicable
- Description of academic and personal reasons for your planned project in Germany (letter of motivation: 1-2 pages), taking account of the following question: What do you hope to gain from your project in Germany (personally, professionally, for your career)? Please upload the letter of motivation under ‘study project/motivation’ in the DAAD portal.
- A proposal, prepared and formulated by yourself, as well as a description of previous research work (max. 10 pages in total). A proposal is a comprehensive and detailed description of the research project which has been discussed with both academic advisers. Please also read our Important Scholarship Information / section B, point 2. Please upload the proposal under ‘research project’ in the DAAD portal.
- Schedule for planned research work for the entire funding period (including possible extension)
- 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) Bi-national supervision: Written confirmation from the academic host 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. Please upload the confirmation from the academic host under ‘acceptance of host institution’ in the DAAD portal.
- Option b) 'Cotutelle model': 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, you must submit it later before the funding period begins. In this case, you must upload a confirmation from your academic adviser in Germany, which refers to your project. Please upload the documents under ‘acceptance of host institution’ in the DAAD portal.
- 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'.
In the current application procedure, the recommendation can be sent to the DAAD by post as an alternative to uploading it on the portal. Please note the information given under 'Application location' for this purpose.
- Other documents which support your application (example: certificates of employment, proof of practical training/internships or voluntary commitment, etc.)
- Language certificate in the language in which the doctorate is carried out (German or English)
- All university certificates on all annual examinations with individual grade(s), incl. explanation of grading system.
- School leaving certificate with all individual grades (to be uploaded in the portal under "University entrance qualification")
- German or English translations of documents submitted in the national language (to be uploaded with the corresponding documents)
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.
- 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. If possible, please do not send your application on the final date in case technical problems occur.
- 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.
Information and advisory centres
More detailed information
- DAAD website 'Important information for DAAD scholarship applicants'
- DAAD website section 'Doing a PhD and Research in Germany'
- Website 'Research in Germany'
- Website 'GERiT – German Research Institutions'
General information on the application via DAAD portal
Click on 'Application portal' at the bottom of the page to go to the DAAD portal. There you will be provided with an online application form to 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 recommendation form
You can generate the recommendation form (previously: 'reference form') in the DAAD Portal as a writable PDF under 'Request reference'. Please send it to your referee and ask him or her to complete the form in full. When you have received it back, please upload it in the portal under 'Letter of Recommendation'.
Alternatively, the referee can send the form by post to the application address (see tab 'Application procedure' under 'Application location'). The postmark will then be used to ensure that the form was sent by the deadline.
Please note that the form for completion by a referee can only be generated during the application period.
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 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
Letters of recommendation can be sent to the application location (see tab 'Application procedure') as an alternative to uploading them in the portal.
The postmark date serves as proof that they have been dispatched on time.
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 documents for scholarship (contains no commercial goods, no merchandise or 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 (CET or CEST).
Please consider the availability of the hotline as well as possible processing times of your request when you are planning your application.