The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) administers the scholarship programme “Hilde Domin Programme” with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (AA). The programme serves to support students and doctoral candidates from across the globe, who are at risk of being formally or de facto denied educational or other rights in their country of origin, and to provide these students and doctoral candidates with an opportunity to begin or complete a study or research degree at a higher education institution in Germany. With the Hilde Domin programme the DAAD makes an important contribution to the implementation of the Feminist Foreign Policy.
Students and doctoral candidates nominated and accepted under the programme will receive a scholarship for a degree course of personal choice and according to individual qualifications. The scholarship is sufficient to cover the necessary costs incurred during their study or research stay.
The long-term goal of the scholarship programme is to enable students and doctoral candidates to complete their higher education studies resp. research project in a secure environment, to be able to contribute towards meaningful political, economic as well as social development in their countries of origin (respectively in Germany or third countries) upon completion of their studies in Germany. All MA and PhD beneficiaries of the scholarship programme will further be qualified in an accompanying interdisciplinary programme, to enhance the prospects of a free development of their personality and their contributions towards society.
You have to be able to walk away and still be like a tree. As if the root remained in the ground, as if the landscape moved and we stood firm. You have to hold your breath until the wind dies down and the foreign air begins to circle around us. Until the play of light and shadow, of green and blue shows the old patterns and we are at home wherever it is and can sit down and lean back as if against our mother’s grave.(Hilde Domin)
Who was Hilde Domin?
Hilde Domin, born Hildegard Dina Löwenstein in Cologne on July 27, 1909, was a German writer, poet, and essayist. Domin became known primarily for her poetry, which was influenced by her time in exile and loss of homeland. A poet of the Jewish faith, she recognised political developments in Germany at an early stage and fled to Italy in 1932. Domin spent more than 20 years of her life in various countries including the Dominican Republic, which became her self-chosen namesake. After returning home to Germany from exile she became known as the “poet of return” and received numerous honours for her literary work. Among others, she was awarded the Carl Zuckmayer Medal, the Nelly Sachs Prize, and the Grand Federal Cross of Merit. Domin died in Heidelberg on February 22, 2006, at the age of 96.
The nomination and selection procedure
Potential candidates cannot themselves apply for participation in the Hilde Domin Programme, but are nominated by the management (presidiums/rectorates) of an institution or organisation which is a legal entity domiciled in Germany and which carries out an activity in the field of science, research and teaching and/or the protection of human rights, the promotion of peace and democracy or the rule of law.
All nominations shall formally be made by respective nominating institutions and organisations who are requested to fill in the nomination form online (the link is provided upon request). Thereafter, on the basis of an initial plausibility check, suitable candidates will be contacted by the DAAD and invited to apply via the DAAD online application portal. The application documents submitted by the candidates are then verified by the DAAD for completeness and formal correctness. The final selection of candidates will be carried out by independent selection committees appointed by the DAAD. Both the status of risk and academic performance are assessed as part of the selection process.
Important to note: Multiple nominations do not bear any advantages. One nomination per candidate is sufficient. Institutions and organisations entitled to nominate may nominate as many candidates as they deem eligible. Nominations submitted through other channels (e.g. via email, post or fax) cannot be considered or accepted.
Also important: The DAAD can only award a limited number of scholarships. Please only nominate candidates for this programme who, in addition to being individually at risk, also demonstrate good academic prospects for studying in Germany. Proposed candidates should have sufficient knowledge of German or English (corresponding to level B2) by the nomination deadline to be able to complete a study degree programme/research project in the respective language.
Students and doctoral candidates worldwide* who are at risk of being formally or de facto denied educational rights and/or other rights in their country of origin, due to their ethnic, sexual, gender or religious identity and/or their political or civic engagement. By definition of the DAAD, political, civic and similar engagement encompasses either the participation in groups or individual actions based on liberal and democratic principles aspiring to contribute to a positive social change in communities.
Students and doctoral candidates from all academic disciplines can be nominated, apart from human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and law
- who can prove or credibly demonstrate a threat to their personal well-being or safety (e.g. physical violence, arrest, denial of civil and educational rights, etc.) to the nominating institution
- who are in possession of educational certificates that enable entrance to a higher education institution and warrant the pursuit of a desired higher education qualification according to the anabin database
- who may not be already residing in Germany or the European Union at the time of nomination
Important to note: Nominations for the fields of visual arts, performing arts, design, visual communication, music, film, and architecture can be submitted only by accredited higher education institutions and require a letter by that institution confirming the academic ability of the candidate in the foreseen discipline and that the institution is willing to enrol the candidates in case of the award of a scholarship.
As a rule, the duration of funding for a
- bachelor’s degree is: up to 36 months (plus 12 months preparatory course/”Studienkolleg” in exceptional cases)
- master’s degree is: up to 24 months
- doctoral degree is: up to 48 months
Funding of a scholarship encompasses
- a monthly scholarship payment of 934 EUR for bachelor and master students resp. 1,300 EUR for doctoral candidates
- a health, accident and personal liability insurance cover
- a travel allowance based on your country of origin resp. present residence
- if applicable, participation in a preparatory German language course (of two, four or six months) according to the previously acquired and required language skills for the intended course of study or doctoral project
- additional financial benefits
Nomination and application deadline
Nominations of suitable candidates can be submitted online at any time.
In principle, there are two selections per year. The application periods are based on the start of the academic semesters.
The following time periods and deadlines apply for nominations and applications for the upcoming academic semesters:
Planned start of studies summer semester 2025
- Nominations: until 15th March 2024
- Application period: 19th March until 16th April 2024
Planned start of studies winter semester 2025/26
- Nominations: until 15th September 2024
- Application period: 17th September until 15th October 2024
Access to the DAAD online portal is open to all formally eligible applicants during the application periods. If no application is received within an application period, respective candidates would have to be nominated again before the next nomination deadline.