Navigating short research trips in Germany

Manasvi CM

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers multiple funding schemes encouraging Indians across career stages to sojourn in Germany for internships, research projects, and networking. In this article, Manasvi CM highlights the salient features of these programs and their deadlines.

Image by Manasvi CM
Image by Manasvi CM 

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the world’s largest funding organization, supporting the international exchange of students and scholars to Germany. It offers outstanding international candidates access to excellent education, research opportunities, subject-oriented professional training, and intercultural experience. It is home to the theoretical quantum chemist Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany who became a zealous world leader. Her administration strengthened and internationalized German science. DAAD has funded over 80,000 students and scholars from India. This makes Indian students the second largest international group enrolled at German universities as of 2021.

DAAD goes beyond awarding grants and scholarships. It invests in the professional and personal development of its awardees. Most recently, when the pandemic left several Indians stranded in Germany, DAAD promptly facilitated the stay and visa extension of these scholars. I am indebted to DAAD for providing me this opportunity to pursue my research project in Germany and bringing me safely back to India. It has been a life-changing experience for me”, expresses a KOSPIE Scholar.

Identifying a suitable scholarship can be a bewildering process. Utilise this flow chart to determine the right short-term DAAD scholarship for you (Flowchart by Manasvi CM)

DAAD offers a gamut of funding schemes that encourages Indians across all career stages to sojourn in Germany for internships, research projects, and networking. Here are a few programs: 

1. Working Internships in Science and Engineering (WISE)

WISE focusses on Indian students from premier institutions pursuing a degree in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics. It funds a research internship of 2 to 3 months at a public or state-funded higher education institution or a non-university research institute in Germany. The applicant must have a confirmed internship offer from a German professor. DAAD provides a monthly stipend, health insurance, and travel subsidy.

Jainam Jain, a WISE 2021 intern at TU Darmstadt in Mathematical Modeling and Analysis Department says, Even though the program was held virtually, my internship experience was really good. The work environment is fantastic! I worked under the guidance of an eminent professor.” 

The deadline for applying this year is 8 November. 

2. Bi-nationally Supervised Doctoral Degrees

This program enables Ph.D. scholars to undertake part of their research in Germany. DAAD finances monthly stipend, travel, health insurance, and research. 

My research institute and my German professor taught me how to see a problem and the myriad ways to solve it. I interacted with professors, research fellows, and imbibed their working styles. This is a good opportunity to experience the learning environment of Deutschland”, says a scholar who did his Ph.D. in collaboration with PLRI Institute of Medical Informatics, Technische Universität Braunschweig in 2017. 

The deadline for applying this year is 20 October. 

3. Research Stays for University Academics and Scientists

Networking in academia is an arduous process, especially internationally. This program opens a channel between Indian and German academicians by funding short research stays in Germany. University teachers, established academicians, and scientists working at a university or research institute in India are eligible. 

The deadline for applying this year was 5 October. 

4. Bilateral Exchange of Academics

This program promotes international relations through academic exchange. Scientists and faculty from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) are eligible to switch with researchers in Germany for three months. The research project must be coordinated with the partner institution in Germany.

The deadline for applying this year was 5 October. 

Written By

The philosophy of 'curiouser & curiouser' from Alice in Wonderland is embedded in her approach to science, communication & beyond.

Her master's research at The University of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology explored the relationship between the Yanadi Tribe and plants in Kaigal, Andhra Pradesh, India. As a science communicator, she has worked for Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and The Environment (ATREE) and Science Gallery Bengaluru. She has written human-angle science stories for The Wire Science, The Print, India Bioscience and Life of Science.

She is currently doing outreach at the Curiosity Lab, IIT Gandhinagar.