German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) was established in 1925 by Carl Joachim Friedrich, a German student. At the start DAAD had only 13 fellowships to offer. Today, DAAD awards over 65,000 fellowships a year. Based in Bonn, Germany, DAAD has offices in the United States and Toronto, Canada, as well as other countries. DAAD’s mission is to promote young scholars to become leaders in science, culture, politics, and economics; to qualify German students to take on leadership roles through international as well as intercultural experiences; to enhance the image of German institutions; promote scholarship opportunities in the arts, language, and literature; and, to support academic research in other countries.
Its New York branch was founded in 1971 and serves students interested in exchange programs between the United States, Canada and Germany. The purpose of this branch is to provide information and assistance to U.S. students and professionals interested in fellowships and other programs provided by the organization. This office also contributes to Germany’s international relations by supporting and promoting cultural, scientific and academic achievements in Canada and the United States.
The San Francisco office acts as an information center serving students and faculty throughout the United States. The purpose of this office is to encourage students to study and conduct research in Germany, and provide information and guidance about DAAD’s funding opportunities.
This article provides examples of DAAD’s funding opportunities through scholarships and research grants.
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): Scholarship and Grant Program
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers several scholarships and grant opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students who are U.S. or Canadian citizens. Here are examples of some of their programs:
Undergraduate Scholarship: This award encourages undergraduate students to study abroad in Germany. Students must be in their second or third year of school, seeking financial support for studying abroad from four to ten months in Germany, and possess academic excellence, and personal integrity. Applicants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens, have interest in contemporary German and European affairs, and be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree program in the U.S. or Canada. Award includes a monthly stipend, health insurance plus extra funds for research and travel expenses. To be considered, students must submit a resume, project proposal, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, a language evaluation certificate, statement of support and credit eligibility, and one of the following items: acceptance for studying abroad, exchange program, letter by mentor, or an invitation from a German university. Deadline for this scholarship is in January.
Study Scholarship: This one-year award is designed for graduating seniors (fourth or fifth year undergrads in Canada) or those with a undergraduate degree in any discipline looking to do independent study in Germany, or earn a master’s degree at a German university. Those pursuing a master’s degree program should have a proposal explaining a specific program and how it will affect the applicant’s education and career goals. Students seeking independent study must have a research project or detailed study program telling the importance of completing it in Germany. Applicants cannot have other DAAD grants to apply. Scholarships take place during the German academic year which starts in October and ends in July. Award includes a monthly stipend, health coverage, and a travel allowance. To be considered, applicants must submit a completed application form, study proposal, a resume, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, DAAD language evaluation form, and proof of contact with a German institution. Deadline for this award is in November.
Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE): Undergrads can also apply for summer internships in Germany if majoring in any of the following fields: chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, or earth sciences. These internships include a pro-rated monthly scholarship, as well as health and accident insurance.
German Studies Research Grant: Up to five grants are awarded each year to qualifying undergraduate and graduate students. All applicants must be nominated. This grant is designed for short-term research in Germany or anywhere in North America. Applicants must be at least a junior with two years of German and some courses in German Studies to be considered. Award amount ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 to be used to offset living expenses and travel costs during research. To be considered, students must submit a completed DAAD application form, a resume, a budget statement, research project description, proof of German and German Studies courses, two letters of recommendation, DAAD language evaluation form, and official transcripts. There are two deadlines for this grant: one in November; the other in May.
Study Scholarship: This one–year award is given to qualifying graduate students interested in independent study in Germany, or completing a master degree program at a university in Germany. Students must either be graduating seniors (fourth year student in Canada), recent graduates with bachelor degrees, or graduate students to apply. All academic fields are eligible. Applicants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens, or hold permanent residency status. Those with a grant from another German or German-American organization are not eligible for this award. Award includes a monthly stipend, health insurance, a travel allowance, as well as limited funding for family allowance and rent. Students are required to submit four copies of each of the following items: an application form, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and proof of contact from a German institution, transcripts, and a language evaluation form. Application deadline is in November.
Study Scholarship—Fine Arts, Music, Dance, Architecture: Awarded to graduate students or graduating seniors pursing a degree program in fine art, music, film, design, choreography, or architecture who are interested in completing a degree program at a German institution. Applicants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens, and not possess a DAAD grant from a German or German-American organization. This is a one-year award that includes a monthly stipend for musicians and artists, health coverage, as well as a travel allowance. To be considered, students must submit a completed application form, a resume, a study proposal, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, proof of contact from a German institution, and a language evaluation form. Deadline for this award is in November.
Research Grant: This grant is awarded to PhD candidates or those looking to earn a doctoral degree in Germany. Funding can also be given to PhDs to conduct research. All fields of study are accepted. Applicants must be enrolled full-time students, U.S. or Canadian citizens, with a distinct research project. Research grants are offered for one to ten month periods. Award includes a monthly stipend, paid health insurance, and a travel allowance. Applicants must submit a completed application form, a resume, a research proposal, DAAD language certificate, transcripts, confirmation of ABD status for PhD candidates, two letters of recommendation, and proof of contact from a German university.There are two deadlines: for 10-month grants the deadline is in November; for short-term grants the deadline is in May.
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): Scholarships and Other Funding Sources to Note
Undergraduate students can also apply for internship opportunities through DAAD. Students majoring in Journalism or Communications can apply for an internship to work and study at the International Center for Journalism in Berlin. Another internship gives students the opportunity to study in Germany for a full academic semester. Another internship opportunity gives U.S. and Canadian students the chance to work with staff from the German parliament. For more information about internship opportunities, go to the DAAD website.
Undergraduate and graduate students can also take advantage of summer course grants offered by DAAD. These typically cover tuition, as well as part of, or all of the student’s room and board expenses. Details can be found on the DAAD website.
Graduate students can also take advantage of several internship opportunities and legal training at a summer law school. For detailed information about these programs, go to the DAAD website.
DAAD also offers other awards such as PhD and post-doctorate research grants, and fellowships; research fellowships for faculty and researchers, as well as short-term lectureships, visit grants, professorships, and conference funding.
Be sure to note all deadlines and any requirements noted. Students with certain majors (such as music, visual arts, and performing arts) have separate deadlines for some scholarships.
U.S. Contact Information for German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
DAAD New York
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
PH: (212) 758-3223
FAX: (212) 755-5780
DAAD Information Center—San Francisco
530 Bush Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108
PH: (415) 986-2021
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