Merit scholarships for international students enrolled at Universität Hamburg
With its merit scholarship program, Universität Hamburg supports outstanding international students and doctoral researchers in all subjects and at all degree levels who have been socially committed and actively involved in an international context. The awarding of a merit scholarship allows recipients to concentrate fully on their studies and gives them the opportunity to develop their skills.
You are entitled to funding if you
- have been enrolled in your subject at Universität Hamburg for at least 2 semesters and are pursuing a degree (students in 2-year master’s degree programs and doctoral researchers can apply after 1 completed semester);
- do not hold German citizenship;
- are not eligible for the federal student loan scheme.
Funding amount and funding duration
The maximum monthly funding sum is €850. Depending on the availability of funding, individual doctoral researchers may be awarded a merit scholarship totaling €1,000 per month (roughly 2–3 merit scholarships are awarded per round).
Merit scholarships are awarded for 2 semesters (total of 12 months). You can reapply for a scholarship. In well-founded exceptional cases, the maximum funding period is 3 years.
Those not entitled to funding:
- international students fulfilling the requirements of Section 8 of the German federal training assistance act (Bundesgesetz über individuelle Förderung der Ausbildung, BAföG)
We recommend an individual advising session before you submit your online application. The application deadlines are:
15 April (funding period: 1 October – 30 September of the same year)
15 October (funding period: 1 April – 31 March of the following year)
Contact the program coordinator should you have further questions. Good luck with your application!
You can find a step-by-step guide on how to submit your online application here: Guide (PDF). Follow the link for your chosen application period and log in using your STiNE ID:
You will then be invited to register and to complete your application.
You must upload the following documents to the online application portal:
- letter of motivation: please use this form (PDF)
- proof of social and/or intercultural activities (if aplicable)
- record of achievements: STiNE printout or list of course certificates. Master’s students and doctoral researchers submit their final certificate.
- evaluations from 2 professors or junior professors at Universität Hamburg.
Template: evaluation form (PDF)
Only applications completed in full and submitted by the application deadline can be considered. Therefore, begin compiling your application documents early on and have these ready to upload to the application portal.
Please submit proof of your residence permit to the program coordinator in good time and in person before the end of the application period. For this purpose, please book an appointment online. Alternatively, you can send a copy of your residence by by email to stipend-internationalstudent"AT"uni-hamburg.de. Your documents will not be stored and will be deleted after viewing.
If you do not have a residence permit (e.g., if you are an EU citizen or for some other reason), contact the program coordinator.
Merit scholarships are awarded by a committee comprising members of faculties and ASTA (student council).
We will email you notification roughly 6–8 weeks after the application deadline. For an update on the current status of your application, check the online portal.
- good to excellent academic performance
- other verifiable knowledge and capabilities (e.g., presentations, publications, prizes; additional specialised skills); previous funding
- social and/or intercultural activities (e.g., confirmation of volunteer work)
- applicant’s need/social situation
Disbursement of scholarship
Merit scholarships are disbursed on the first day of each month of funding. Funding commences on 1 October for the application round ending on 15 April and on 1 April of the following year for the application round ending on 15 October.
Scholarships cannot be paid into a foreign bank account. Academic leave is not permitted during the period of funding either.
Can I apply if I have both German and foreign citizenship?
No. You cannot, as you are eligible for BAföG in this case.
Is there an age limit?
No. As of the Winter Semester 2015/16, there are no age restrictions!
How can I obtain an evaluation?
Ask 2 professors from your department. Ideally, they should know you well—you attended one of their seminars or wrote a term paper for them, for example. Contact your evaluators at least 4–6 weeks before you apply for funding to ensure the evaluations are prepared in time. Give them the evaluation template to use.
Will my application be accepted if I only submit 1 evaluation?
No. Your application is only complete when it includes 2 evaluations. Notify us if you have difficulties finding a second professor. We can help you to identify suitable evaluators.
As a scholarship holder, am I allowed to spend a semester abroad or time outside of Hamburg during the lecture period?
If you are planning a longer absence during the lecture period, please contact us.
Are merit scholarship holders able to apply for further funding?
No, additional funding from other sources is not permitted.
Can the funding be extended?
You can apply for another 1-year scholarship. You will need to re-submit all updated documents online by the application deadline. The maximum funding period in justified exceptional cases is 3 years.