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.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the largest funding organisation in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars. Since it was founde in 1925 more than 1.9 million scholars in Germany and abroad have received DAAD funding.
Its budget is derived mainly from the federal funding for various ministries, primarily the German Federal Foreign Office, but also from the European Union and a number of enterprises, organisations and foreign governments.
The DAAD runs over 200 programmes, ranging from semesters abroad for undergraduates to doctoral programmes lasting several years, study visits to specialist courses, information-gathering visits by high level delegations from foreign universities to assistance in the establishment of effective higher education systems in developing countries. As a matter of principle, the DAAD’s funding programmes are open to scholars from all disciplines and countries in the world for either visits to or from Germany.
The DAAD's extensive scholarship database for foreign students, graduates and academics offers applicants a wide range of tips and information to help them successfully apply for a scholarship for a course of study, a research assignment or a teaching assignment in Germany.
Applications for a scholarship have to be submitted online using DAADs online database. A printout of the online application together with the supporting documents necessary for the specifiy type of studies have to be presented to the German Embassy in Port of Spain. At the same time your original documents plus copies have to be presented to certify the authenticity.
If you do not apply from Trinidad and Tobago please consult the Honorary Consul of Germany in your home country.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany.
The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and industry with top scientific achievements in six research areas: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Transport and Space.
The democratic political parties in Germany have realized that the young scholars of today will be the decision-makers of tomorrow. Providing foreign students with financial aid is very much in the interest of German politics, since whoever has studied in Germany is familiar with the market and culture - and will thus after graduation seek to establish and maintain contacts with German companies. The foundations especially promote exceptionally talented students. All these foundations expect a high degree of social activity and commitment on the part of applicants - as well as the willingness to put the knowledge gained in Germany to good use in their home country. In addition to financial support the foundations also try to offer general guidance and assistance in all academic and personal matters, such as a mentor at the university. They also offer visiting scholars the chance to take part in special events and seminars.
Please be aware that Political Foundations mostly ask for a certain level of kowledge of the German language.
Visit the websites of these organisations to find information on their various programmes: