Several foundations in Germany provide young talents with scholarships (Begabtenförderungswerke). In addition to good grades, successful candidates have to demonstrate outstanding social, political, or cultural commitment. These foundations are linked to a diverse range of philosophical, denominational, political, and business or trade union-related traditions in Germany. When considering an application, interested students ought to carefully research the right fit for them. All available scholarships can be found in a database of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Examples of political foundations that offer scholarships, including for international students, are the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Students at risk of being denied the right to education or other human rights in their country of origin may also be eligible for funding through the Hilde Domin Programme. Candidates cannot apply themselves but must be nominated by the M.A. programme. Therefore, suitable candidates should contact our programme coordinator to inquire about this possibility. Please check the relevant deadlines and contact us at least 14 days in advance!

Denominational foundations include Avicenna, which supports talented and socially engaged Muslim students, Cusanuswerk is the scholarship body of the Catholic Church in Germany, Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk supports gifted Jewish students, and ES Villigst supports students of the protestant faith. Villigst also offers special scholarships for students with a refugee status of any religious denomination.

Please bear in mind that you will have to find your way through the offers, and you will have to apply with every organization/foundation separately. Make sure that you read the application criteria carefully to pre-assess your eligibility and suitability, and keep in mind that the selection processes are highly competitive. Many foundations also expect good German language skills or at least a demonstrated willingness to learn German, because they typically offer extracurricular activities for which German is a precondition.

Many scholarships have application deadlines of up to one year before the intended beginning of studies. If that is the case, we offer the option to apply a year early or to assess your application already in February. Please contact us well in advance to discuss these options!

Students who have already been admitted to the M.A. Human Rights can approach our programme coordinator Ines Kalam ( for advice on scholarship applications. Promising scholarship candidates will be provided with a reference letter.