The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is expanding its funding for artificial intelligence. Financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), applications are now being accepted for “Konrad Zuse Schools”. Some EUR 25 million will be available under this innovative degree and doctoral programme.

The funding programme Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence provides excellent, research-based training for outstanding German and non-German students at master’s degree and doctorate level in order to strengthen the standing of German AI research and application in the context of international competition.

Context of the programme

Nowadays we encounter Artificial Intelligence in almost all areas of life: whether in daily routine, industry or academia – the fields of application of AI as a key technology will develop rapidly and provide decisive stimuli for progress and structural change in society. In order to strengthen the standing of German AI research and application in the context of international competition, the Federal Government’s  AI strategy [pdf-file]  focuses on international cooperation with the aim of training the personnel required for AI development and application in Germany.

German higher education and research institutions not only offer excellent study and research opportunities in the field of AI, they also engage in numerous research and development collaborations with industry and business. The growing number of industry-specific AI application areas also offers attractive employment and career opportunities for top national and international AI specialists.

This is where the funding programme Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence comes in: the programme will promote the establishment of probably three ‘Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence’ providing excellent, research-based training at master’s degree and at doctorate level. German higher education institutions (universities and universities of applied sciences) will be responsible for the Schools. Each School will form the umbrella for an association of academically proven researchers who are interested in innovative teaching and are drawn from several higher education institutions and non-university research institutions, as well as representatives of commercial research and development departments (fellows).

The German partner university submits the application for the School. The first deadline in the application phase is 22 October 2021. More information here:

Konrad Zuse Schools of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence