Finding the right program
In Germany, there are about 2,000 private and public foundations, company-related organizations, societies, as well as universities aiming to support education, science and research. Depending on the organizations’ overall strategy or policy, its funding is focused on scientific, social, political, religious or cultural aspects.
However, around 20% of all scholarships do not get awarded because the funding organizations do not receive enough suitable applications. The main reason for this lack may be that many funding organizations are commonly not well-known as potential sources for scholarships. Some only have a few scholarships covering a few niches with application procedures which are often not transparent.
Navigating through the diversity of scholarship providers, prerequisites for qualification, selection criteria, application procedures and benefits is a challenge for the applicants. It is also important that the funding organizations need to ensure that their programs are tailored to the needs of the applicants and advertised accordingly.
To assist interested applicants in finding appropriate scholarship programs, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has set up a repository called Stipendienlotse which provides comprehensive information on more than 1,250 different programs. The programs are not only addressed to PhD students, postdocs and postdoctoral candidates, but also to students of bachelor and master degree programs.