The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards funding for a full PhD in Germany to excellently qualified Master graduates from Sub-Saharan Africa. Candidates can opt for a traditional PhD by research with a German supervisor, whom they must identify themselves, or participate in a structured PhD programme on offer at a German university. In this case, candidates must identify a PhD programme and apply to the programme in good time.

Detailed information about the PhD Scholarships can be found at: Research Grants – Doctoral Programmes in Germany

Degree Level



14 October 2022

This scholarship is highly competitive. Candidates are advised to start their application a year before the deadline. Time must be factored in for the identification of a German supervisor or PhD programme in Germany and to prepare a convincing PhD proposal.

Who can apply?

Applicants must:

  •  Be in possession of a Master of Arts/Master of Science degree 
  •  Not have graduated any longer than six years before the application deadline
  •  If you have already started your doctorate, it also applies that the start of the doctorate should not be longer than 3 years ago.

Your application cannot be considered, if you have been resident in Germany for longer than 15 months at the application deadline.

Fields of Study

The scholarship can be taken up for all fields

Scholarship Benefits

No tuition fees are charged in Germany for PhD studies in Germany. The scholarship covers living costs, travel and health insurance for the scholarship holder.

  •  Monthly scholarship payment for living costs: 1200 EUR;
  •  Health insurance;
  •   Travel allowance between Germany and home country;
  •  Research allowance;
  •  Rent subsidies and family supplements, if applicable

Under certain circumstances, grant holders may receive the following additional benefits:

  •  Monthly rent subsidy
  •  Monthly allowance for accompanying family members
  •  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

To enable you to improve your language skills in preparation for your stay in Germany, 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 in Germany

Funding can be awarded for three – four years.

Application Process

A letter of invitation from a German supervisor or a letter of acceptance into a PhD programme in Germany is needed for the DAAD funding application. Candidates must identify their own supervisor or PhD programme in Germany. The DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg (contact details below) can be contacted for more information.

Documents to be uploaded to the DAAD portal:

  •  Online application form
  •  Full curriculum vitae in tabular form (max. 3 pages)
  •  List of publications (max. 10 pages), if applicable
  •  Description of academic and personal reasons for your planned project in Germany (letter of motivation: 1-2 pages)
  •  A  proposal as well as a description of previous research work (max. 10 pages in total). 

In the case of individual projects supervised by a university teacher (academic adviser)

  •  Schedule for planned research work (must be agreed with academic supervisor)
  •  Letter confirming supervision by the doctoral supervisor. 

In the case of planned participation in a structured doctoral study programme:

  •  Module plan (please upload to the DAAD portal under "Schedule”)
  •  Proof of existing contacts to the coordinator of the doctoral programme.
  •  Letter of admission to a study programme; this may be submitted at a later date if it is not available at the time of application

The DAAD funding application is online through the DAAD application portal. More details can be founded under the links below.


The DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg can be contacted for support, advice and information:


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Portal hotline: +49 (0228) 882-8888

Via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Documents and Links

Important information for DAAD scholarship applicants

Doing a PhD and Research in Germany

Research in Germany

GERiT – German Research Institutions

FAQsfrequently asked questions (English)

Application Portal


Please note that this scholarship is offered by the German Academic Exchange Service. Applicants are required to undertake their own research into programmes and institutions and are responsible for ensuring that the qualifications will be recognised in South Africa. No additional financial support will be provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training.