There are great study, research and funding opportunities available for South Africans and Africans in Germany. Germany is situated in the heart of Europe and the researcher or scientist at a German university is surrounded by an international research landscape. The DAAD highly recommends doing a degree programme or research stay in Germany and bringing this knowledge and international research experience back home. The DAAD, in short, encourages change through exchange! For South Africans and Africans there are DAAD funding opportunities available for both Master and Doctoral degree programmes and research. Read more about them below or check out our Scholarship Database for more precise searches of these funding opportunities.

Master Degree Programmes and Research

Masters in social, political and economic studies – Master’s in Public Policy and Good Governance

This programme is designed to further qualify future leaders in politics, law, economics and administration according to the principles of Good Governance, and to prepare them in a praxis-oriented course for their professional life. The programme offers excellent graduates, who have a university degree, the chance to obtain a Master’s degree in disciplines that are of special relevance to the social, political and economic development of their home country. With the knowledge and experience acquired in Germany, the scholarship holders will be able contribute to the establishment of democratically oriented economic and social systems aimed at overcoming social tensions. In addition, the training at German institutions of higher education should especially qualify the scholarship holders as partners in political and economic cooperation with Germany.

With this programme, DAAD intends to contribute to the support of Good Governance and civil society structures in selected partner countries and regions. Applicants must apply for one of the listed Masters programmes which have been pre-selected by the DAAD.

The application deadline, with the complete set of application papers, is usually by 31 July each year.

More information on the scholarship

List of courses available in this programme

Development-Related Postgraduate Courses – Educating Professionals for Sustainable Development

The main goal of these postgraduate programmes is to promote the higher qualification of young, employed professionals in fields of particular relevance to their home country. This next generation elite are offered the opportunity to acquire an internationally recognized university degree in Germany. When these scholarship holders return to their home countries, ideally back to the same organizations or government agencies, the knowledge that they acquired during the postgraduate course should put them in the position to contribute toward the further development of their countries. The university degree acquired in Germany thereby fills the formal requirement allowing programme participants to move into decision-making positions after the completion of their studies.

Target Group

Young professionals (generally no older than 36 years old) with:

  • a first academic degree, AND
  • several years of work experience in a governmental ministry, central agency, or subordinate authority, in a chamber of commerce and industry, an enterprise, or business, or as the employee of an NGO or development cooperation project.

The application deadlines depend on your chosen course and where you decide to submit your application. It is therefore best to write to the International Office of the university that offers your chosen course.

More information on the scholarship

List of courses available in this programme

Scholarships for Artists and Architects

These scholarships aim to provide applicants from the field of Fine Art, Design, Film, Music, Architecture and Performing Arts with an opportunity to complete a course of extension studies, without gaining a formal degree or qualification, or to complete a postgraduate or Master’s degree course at a German state or state-recognized higher education institution. Applicants must have completed their studies in their home country – as far as possible – with a corresponding final degree.

The application deadline usually by 31 October of each year.

More information on scholarships for Architects

More information on scholarships for Musicians

More information on scholarships for the Performing Arts

More information on scholarships for the Fine Arts, Design, Visual Communication and Film

Doctoral Degree Programmes and Research

Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates and Young Academics and Scientists

Research grants provide young foreign academics and scientists with an opportunity to carry out a research project or a course of continuing education and training at a German state or state-recognized higher education institution or non-university research institute.

Research grants can be used to carry out:

  • research projects at a German higher education institution for the purpose of gaining a doctorate in the home country
  • research projects at a German university for the purpose of gaining a doctorate in Germany
  • research projects or continuing education and training, but without aiming for a formal degree/qualification

Grants can be paid generally for one to ten months; up to three years in the case of full doctoral programmes in Germany; and up to a maximum of four years in certain cases. Applications for DAAD research grants are open to excellently qualified university graduates who hold a Master's degree or equivalent at the time of commencement of the grant-supported research.

Besides previous study achievements, the most important selection criterion is a convincing and well-planned research or continuing education and training project to be completed during the stay in Germany, which has been coordinated and agreed upon with an academic supervisor at the chosen German host institute.

The application deadline is usually the 31st of October each year.

More information on funding for doctoral programmes in Germany (3 - 4 years)

More information on Short-Term Research Grants (3 months)

More information on Long-Term Research Grants (10 months)

Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates within the Sandwich Model

Within the Sandwich Scheme, PhD students carry out their research and studies alternately in their home country and in Germany, following a schedule set in advance and under continuous supervision by a German academic. The doctorate is obtained at the homeland university. The main characteristic of this Sandwich Scheme is the individually tailor-made PhD programme schedule set with the greatest flexibility possible regarding the beginning and duration of each individual funding phase. Eligibility, application forms and documents for this programme are the same as for research grants for doctoral candidates and young academics and scientists. The extensive and detailed research proposal must be accompanied by a work and time schedule agreed upon by the academic advisors, both in the home country and in Germany.

The application deadline is usually the 31st of October each year.

More information on the Sandwich Scheme

Programmes for Professionals

Research Stays for University Academics and Scientists

These grants and scholarships aim to provide foreign academics and scientists working in higher education or at research institutes with an opportunity to carry out a research project at a state or state-recognized higher education institution or non-university research institute in Germany. Depending on the applicant's work schedule, the research stay will last between one and three months.

Applications for DAAD research stays are open to excellently-qualified academics and scientists who should generally hold a doctorate. All applicants must be working in higher education or at a research institute in their home country.

Application deadlines:

31st of October –  for stays as of February of the following year                                                               

30th of April –  for stays as of August of the following year

More information on the scholarship

Short-Term Programmes

University Winter Courses offered in Germany for Foreign Students and Graduates

The DAAD offers students and graduates from South Africa and Zimbabwe a grant for an approximately six-week "German Regional Studies Winter Course" in January/February each year. These grants are awarded to enable students to attend German language and cultural studies courses that are offered by state or state-recognized German higher education institutions and by affiliated language schools. The courses last up to six weeks and are offered in the months of January and February.

The application deadline is usually the 31st of August each year.

More information on the scholarship

Scholarships for Artists and Architects

These scholarships aim to provide applicants from the field of Fine Art, Design, Film, Music, Architecture and Performing Arts with an opportunity to complete a course of extension studies, without gaining a formal degree or qualification, or to complete a postgraduate or Master’s degree course at a German state or state-recognized higher education institution. Applicants must have completed their studies in their home country – as far as possible – with a corresponding final degree.

The application deadline usually by 31 October of each year.

More information on scholarships for Architects

More information on scholarships for Musicians

More information on scholarships for the Performing Arts

More information on scholarships for the Fine Arts, Design, Visual Communication and Film