Top Scholarships to Study in Germany - For students interested in studying abroad, Germany is quite an attractive destination. With 12 universities in the Top 200 list of the QS World University Rankings, Germany as an academic hub has grown to reach the forefront of cutting edge research. The cost of studying in Germany is almost nil but students should note that the living expenses are equal to any other European country. While undergraduate education at public universities is funded by the government and is almost free, Masters programmes are not. Also, private universities in Germany charge a considerable amount from students as they are dependent on the tuition fees for their funding. This makes the option of having a scholarship all the more vital.
List of Top Universities in Germany
World Rank QS
Technical University of Munich
KIT, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Freie Universitaet Berlin
RWTH Aachen University
Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
University of Göttingen
Technische Universität Dresden
Top Scholarships in Germany
A number of scholarships are available to study in Germany, which help students with their tuition fees as well as living expenses. The scholarships can be divided into three groups based on the funding. There are:
The Government funded scholarship
The Non-Government funded scholarship
University specific scholarships
Top Government Funded Scholarship in Germany
1. DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) scholarships
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a number of scholarships to international scholars. DAAD offers a number of country and course specific scholarships for undergraduate, post graduate as well as PhD programmes. It will be celebrating hundred years of promoting cultural and academic exchanges in 2025.
Erasmus+ scholarships are the largest scholarships for study in Europe. The scholarships are funded by the European Union. The scholarships invite students for all over the world to study across more than 100 Masters programmes. Erasmus+ also provides grants towards living costs for exchange programmes.
Top Non-Government funded scholarships in Germany
1. Heinrich Böll Scholarships for International Students– These scholarships are awarded to German and foreign students for undergraduate, postgraduate as well as PhD programmes as per the guidelines issued by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt). The applications are invited twice a year and the deadlines are March 1 and August 31.
2. Humboldt Research Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers – Offered by the Alexander Von Humbolt Foundation, these scholarships are awarded to researchers who have completed their PhD. The fellowship allows the researcher to carry out postdoctoral study (duration of 6 – 24 months) in Germany. The fellowship is open to researchers and students from all nationalities and disciplines. Approximately 500 research fellowships are granted every year.
3. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Scholarships – KAS scholarships are awarded to international scholars aspiring to pursue Masters, postgraduate and doctoral programmes. The scholarships are available in all disciplines. The upper age limit for applicants is 30 years. Awardees can pursue their courses at universities of applied science and technical colleges.
4. Bayer Foundation Scholarships – Bayer Foundation supports students aspiring to study in Germany with five fellowship programmes.
Otto Bayer Scholarship for biology, molecular biology, bioengineering, bioinformatics, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals and computational life sciences
Carl Duisberg Scholarship for human and veterinary medicine, medical science, medical engineering, public health and health economics
Jeff Schell Scholarship for agro sciences, digital farming, agronomy, crop sciences, green biotechnology, environmental sciences and sustainability
Hermann Strenger Scholarship for apprentices and young professionals in non-academic professions
Kurt Hansen Scholarship for student teachers in biology and chemistry (up to Master's degree level)
5. Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions – Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) provides four types of scholarships for researchers at all stages of their careers for all kinds of research. It enables organizations and universities to host researchers and develop partnerships among leading institutions of the world.
Research networks (ITN): Support for Innovative Training Networks – ITNs encourage joint research training with or without doctoral courses. The programme is implemented jointly by European partnerships of universities, non-academic organizations and research organizations. It aims to provide a holistic non-academic experience which inculcates employability skills.
Individual fellowships (IF): IF supports experienced researchers to work in the European Union. The grant includes two years' salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution.
Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges (RISE): RISE aims to encourage international and inter-sectoral cooperation. It supports students at all career levels from postgraduate researchers to management positions including administrative and technical staff.
COFUND Programmes: MSCA also supports researchers irrespective of region and country for research training and career development. It encourages the movement of researchers across borders and provide good working conditions.
DKFZ Postdoc Program – More than 500 students are offered an opportunity to do research at Germany’s largest biomedical research institute, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. The various PhD project topics are:
Cell Biology and Tumor Biology
Functional and Structural Genomics
Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention
Imaging and Radio Oncology
Infection, Inflammation and Cancer
Translational Cancer Research
Deutschland Stipendium – This stipend provides merit-based scholarships of €300 on the principle of a public-private partnership where the private funding (€150) for researchers is matched by the federal government. The stipend is provided on the basis of merit with no regards to nationality and income.
Top University Scholarships in Germany
Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) – University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen, along with their research institutes, offer the BIGSSS PhD programme: six semesters (36 months) in the University of Bremen. The other universities in the BIGSSS network are Bosphorus University, EUI Florence, LSE, University of Milan, Edinburgh University, University of Oxford, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, Chapel Hill, Yale University and Yonsei University.
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Doctoral Tuition Waivers – 10 tuition waiver scholarships for doctoral students are offered by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. The four-year curriculum is in the English language. The scholarship covers the tuition fee and provides a monthly stipend of €1200. Costs towards travel to conferences will be borne by the institution.
Application deadline: January 15, 2017
FRIAS COFUND Fellowship Programme (FCFP) for International Researchers – The Marie S. Curie 'FRIAS COFUND Fellowship Programme (FCFP)' is offered by the University of Freiburg and members of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The fellowship is offered to 25 fellows FROM all over the world irrespective of discipline. It offers students an opportunity to work at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) on their own research project for the period of three months to a year.
Applications open: September 1, 2017
Application deadline: October 10, 2017
HHL International MSc Scholarship for Effective and Responsible Leadership – HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management offers a number of scholarships for Masters, MBA and Doctoral programmes. The scholarships include fellowship of the Kofi Annan Business School Foundation (KABSF), HHL Scholarship for Effective and Responsible Leadership, Future Entrepreneur Scholarship Program and HHL Asia-Pacific Scholarship Program to name a few.
Application deadlines differ for different programmes. Aspirants are suggested to visit the website to know more.
Humboldt University International Research Fellowships – Humboldt University in Berlin (re:work) offers 10-15 international fellowships to senior scholars and postdoctoral candidates. The fellowships begin on October 1 and end on July 31. Aspirants can also ask for shorter fellowships. This scholarship is for candidates from the humanities and social sciences disciplines such as history, anthropology, law, sociology, political science and area studies.
Deadline: September 10, 2017
International Doctoral Positions at Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies – A joint programme by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and University of Regensburg, Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, offers up to 3 positions each of Research Assistant and PhD scholarships in three broad interdisciplinary fields:
Origins and Forms of Social and Political Change
Infrastructure, Migration and Transfer of Knowledge
The positions beginning in November are for 18 months, extendable to 24 months. The Research Assistant positions remuneration is based on Grade E 13 (65%) of the German Public Service Salary Scale. Teaching obligation is one of the major responsibilities.
A monthly stipend of amount €1365 is awarded to the PhD scholars. Additionally, travel expenses and grants for material costs and child care are also provided.
Universität Hamburg Merit Scholarships – The University of Hamburg offers scholarships to outstanding international students and doctoral students irrespective of discipline and for all degree levels. The monthly stipend of €650 is offered to students who have enrolled for a minimum of two semesters at the university. The highest scholarship amount for PhD students is €1000.
AICES Scholarships RWTH Aachen University scholarships – The Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science (AICES) offers PhD scholarships to outstanding students interested in interdisciplinary research in computational engineering science. A monthly stipend of €2000 is offered to the scholars.