Cotutelle Doctoral Programs
This program offers you the opportunity to do a bi-national doctoral degree at your home university and at a university in Germany.
The program offers two options:
Option a) Doctorate with bi-national supervision:
Your doctoral project is supervised by a university professor both at your home university and at the host institute in Germany (so-called “sandwich model”). Your project must be agreed with both supervisors according to the following procedure:
- You start your doctoral degree in your home country.
- This is followed by research trips to Germany.
- You complete your doctorate in your home country and are also supervised by the German academic adviser.
- Your home university awards the doctoral degree.
Option b) Doctorate following the “Cotutelle” procedure:
Funding is provided for doctoral projects that are carried out at the home university and at a university in Germany according to the so-called Cotutelle model. This is based on an individual cooperation agreement which is concluded individually for your doctoral project by the participating universities. After you have successfully completed your doctorate, the German university and your home university award the doctoral degree jointly.
Who can apply?
- US or Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- Foreign nationals who live in the US/Canada by the time of application deadline must have completed their last degree in the US/Canada or will complete 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.
- Applicants should have completed their last degree no longer than 6 years before the application deadline.
- If you are a German national, you must have been residing in the US/Canada for 6 continuous years at the time of the application deadline. Please call our office to make sure you are eligible.
- Depending on the nature of the project, you can apply for:
a) bi-national supervision based on the “sandwich model”. You can apply if you have earned a Master’s degree or Diplom (or in exceptional cases a Bachelor’s degree) at the latest at the start of the funding period.
b) ”Cotutelle model”. You can apply if you have been admitted to a doctoral program at the latest at the start of the funding period.
What can be funded?
- In option a) a doctorate with bi-national supervision based on the “sandwich model”, research stays at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education or a non-university research institute in Germany (as part of a doctoral program in the home country) are funded.
- In option b) a doctorate based on the “Cotutelle model”, research stays at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education in Germany are funded. These allow doctoral students to complete a doctoral thesis which is supervised and carried out bi-nationally on the basis of an individually concluded cooperation agreement.
- Monthly payments for doctoral candidates during the stay in Germany. Please note that no scholarship payment are made during stays at your home university.
- Payments towards health, accident and personal liability insurance cover
- Travel allowances for up to three outward and return journeys unless these expenses are covered by the home country or another source.
- One-time research allowance
- Travel and accommodation expenses according to the German Federal Travel Expenses Law for supervising university teachers for one trip of up to 10 days
– to Germany to monitor progress
– to your home university to take part in final examinations.
Please indicate the trips in the works and time schedule submitted with the application.
Under certain circumstances, grant holders completing an uninterrupted stay of over 6 months in Germany may receive the following additional benefits:
- monthly rent subsidy
- monthly allowance for accompanying members of family. Please also read our important information for scholarship applicants / section F, point 3.
- In the case of a disability or chronic illness: subsidy for additional costs which result from the disability or chronic illness and are not covered by other funding providers: Further information
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 an online language course after receipt of the Scholarship Award Letter
- if necessary: Language course (2, 4 or 6 months) before the start of the research stay; the DAAD decides whether to fund the grant holder’s participation and for how long depending on language skills and project. If a language course scholarship is granted and the working language at the host institute is German, participation is compulsory. Due to the pandemic, German courses may take place online.
- Allowance for a personally chosen German language course during the funding period
- Reimbursement of the fee for a TestDaF or DSH test, which you can take either in your home country after you have received your Letter of Award or in Germany during the funding period
For more information about the Cotutelle Doctoral Program, click here.
For both options the following apply:
- Funding is provided for between 7 and a maximum of 24 months.
- Option a) Bi-national supervision following the “sandwich model”: Grants are initially awarded for up to 12 months. Extensions depend on whether the selection committee considers the previous award period to have been successfully completed.
- Option b) Doctorate following the “Cotutelle” procedure: Grants are initially awarded for up to 18 months; there is the possibility for an extension of the scholarship for up to 6 months.
- The grant can be used flexibly for several shorter stays during your doctoral project.
- When you apply for the grant, you should outline in your study plan and time schedule how you intend to divide your time between Germany and your home university.
- If you plan to visit other countries (e.g. to collect material), please specify these plans in your application. Such visits can only be funded if they take place in connection with your visit to Germany. Another requirement is that they do not exceed one quarter of your expected total funding period.
- The length of the funding period is determined by a selection committee and depends on your project and study plan.
The application takes place online through the DAAD portal. Your reference has to be sent by post to the DAAD New York office.
The portal will close automatically at MIDNIGHT Central European Time (6 PM EST/5PM CST/4PM MTN/3PM PST) on the deadline date. Applicants are advised to start the application process at least one week before the closing date.
1. Application Checklist
Please use this checklist 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.
The checklist can be downloaded here: Application Checklist: Bi-nationally Supervised Doctoral Degrees / Cotutelle Research Grants [PDF 123.33 KB]
Certificates, proof of credits, certifications and translations maybe scanned in non-certified form, and uploaded to the DAAD portal.
2. Helpful Links for the Online Portal
- Step by step Manual for Personal Funding.
- Technical support with the online portal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. After You Submit Your Application
- Please DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL. You will receive an acknowledgement letter through the portal 8 weeks after the deadline.
- Results will be announced through the Portal at the beginning of April.
- 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.
- Check out the Manual for Personal Funding on daad.de. On 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 email@example.com
- 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