FAQs—Frequently asked questions
How do I benefit as a sponsor?
Companies benefit from cultivating contact with talented students and have the opportunity to get to know and support potential future employees. By donating, private individuals can give something back both to their former university and to current students while also providing incentives for excellence. For detailed information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, please go to www.deutschlandstipendium.de/de/1752.php.
When can I start sponsoring?
Scholarships normally commence at the beginning of the winter semester, that is, on 1 October of each year. For this reason Universität Hamburg requires a declaration of commitment of financial support by June of each year.
Who will receive my support?
The Germany Scholarship supports students who have attained outstanding achievements. As well as success in school and/or studies, the selection criteria include willingness to take on responsibility in social, religious, or political areas, in the family, or in a club or social institution, as well as demonstrated success in overcoming obstacles that, for example, are due to social or familial circumstances.
For what period of time is support offered?
The scholarship is awarded for two semesters. The university then checks to see if the award criteria are still being met. If the privately funded component of the scholarship continues to be available, the scholarship may be extended for an additional phase of studies.
The aim of the Germany Scholarship is to provide financial support throughout the regular period of study. A long-term commitment is therefore desirable.
Smaller donations are also welcome and may be combined with other contributions by the universities to make up a Germany Scholarship.
Does the law stipulate an agreement between the university and the sponsor?
According to the law, a written agreement is not mandatory. However, for reasons of general liability and to provide documentation as to whether or not and to what extent a scholarship should go to a specific subject area and degree program, it is recommended that written support agreements be drawn up and signed by both parties.
Relevant sample agreements can be downloaded from the Servicezentrum Deutschlandstipendium (Service Center for the Germany Scholarship): www.servicezentrum-deutschlandstipendium.de/foerdervereinbarungen
Is it possible for the sponsor to be named in connection with the scholarship?
In principle, it is possible to use phrases such as “Germany Scholarship supported by Company X at University Y” or “Germany Scholarship funded by Company X.” It is also desirable to use such phrases in conjunction with the Germany Scholarship logo. Sponsors can download the logo and then include it on their website, emails, or information materials. Please refer to www.deutschlandstipendium.de/de/2428.php.
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research maintains that whilst it is possible to directly name a scholarship after the sponsor (for example, Company X Germany Scholarship), doing so may affect the tax treatment (the classification as a donation or sponsorship) for both university and sponsor. At Universität Hamburg, naming a scholarship after a sponsor is contingent upon fulfilling certain conditions (among others, funding a minimum number of scholarships).
Selecting and contacting scholarship holders
How are scholarship holders selected?
The selection process is stipulated in the directive for awarding scholarships that came into force on 1 May 2014 in the framework of the Stipendienprogramm-Gesetzes (act on the creation of a national scholarship program, StipG) at Universität Hamburg, which can be obtained upon request.
Universität Hamburg publicly announces the scholarships and provides information regarding the number and possibly the allocation of scholarships based on discipline. Universität Hamburg also provides information regarding the records and supporting documentation that must be submitted when applying.
As a sponsor, do I have a say in the selection of scholarship holders?
The selection of scholarship holders lies with the university. Sponsors may, should they desire, be represented in the selection committees in an advisory capacity.
Do I have a say as to which scholarship holder will be assigned to me as a sponsor?
Assigning scholarship holders to specific sponsors and helping them to establish contact is possible after completion of the selection process. Data protection rights must be adhered to and the parties affected must be in agreement.
The university retains the right to decide whether or not it will make such assignments and how these will be organized. In the framework of such an assignment, the sponsorʼs non-binding preferences regarding, for example, the social situation of the scholarship holder, can be taken into account.
May I contact the scholarship holder I am supporting?
This decision is made solely by the student receiving support, and only after their consent has been received may the university provide you with contact information. Scholarship holders are not required to establish contact with sponsors, however, we advise them to do so as this may lead to opportunities in the future.
You can contact scholarship holders assigned to you and, for example, invite them to events, or offer them an internship.
It is the responsibility of the universities to hold regular meetings for all Germany Scholarship award holders and sponsors, at which sponsors can get to know talented young researchers personally.
Our range of services also includes assisting private individuals who would like to establish contact with the scholarship holders they are supporting.
As a sponsor, can I help determine how funds will be used?
The university decides how the Germany Scholarship funds will be used. However, sponsors do have a limited say. They can request that their donation be used for a specific subject area and degree program. Up to two-thirds of all scholarships that the university awards in a calendar year may be earmarked in this manner.
Conversely, this means that a university has to obtain at least one-third of the maximum number of scholarships to award without such earmarking. This provision is designed to provide for a uniform distribution of scholarships to the departments and subjects.
If different forms of earmarking lead to an even distribution of the scholarships among the various departments, the two-thirds provision may be waived.
May support provided be claimed for tax purposes?
As defined in § 10b (1) of the German Income Tax Act, financial support provided by sponsors may be claimed as tax deductible expenses for tax-privileged purposes. This may be allowed in combination with other donations for tax-privileged purposes up to a level of twenty percent of the total amount of income or four-tenths of one percent of the total net sales and the wages and salaries expended in the calendar year. You will find answers to tax questions related to the Germany Scholarship at www.servicezentrum-deutschlandstipendium.de/faq/steuerrecht/index.html.
Where can sponsors receive advice on tax issues?
The Servicezentrum Deutschlandstipendium des Stifterverbandes für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (service center for the Germany Scholarship of the donorsʼ organization for the promotion of German research) has compiled a set of FAQs on how to treat the Germany Scholarship for taxation purposes FAQs. You can find the FAQs at: www.servicezentrum- deutschlandstipendium.de/faq/steuerrecht/index.html
Should further taxation issues arise, you can reach the Servicezentrum Deutschlandstipendium (Service Center for the Germany Scholarship) by phone at +49 201 8401-188 or by email at deutschlandstipendium"AT"stifterverband.de.
Further FAQs relating to the Germany Scholarship can be found at www.deutschlandstipendium.de.