Doctoral Programs in Germany

Research Grants – Doctoral Programs in Germany are awarded to highly qualified candidates who have completed a Master’s degree or Diploma, or in exceptional cases a Bachelor’s degree at the latest by the time they begin their grant supported research. The aim is to support to individuals wishing to earn a doctoral degree at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education or a non-university research institute in Germany or individual projects under the supervision of a university teacher or academic adviser or participation in a structured doctoral study program in Germany.

Click here to search a database of international doctoral programs in Germany.

Applications are accepted once per year, usually in November.

  • US or Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Foreign nationals who live in the US/Canada by the time of application deadline must have gained their last degree in the US/Canada or will be gaining it before the beginning of their funding period.
  • All other foreign nationals may need to apply via a different DAAD office.
  • Applicants may not have been living in Germany for more than 15 consecutive months by the time of application deadline.
  • No longer than 6 years should have passed since receiving your last degree.

  • Depending on academic background and status, the monthly stipend ranges from EUR 750 to 1,000
  • Payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance
  • Travel allowance, unless these expenses are covered by the home country or another source of funding
  • One-time research allowance

Under certain circumstances, grant holders may receive the following additional benefits:

  • monthly rent subsidy
  • monthly allowance for accompanying members of family

To enable grant holders to learn German in preparation for their stay in the country, DAAD offers the following services:

  • Payment of course fees for the online language course “Deutsch-Uni Online (DUO)” ( for six months after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter
  • A very limited number of scholarship recipients may be awarded an additional two-month intensive language course grant. This language course grant is decided on a case-by-case basis by the independent selection committee and does not require a separate application.
  • Allowance for a personally chosen German language course during the grant period.
  • Reimbursement of the fees for the TestDaF test taken either in the home country after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter or in Germany before the end of the funding period.
  • If you take a DSH or GI (Goethe Institute) examination during the scholarship period, the fee may be reimbursed.

Please note:

  • DAAD scholarship recipients are not permitted to receive supplementary funding through any other German funding body. Supplementary funding from a non-German funding body may in some cases be permitted. However, they would then be treated as additional earnings, i.e. grants exceeding the tax-free income level in Germany (currently EUR 450 per month) would be deducted from the DAAD scholarship, unless the additional grant payments will be put on hold for the duration of your DAAD scholarship.

Please note that we can only offer the following funding periods, no exceptions.

  • The funding period begins October 1st, 2018. The initial award is for 12 months only.  You must then re-apply for an extension.
  • If extended, funding may be granted for a maximum of four years in total. This is decided by a selection committee and depends on the project in question and the applicant’s work schedule.
  • For doctoral projects in Germany that require several years of research, research phases outside Germany can be supported if these are critical for the successful completion of the doctoral degree. Planned stays must be specified in the application in the work and time schedule and should not exceed a quarter of the anticipated total funding period.

The application takes place online through the DAAD portal. Your reference must be sent by e-mail to gradscholar(at) and by post to the DAAD New York office.

The portal will close automatically at 11 PM Central European Time (5 PM EST/4 PM CST/3 PM MTN/2 PM PST) on the deadline date. Applicants are advised to start the application process at least one week before the closing date.

1. Check here if your University is DAAD Partner University

  • At a DAAD Partner University: contact your DAAD campus coordinator first and follow the application guidelines for your university’s pre-selection. Please note that your university may have an earlier internal deadline. (if you miss your university’s deadline, you may follow the general application guidelines). This does not apply to short-term research grant applicants or to performing/visual artists.
  • Not at a DAAD Partner University: follow the general application guidelines.
2. Application Checklist

Please use the following list to ensure you submit a complete application. These guidelines are region specific for North American applicants only. You will find some different details on the application portal and the DAAD Bonn website, such as maximum pages; the instructions on this checklist supersede any conflicting information potentially found elsewhere. Certificates, proof of credits, certifications and translations maybe scanned in non-certified form, and uploaded to the DAAD portal.

>>>>1. Submit online: Documents to be uploaded to the DAAD Portal

  • Online application form
  • Full Resume/curriculum vitae in tabular form  (max. 3 pages).
  • List of publications (max. 5 pages), if applicable
  • Extensive and detailed description of the research proposal and a description of previous research work (max. 5 pages)
  • In the case of individual projects supervised by a university professor:
    – Letter confirming supervision by a university professor in Germany
    – Schedule of planned research work
    In the case of planned participation in a structured doctoral study program:
    – Letter of admission to a study program; this can be subsequently submitted before the grant-supported research begins if it is not available at the time of application.
    – Proof of existing contacts to the coordinator of the doctoral program in the form of copies of correspondence
  • University degree Certificate(s), if applicable (e.g. Bachelor or Master)
  • Transcripts of ALL university studies; make sure that individual grades are listed as well as the explanations of the grading system (which are usually on the back):
    -Doctoral level transcripts (if applicable)
    -Master’s level (or JD) transcripts (if applicable)
    -Undergraduate transcripts
  • DAAD language evaluation form (Sprachnachweis):If you have any knowledge of German, submit this document signed by a faculty member (professor or teaching assistant) of the German Department at your institution. If you have no knowledge of German and your study language in Germany is English, be sure to submit this certificate anyway, indicating that your study language is English, and write at the top “No knowledge of German.” (Please note that German is not a requirement). You can download the form by clicking on the link in the box on the right.

Please disregard the following requirement on our head office’s website:
-Other documents you think might be of relevance to your application (e.g. certificates of employment, proof of placements).

>>>>2. Submit by mail (postmarked Nov. 4th) 

  • 2 signed reference forms from a university professor in your major subject or discipline in a sealed envelope. Your reference must send a scan of the signed form via email to  gradscholar(at)
  • The reference form is available on the DAAD portal, also called referee’s report.
  • If necessary, your referee may mail the reference form to us directly.

Mail signed reference form to :

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
Research Grant
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Your application is only complete when we have received your complete electronic application via the online portal and reference by post (postmarked Nov. 4th). Please note that incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

3. Helpful links for the online portal

4.  Are you ready?  Please visit our scholarship database for
Research Grants – Doctoral Programs in Germany

5. After you submit your application

  • Results will be announced through the Portal at the end of March.
  • Please DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL. You will receive an e-mail notification 8 weeks after the deadline.
  • Application decisions will not be accompanied with an explanation.
  • The application documents remain with the DAAD. Data relating to applicants is saved by the DAAD in accordance with the Federal Data Protection Act insofar as this data is needed to process applications.

Applications to this program are currently not possible. Please see the program details for more information.

Applications to this program are currently not possible. Please see the program details for more information.

  • Check out the Manual for Personal Funding on daad.deOn this site, you can download manuals to assist with the personal funding section of the DAAD Portal.
  • If you seek technical support with the registration or the online application please e-mail
  • If you have questions regarding the DAAD Long-Term Research Grants, please contact please contact kim (at) daad (dot) de.(Kindly understand that questions already answered by information on our website cannot be answered separately).

See here for Frequently Asked Questions

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