When it comes to organising and funding a period of study or research in Germany, your most important point of contact is the German Academic Exchange Service. Better known by its German acronym, DAAD, it is the world’s biggest funding organisation for international exchanges among students and academic staff. In 2013, the DAAD provided funds for more than 50,000 foreign undergraduates, PhD students and teaching staff. There is a vast array of funding programmes that can provide the effective, tailored help that prospective exchange candidates need to embark on a stay in Germany. This might be a classic PhD scholarship, a grant for a relatively short research visit or a scholarship for a year, a semester or just a brief stay. A number of foundations in Germany also award scholarships. Beneficiaries are selected in line with the foundations’ own criteria and specific remits.
Doctoral students and other academics or scientists interested in university research at the highest level will find those German universities particularly relevant that have been successful in the Excellence Initiative. Forty-five graduate schools, forty-three clusters of excellence and eleven universities’ institutional strategies secured the five years of funding attached to that recognition in 2012. More information is available on the Webpage of our Federal Ministry of Education and Research.