Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)
This program is administered by DAAD's headquarters in Bonn, Germany. Please visit for the complete program description and application guidelines.

DAAD, in cooperation with science organizations in North America and Germany, is pleased to offer summer internships in Germany for US and Canadian undergraduate students in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. RISE fellows work directly with doctoral students in research groups at top German universities and institutions and can expect to gain serious hands-on research experience.

Every RISE intern receives a pro-rated monthly scholarship of approximately €650 for any period of eight weeks to three months between June and August. DAAD also provides health and accident insurance.

Download "Unique Opportunities for Gaining Research Experience in Germany," a RISE flyer for undergraduates, here.
Download the RISE powerpoint presentation for 2010 here.
RISE Annual Meeting in Heidelberg

Below is an article originally posted on about the RISE 2009 meeting in Heidelberg.
Research on a grassroots level with RISE

Being around the twins April and Kim Barnum is like sitting in a cinema with Dolby Surround Sound. They seem to have made a sport out of adding to the end of each other's sentences. But they are experiencing too many new things to speak slower. Their life abroad is simply too exciting to stop and take a breath. As two of 364 undergraduates who landed scholarships with the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) RISE program, the sisters from New York City are spending their summer doing internships in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth.

The RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) program gives students the chance to go to Germany to assist doctoral students for a summer internship in Germany and gives them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of working in a lab or getting field experience. The twins were paired with Ph.D students in and around the Bavarian town Bayreuth and have spent their time doing research in the fields of environmental geo-chemistry and bio-geography. The siblings had both been eager to go to Germany for some time, “Our dad went to Germany years back and told us a lot about the country. That’s why we always wanted to go abroad and see it ourselves”, explains Kim.

Despite both being biology majors, April and Kim each work on completely different projects. “While April works mostly in the lab, I am fortunate to be outside every day because my ‘lab’ is the botanical garden.” Together with her supervisor Daniel Thiel, Kim literally works on a “grassroots project”. In order to understand the effects of global warming, she takes a very close look at different types of grass and tree species and documents their length, look and feel. “It’s crazy but also a lot of fun. At the moment I’m measuring 4,000 saplings.” Her workday ends automatically when the gates of the botanical garden close at 5 p.m.

When grocery bags cost money

That means she has enough time to roam around town and discover the differences between Germany and America. “We were surprised that you have to pay for your bags at the grocery store and also at many places to use the bathroom!” says April. Kim adds, “But we like to ride the bicycles our Ph.D students got us. It’s a common form of transportation in Germany and not just something you do for exercise. And most Germans speak good English. Only the old people don’t, but they are happy every time we say ‘Tschüss’”.

As members of the International Club of the University of Bayreuth the twins have not only made friends but also participated in many weekend activities. Trips to nearby cities like Munich and Regensburg, where they took part in a soccer tournament. “It was awesome to have the chance to play soccer in a country, where it is very popular”, says Kim her eyes shining.

No burgers at the “Bürgerfest”

Since their arrival on May 31 it seems like there has not been one day of boredom nor regret. Given the opportunity to explore a foreign country, do research and meet new people, the Barnum sisters are making the most of it – including sweet little misunderstandings when it comes to German customs and events, “On Independence Day they celebrated something called ‘Bürgerfest’ in Bayreuth. We thought it was all about hamburgers due to July 4 only to find out later on that ‘Bürger’ means citizen in German.”

This was one of the many stories they shared with the other 362 RISE scholarship holders when they gathered in Heidelberg for their annual meeting from July 9 to 11. Celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2009, RISE has become a big hit among highly-qualified undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. From its humble beginnings of only 98 participants in 2005, the numbers have grown rapidly with RISE receiving 1,200 applications for 364 available spots in 2009.

Such is the success of RISE that Ulrich Grothus, former director of the New York Office of DAAD, calls the program “Our single most successful program in North America over the last decade or’s a smashing success.”

To learn more about RISE participants' experiences in Germany, download the following interviews with former students:
Dan Veal
Grier Wilt

For more photos from the 2008 meeting in Heidelberg, please visit the following links:
RISE Press Kit  
For additional detailed information about the RISE program, including:
  • results of the 2009 RISE evaluation study by the Institute of International Education
  • Powerpoint presentations on "RISE in the Context of US-German Educational Exchange" and "Bringing Science and Engineering Students to Germany"
please go to

If you have questions regarding RISE, please contact: