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Social Protection (M.Sc.)

Application Process for the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt-Scholarship

The DAAD Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship supports future leaders in politics, law, economics and administration, who want to actively contribute to the social and economic growth of developing countries. This scholarship is only for the master's programme in "Social Protection".

2022 DAAD Students Visiting EU Council

Due to the high number of applicants, you need to submit all documents by the end of the application period and we do not accept any applications via e-mail. Please be informed that incomplete applications will be rejected, no exceptions will be made. In particular, the DAAD Application form, the curriculum vitae, and motivation letter need to have your signature.
The Scholarship

The DAAD Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship provides a monthly stipend of 934€ to selected candidates. Selected candidates will also receive allowances for spouses and/or children where applicable and tuition coverage for a 6 months mandatory German language course from April – August before the studies start in September.

During the fourth semester the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt Scholarship provides a monthly stipend of 500€.

Further information about the DAAD  call of application can be found here.

Applications will be open for the winter 2025 semester from June 1, 2024 until July 31, 2024. 

Eligibility and selection criteria

For your scholarship application to be considered by the selection committee you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of a developing country (see list of countries)
  • Acquired a bachelor’s degree from a relevant academic field such as public policy, economics, political science, social science, international relations, business administration, public health, or psychology
    • If your degree is NOT listed, the review committee will review transcripts for subjects relating to social protection that encompass a minimum of 15 credits in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
  • Have at least 5 months of practical social protection experience (paid or volunteer)
  •  English language proficiency, with a minimum level of C1 according to the common European framework. Recognized language tests can be found here or students can submit a letter from their university stating that their official language of instruction was in English. 

The DAAD has more eligibility criteria. Please see here.


Application Process

Interested applicants should first fill in the online application form which will be made available from June 1 until July 31, 2024 via our online application portal

Candidates will be selected on the basis of their academic qualifications, and the quality of their research proposal, recommendation letter and their motivational letter. Short-listed candidates will be invited for a 30 minute online interview, which will be held by end of November.



Attention: Even though we are expecting several hundred applications, we can only offer 9 scholarships to the best! Thus, if you don’t make the shortlist, but fulfill all requirements, you can still apply as a regular student. You can re-apply in January when the normal application phase starts for the following winter semester. If you are worried about funding have a look at "Funding options for your studies" below. There you'll find examples of how other students financed their studies.

Applicants must fill in the online application and provide the follwoing documents via the application portal:

  • DAAD Application form for Research Grants and Study Scholarships as well as DAAD checklist form (must be hand-signed). The forms are available here.
  • A research proposal (maximum of 800 words, template provided below), which includes your topic, research question, short overview of the relevant literature, theoretical approach, research design and methodology. The template is available to download below under "application documents." 
  • Hand-signed and dated motivation letter containing a precise description of the applicants’ academic/professional and personal reasons for choosing those master's programmes and universities (two pages maximum)
  • A Europass curriculum vitae including information about the precise field of your studies, your political and social engagement and, if applicable, description of job experience. If applicable certificates of employment to support relevant professional experience mentioned in your CV by documentary evidence.
  • Copy of acquired Academic Degrees (certified translation if necessary, please attach an explanation of the grading system)
  • Copy of the transcript of records (certified translation if necessary)
  • Recent language certificates (English)
  • One letter of recommendation, signed and recently dated by your employer. The letter should assess your ability to conduct graduate level work, your potential for a successful professional or academic career in the field of social protection. The letter must include information on the time span of your employment, hours worked per week, job description and duties as well as a company/organization mission statement. The letter should supplemented by an official letterhead, stamped, and include the contact details of your immediate supervisor (work email and phone number)
  • Valid passport copy 


Please be aware that any forged / altered documents will result in the automatic rejection of your application.
Offers of Admission

After the interview, the student secretariat will inform applicants in a timely manner about the next steps. Successful applicants will receive an informal offer of admission.

To obtain a formal offer of admission, successful applicants are required to send in certified copies of the original supporting documents by mail within two weeks after receiving the informal offer of admission.

Can I send my application as an E-Mail?

Applications sent via e-mail will not be considered. Please only use the online portal. The link and deadlines will be published on this site.

What happens if I don't get the scholarship?

Candidates re-apply for the next scholarship or they can apply for the master's programme as "normal" students without the scholarship. The deadlines are communicated on www.ma-socialprotection.de. Many of our students have found student jobs to support themselves during their studies.

There are other organizations offering scholarships: https://www.h-brs.de/en/sv/adsps-scholarships

Have a look at the page "Working opportunities": https://www.h-brs.de/en/sv/adsps-working-opportunities

If I don't get the scholarship, do I need to apply again as a "normal" applicant.

Unfortunately, we can not copy your application. Thus, if candidates want to apply as normal students, they would have to fill in the form again.

Do you accept documents in a other language as German or English?

No, the transcript and the diploma need to be issued in English or German by your university/college or translated by the issuing institution or a registered translator. In either case, it must bear the stamp and signature of an official of the institution or the translator.

Do I need to know German to get the scholarship?

No; however, selected candidates are required to take a 6 months German language course from April 2021 until September 2021. The tuition for this will be waived.

What happens if I write more than asked?

Applications in which the motivational letter and/or the research proposal exceed the word limit will not be considered

Can I change my application after I submitted?

Applications cannot be edited after submission with the exception of certain data (contact information). Please submit your application only when it is 100% final and complete.

Can I apply even if I have not received my degree?

Candidates having completed their degree program and having yet to receive their diploma must upload a certificate of graduation or a leter from the university stating that they have finished.

Can I apply even if I have not finished my bachelors degree?

Candidates in the process of completing a degree program must upload an official interim transcript and, in place of the diploma, a certificate of enrolment confirming their student status. The certificate of enrolment should include the expected date of graduation if possible.