FAQs - DAAD Grants and Scholarships
a. General
b. Undergraduate Scholarship
c. Study Scholarship
d. EMGIP-Bundestag Internship Program
a. General
1. What if a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday?
You have until the next business day to postmark your application.

2. Should my application arrive at the DAAD office by the deadline date, or is it considered on time if it's sent out by the deadline?
We prefer to receive complete application dossiers (application form and all supplemental materials) by the deadline, but it's acceptable for them to be postmarked on the deadline date. There are a few programs, mostly the ones with other than DAAD New York submission addresses, that do require applications to be received by the deadline date, so please read the guidelines carefully.

3. Is there an age limit to apply for a DAAD scholarship?
No. But if you are not currently enrolled there are limits on the number of years you remain eligible to apply. For bachelor and masters degree graduates applying for the Study Scholarship, no more than six years may have passed since you earned your last degree. For PhD candidates, no more than four years may have passed since you achieved ABD (all but dissertation) status. And post-docs may apply within four years of receiving their PhD.

4. Do all the copies of my transcripts/recommendation letters have to be official?
There must be at least one official copy of each. When multiple copies of transcripts are required, we suggest obtaining two official transcripts, keeping one in the sealed envelope and opening the other from which you make the necessary remaining number of copies (Of course, if your school doesn't charge you extra for additional copies, or it's easier for you, all officials are acceptable too). For multiple letters of recommendation, please ask your referee to make copies, and enclose the signed original and copies in a sealed envelope.

5. Do I have to submit a photo of myself with the application?
No, please ignore the page that printed out with your online application where you got the idea for the photo and just go by the instructions on our website.

6. How long - number of pages, font size, spacing, etc - should my narrative proposal be?
If it's not specified, a general good guideline is to be considerate toward the reviewer - i.e. a font that's not too small (min 10 pt, 12 pt is usually the most comfortable) and of a basic, non-fancy, easy to read style; make sure there are some margins on the side for them to make notes. As for length, our PhD's and faculty are usually asked for 5-6 pages; if you feel you've explained things well and clearly in less space, going under the limit is always okay. Double or single line spacing, unless specified, is up to your personal preference.

7. No staples or binding?
Please do NOT use any staples in your application forms. Also, there is no need for elaborate binding or folders. Paper clips, binder clips, or rubber bands to separate sections are ok.

8. Do I have to take a test for the Sprachzeugnis (Language Certificate)?
It is a 1-page evaluation of your German language skills and not meant as an exam. Most students can have their most recent university German language instructor fill it out and sign it on their behalf without any testing (beyond the ones they give you in class). Alternately, if you've taken German at a language school (e.g. Goethe-Institut, Carl Duisberg Centren, etc) those instructors are fine as well. If you have taken a standardized German language examination (any Goethe-Institut exam, TestDaF, DSH, etc) you may submit a copy of your result in place of the Sprachzeugnis.

b. Undergraduate Scholarship
1. I am not a Canadian or US citizen, can I still apply?
Yes, international students in Canada and the US may apply if they are enrolled in a four-year program leading to a bachelor's degree.

2. How much German do I need to know?
German language ability is not a requirement for this grant, however students should demonstrate language skills commensurate with their study and research needs. You must have the DAAD language certificate filled out, even if you don't speak any German yet. If you don't fit any of the categories listed, just have the instructor fill out the field for Sonstige Bemerkungen.

3. I am planning to take a language course before the German semester starts. Can the funding be extended to this class?
Not if the class is part of your study abroad program, but if you are planning your own stay in Germany, DAAD has a limited amount of funding for language classes. This funding is available for students who will be in Germany for the academic year. Please state in your proposal that you would like to take a language class. Be aware that you may have to arrive in Germany in late August to participate.

4. I am applying for a study abroad program/exchange, but won't have official acceptance into the program until after the Undergraduate Scholarship program deadline. Can I still apply?
Yes, please include a letter from your study abroad office or the program you are applying to. The letter should certify that you are indeed applying for the respective program. It should be on letterhead and have an original signature. Once you receive acceptance into your study abroad program we will need an original letter for your file. 5. Will I receive credit for the coursework or internship in Germany?
You will need to make the arrangements to receive credit yourself. In order to apply you have to show us that you are in principle eligible to receive credit from your home institution.

6. Will DAAD make housing arrangements for me?
No, DAAD scholarship holders find their own accommodation. Most German universities have dormitory space available and will assist with housing.

7. How do I design my own stay in Germany?
  • Start your preparations early!
  • Make sure that your home institution will give you credit for your study, internship or research project.
  • Get in touch with faculty members in Germany and find a mentor. If you have trouble finding a contact in Germany, speak to your academic advisors for suggestions. Your application will stand a much better chance of being approved if you can provide evidence of an established contact at your chosen German host institution.
  • If you do not have any contacts to help you find an internship, get in touch with the organizations listed below. These organizations may charge a fee.

8. I am a Canadian Francophone, may I submit my application and recommendation letters in French?

9. What advice can you give about the project proposal?
The project proposal is one of the most important documents to hand in. Make sure to carefully review it and have it reviewed by your advisers for content but also grammar and spelling. The essay gives you the opportunity to distinguish yourself from other applicants. A successful project proposal should clearly state why you are going to Germany and show the link to your academic work and career plans. Please do not hand in a life history, but address the following points: WHAT, WHERE, WHEN & HOW

10. Can I apply if I intend to go to Germany in September?
The Undergraduate Scholarship supports grantees for up to 10 months. Normally the grant period coincides with the German academic year starting in October. In a few cases it is possible to apply from September 1st (If you are on a study abroad program from September through December or from September through June, for example.)

11. Can I apply for study or research periods shorter than four months?

12. Is it possible for a freshman/first year student to apply?
No, students in their first or freshman year are not eligible.

13. When do I apply if I am planning to go to Germany between January and April 2013?
Even if you are going to Germany in early 2013, you have to meet our January 31, 2012 deadline. If you do not have acceptance into a study abroad program yet, please let your adviser certify that you have or intend to apply. If you are designing your own research or study abroad, make sure that you are in touch with your mentor early on, so you can obtain an invitation to Germany.

14. I am planning to go to Germany in the summer, am I eligible to apply?
If your summer stay is at least four months you may apply for the Undergraduate Scholarship, but you should note that you must apply during the prior academic year, over a year in advance; e.g. if you plan to go to Germany in May 2015, you apply at the January 2014 deadline. However, if your stay begins in the late summer, it might be possible for you to submit your application within the same year; e.g. for an August - November 2014 period in Germany, you apply at the January 2014 deadline.

15. Advice on recommendation letters:
The recommendation letters should be by professors, not teaching assistants. If you have not been taught by professors and your letters are by assistants, make sure a professor co-signs the letters. The letters should be by professors in your major fields of study (not necessarily a German professor). Letters by high school teachers or employers will not be accepted.

16. How should I submit multiple copies of recommendation letters?
There must be one original of each document and three copies (this goes for all other supplemental materials as well). Please ask the faculty members who are writing your recommendations to make a signed original letter and three photocopies, and put the original with its respective photocopies into one sealed envelope.

17. How can I make sure you receive the recommendation letters?
Submitting all of your application documents in one package is your surest bet. If any of your professors prefer to send their letters of recommendation directly to us, please include a list of their names with your main application so we know to expect them under separate cover.

18. Do all copies of my transcript have to be in sealed envelopes from my school's transcript office?
Applicants must submit four copies of their transcript, including at least one sealed, official transcript. We recommend you request two official transcripts from your university. Open one and make copies of it, and submit the other one in the original sealed envelope.

19. My university does not have a Study Abroad office. Who should sign the letter of support and credit eligibility form?
In this case you should ask your undergraduate academic advisor. Make sure to list a specific advisor with their individual contact information.

20. What are my odds of receiving a DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship?
The success rate of our applicant pool has been anywhere from just below 20% up to 30% in the past few years. We cannot make any predictions as to how many applicants we will have in a given year.

c. Study Scholarship
1. How much German do I need to know?
German language ability is not a requirement for this grant, however students should demonstrate language skills commensurate with their study and research needs.

2. I’m a student at one of the partner universities but missed our internal campus deadline/prefer not to apply through my university. Can I apply directly to the DAAD New York office?

3. I’m a recent graduate and currently not enrolled in a university. Can I submit recommendation letters from my employer or a non-academic person?
We prefer letters from North American professors. If it’s absolutely impossible, you may submit one letter from an employer or non-academic person.

4. Can I apply for study periods shorter than ten months?

5. If I’m interested in applying for the study/research grant to complete a degree in Germany, do I need to be admitted or accepted into a German university by the time of application?
No, as German universities’ admission deadlines are later than our deadline, it’s often impossible/not necessary to be admitted to a German university by the time of application.

6. I’ve just started my master’s program in Germany. Can I apply for the Study Scholarship for my second year?

7. Can I open any of the application materials?
You can open all documents except the recommendation letters which must be in sealed envelopes. Please order at least one official transcript, open it, and make three copies in order to submit a total of four copies.

8. Do I only need to submit the transcript from my current university or from all post- secondary institutions?
Submit all post-secondary transcripts.

9. I’m interested in applying for the short-term research grant by the May deadline, and my university is one of the partner universities. Should I apply through my university or directly to the NY office?
Please apply directly to the NY office.

10. I have all the dossiers except one recommendation letter. Should I make sure to submit by the post-mark deadline or should I wait until I receive the letter from my professor?
Please submit your application by the post-mark deadline, and make sure to put cover letter indicating that the letter is forthcoming. Otherwise, we would consider your application incomplete.

11. I’m interested in applying for the ten month study/research grant by the November deadline in 2012. Can the funding start in April in 2013?
No, scholarships must take place during the German academic year, October 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014.

12. Is it acceptable to apply to a program which is taught completely or primarily in the English language (but at a German university)?
Yes, as a matter of fact, German universities offer a lot of master’s degree programs that are taught in English, and you are eligible to apply for those programs to receive a grant.

13. Is it acceptable to apply to a program which is offered jointly by multiple universities (including one German university and other European/non-European countries)?
If the international degree program/master has less than 25% of its courses outside of Germany/EU, we may consider it for funding. A stay abroad outside of Germany/the EU will only be permitted if it is foreseen in the curriculum of the study program. There must be documentation from the host university confirming that a stay outside Germany/the EU is intended, within the scope of the study program, and that it is approved by the German university.

14. The deadline for admission to the German university I want to attend isn't until later, what do I submit for proof of contact?
Those who are applying to begin a full degree course of study at a German university do not need to submit proof of contact in their scholarship application. Later if you are awarded the scholarship, you must prove that you have been admitted before your departure.

d. EMGIP-Bundestag Program
1. How much German do I need to know?
German language fluency is important for you to be able to carry out the assignments during your internship. Your writing skills in German must be equally excellent.

2. How can I prepare for the internship?
We recommend reading Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen

3. Who do you consider an advanced undergraduate?
Juniors and seniors have been the only successful undergraduate candidates in the recent years of the competition.