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Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance

DAAD Helmut-Schmidt-Programme 2025
Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance

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daad helmut schmidt programme

DAAD Helmut-Schmidt-Programme Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance 2025


With the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme, the DAAD strives to contribute to promoting good governance and civil society structures in developing and emerging countries.

The Programme

  • offers future leaders master’s courses in disciplines that are of special relevance for the social, political, and economic development
  • prepares them in a practice-oriented course for responsible positions in or for their regions of origin and contributes to establishing economic and social forms that are democratically oriented and designed to overcome social inequalities


Graduates from developing countries (bachelor or equivalent):

  • with a well-qualified first university degree as a rule in the fields of social and political sciences, law, economics, public policy and administration
  • willing to actively contribute to the social, political and economic development of their home countries/regions
  • who have already gained practical experience relevant for the programme (professional experience, internships, political/social commitment)


Academic education in the master’s courses selected by the DAAD that are listed below, will take place from September/October 2025. The courses of study have an international focus and are offered in English and/or German.

Throughout their studies, all scholarship holders of the Helmut-Schmidt-Programme benefit from accompanying support services provided by the programme coordinators at the respective study locations.

Scholarship holders benefit from events and seminars organised specifically for them, as well as close exchange with other international scholarship holders.

Planning also provides for participation in interdisciplinary networking events.

DAAD scholarship holders are exempt from paying tuition fees.


Scholarships (of currently € 934 per month) for master’s courses at German higher education institutions.
• Health insurance cover in Germany
• Appropriate travel allowances for travel between Germany and the respective developing countries
• A study and research grant
• Rent subsidies and family supplements, as applicable
• Preceding German language course in Germany, lasting up to 6 months. Participation is mandatory.

The following deviation regarding funding benefits applies for the ‘Social Protection’ programme, due to its blended learning concept: A sur place rate of € 500 per month is paid in the 4th semester (mandatory online semester in the student’s country of origin or another developing country).


All applications must be submitted in English or German.

Please indicate clearly that you are applying for the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt-Programme (Master’s scholarships in Public Policy and Good Governance). You may apply for up to two courses of study from the list below.

1. Please complete the DAAD application form ‘Application for a research/ study scholarship’ (see Attachment 2) only once and indicate your selected master’s course or courses, in the latter case clearly indicating your first and second priority.

2. If you are applying for two master’s courses: Please submit a single application for both master’s courses, and only one letter of motivation. In this letter, you should explain in detail, why you chose the respective master’s courses as well as your reasons for prioritising.

3. Please submit the application form to the master’s courses of your choice (no more than two), along with the required documents (see below). Scholarship applications are only accepted via the master’s courses.


The selection will be made by a selection committee in October/November 2025. The committee comprises professors from the participating master’s courses and representatives of the DAAD.

Next step: The candidates that were proposed for a scholarship are contacted by the DAAD and asked to upload their full documents to the DAAD portal. Please do not upload any application documents unless you are nominated by the DAAD.

Important: Please make sure that you have a full set of copies of your application documents in PDF format. Please only submit original documents, if you are explicitly asked to do so by the master’s course.

Thus, the selection process is finalised. All applicants are informed in writing after the end of the selection process. This will probably be the case in mid to late December 2024/January


The most important selection criteria are:

• A conclusive account of the applicant’s academic, professional and personal motivation for the study endeavour in Germany and for choosing and prioritising the master’s courses
• This motivation also relates to the goals of the Helmut Schmidt Programme
• Practical experience relevant to the programme (work experience, internships or professional experience, political activities or service to your community, such as volunteering or work for charities or NGOs)
• A first higher education degree completed with above-average grades (top third of graduates)


Applicants who already hold a master’s degree can only be considered in
well-justified cases, if they can explain conclusively, why they would like to obtain
another master’s degree.

The following groups are not eligible:

• Applicants who obtained their most recent higher education degree more than six years before submitting their application
• Applicants who have resided in a country that is not included in the DAC list of developing and emerging countries for more than 15 months at the time of the application deadline

All master’s courses have their own selection criteria (degree, grades, language skills, work experience, etc.) that have to be met in addition to the DAAD’s selection criteria.


The requirements for language skills and the required language certificates vary depending on the respective master’s course.


The required application documents are:

  • Checklist form, signed with place and date indication
  • DAAD application form ‘Application for a research/study scholarship’ (please type your answers or make sure they are easy to read)
  • A single letter of motivation, if you are applying for two master’s courses for both of them including a precise account of your academic, professional and personal reasons for wishing to participate in the programme, as well as a detailed explanation of your choice of master’s courses and prioritisation, no more than two pages long
  • A curriculum vitae in reverse chronological order without any unexplained gaps (please use the europass template) including exact information about your studies, and on practical experience
  • Copies of your higher education degree certificates. Please provide a certified translation if the original is not in German or English, and make sure these are clearly legible.
  • Copy of your full set of transcript of records. Please provide an explanation of the grading system if this is not part of the transcript.
  • Written confirmation for any work experience, internship or professional experience. This must be printed on headed paper, include a signature, the date of issue and a stamp; and/or proof of any political activities or service to your community, such as volunteering or work for charities or NGOs, if possible on headed paper, signed, dated and stamped.
  • Recent language certificates (for English and/or German)
  • Current written reference from your current employer or from a university lecturer if you are a student at present, on headed paper, signed, dated and stamped


Please note that applications may be rejected for formal reasons, if you submit any documents that are difficult to read.

Applications addressed to more than two higher education institutions and/or that do not contain a clear prioritisation in the DAAD form and the letter of motivation, will be excluded from the selection process.

Only applications including all required documents will be considered. Applications sent to the DAAD will not be forwarded to the respective higher education institution(s). Such application documents including any attachments, samples, etc. will become the property of the DAAD, without any compensation. They will not be returned.

Any deviations from the application process will result in exclusion from the selection process.


Helmut-Schmidt-Programme (Master’s Scholarships for Public Policy and Good Governance) scholarships are being provided for the following countries:

1. Western, Central, South-Eastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey.

2. Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

3. Middle East, North Africa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moroccom Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen

4. Africa, Sub-Saharan: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African, Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo Democratic Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé und Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

5. Asia, Pacific: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maledives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, North Korea, Papua N. Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

6. Latin America: Argentinia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, St. Lucia, St. Vin. & Gre., Suriname, Venezuela.



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