Application Process for the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt-Scholarship

The DAAD Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship supports future leaders in politics, law, economics and administration, who want to actively contribute to the social and economic growth of developing countries. This scholarship is only for the master's programme in "Social Protection".

Due to the high number of applicants, you need to submit all documents by the end of the application period and we do not accept any applications via e-mail. Please be informed that incomplete applications will be rejected, no exceptions will be made. In particular, the DAAD Application form, the curriculum vitae, and motivation letter need to have your signature.

The Scholarship

The DAAD Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship provides a monthly stipend of 931€ to selected candidates. Selected candidates will also receive health insurance as well as allowances for spouses and/or children where applicable (as of winter semester 2023/24) and tuition coverage for a 6 months mandatory German language course from April – September before the studies start in September.

During the fourth semester the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship provides a monthly stipend of 500€.


Eligibility and selection criteria

For your scholarship application to be considered by the selection committee you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of a developing country (see list of countries)
  • Acquired a bachelor’s degree from a relevant academic field such as public policy, economics, political science, social science, international relations, business administration, public health, or psychology, insofar as subjects relating to social protection encompass a minimum of 15 credits in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System
  • Have at least 5 months of practical social protection experience
  •  A C1 level English proficiency according to the European framework of reference for languages.

The DAAD has more elibility criteria. Please see here


Application Process

Interested applicants should first fill in the online application form which will be made available from June 1 until July 31, 2022 via our online application portal

Candidates will be selected on the basis of their academic qualifications, and the quality of their research proposal, recommendation letter and their motivational letter. Short-listed candidates will be invited for a 30 minute online interview, which will be held by end of November.



Attention: Even though we are expecting several hundred applications, we can only offer 9 scholarships to the best! Thus, if you don’t make the shortlist, but fulfill all requirements, you can still apply as a regular student. You can re-apply in December when the normal application phase starts for the following winter semester. If you are worried about funding have a look at "Funding options for your studies" on the right side panel under "Related links". There you'll find examples of how other students financed their studies.


Applicants must fill in the online application and provide the follwoing documents:

  • DAAD checklist form, signed with place and date indication. The form is available here
  • DAAD application form 'Application for a research/study scholarship' (hand-signed, but electronically edited). The form is available here
  • A research proposal (maximum of 800 words), which includes your topic, research question, short overview of the relevant literature, theoretical approach, research design and methodology. The template is avaiable here
  • A single letter of motivation, even if you are applying for two master's courses. The letter must include a precise account of your academic, professional and personal reasons for wishing to participate in the programme, as well as a detailed explanation of your choice of master's courses and prioritisation (2 pages maximum)
  • Curriculum vitae including information about the precise field of your studies, your political and social engagement and, if applicable, description of job experience. (please use the europass template)
  • Certificates of employment to support relevant professional experience or internships  mentioned in your CV by documentary evidence
  • Copy of acquired academic degrees (certified translation if necessary, please attach an explanation of the grading system)
  • Copy of the transcript of records (certified translation if necessary)
  • Recent language certificates (English)
  • Letter of recommendation/current written reference from your current employer or from a university lecturer if you are a sudent at present, on headed paper, signed and stamped. The letter should assess your ability to conduct graduate level work, your potential for a successful professional or academic career in the field of social protection. The letter must include information on the time span of your employment, hours worked per week, job description and duties as well as a company/organisation mission statement.
  • Valid passport copy (incl. flipside)



- Please be aware that any forged / altered documents will result in the automatic rejection of your application.

- In case you apply for two Helmut-Schmidt-Scholarship Programmes, please make sure that you provide one motivation letter for both applications. In this letter you should equally explain why did you choose both study programmes and why are you the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

Offers of Admission

After the interview, the student secretariat will inform applicants in a timely manner about the next steps. Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of admission.

To obtain a formal offer of admission, successful applicants are required to send in certified copies of the original supporting documents by mail within two weeks after receiving the informal offer of admission.


Applications sent via e-mail will not be considered. Please only use the online portal. The link and deadlines will be published on this site.

Candidates re-apply for the next scholarship or they can apply for the master's programme as "normal" students without the scholarship. The deadlines are communicated on Many of our students have found student jobs to support themselves during their studies.

There are other organizations offering scholarships:

Have a look at the page "Working opportunities":

Unfortunately, we can not copy your application. Thus, if candidates want to apply as normal students, they would have to fill in the form again.

No, the transcript and the diploma need to be issued in English or German by your university/college or translated by the issuing institution or a registered translator. In either case, it must bear the stamp and signature of an official of the institution or the translator.

No; however, selected candidates are required to take a 6 months German language course from April until September . The tuition for this will be waived.

Applications in which the motivational letter and/or the research proposal exceed the word limit will not be considered

Applications cannot be edited after submission with the exception of certain data (contact information). Please submit your application only when it is 100% final and complete.

Candidates having completed their degree program and having yet to receive their diploma must upload a certificate of graduation or a leter from the university stating that they have finished.

Candidates in the process of completing a degree program must upload an official interim transcript and, in place of the diploma, a certificate of enrolment confirming their student status. The certificate of enrolment should include the expected date of graduation if possible.