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Contact Information
Support for Scholars
Activities in the US
Other Information

The Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

The Studienstiftung (German National Merit Foundation) is an institution supported largely by the German government that grants competitive scholarships to approximately ¼ percent of the German university student population. Awards are made after a multi-stage selection process and are based on grades, specialized exams, letters of recommendation, personality and character, and interviews with staff and affiliates of the foundation. Under the principles of uniformity and open access currently characteristic of German universities, the Studienstiftung serves as the main instrument to recognize and support the student elite in Germany.

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Contact Information

  • The main branch of the German National Merit Foundation, based in Bonn, can be reached at:

    • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
      Ahrstraße 41
      53173 Bonn, Germany
      +49-228-820960 (Phone) and +49-228-82096103 (Fax)

  • The Berlin branch of the German National Merit Foundation can be reached at:

    • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
      Jägerstraße 22/23
      10117 Berlin, Germany
      +49-30-20370 -614/-442 (Phone) and +49-30-20370 -433 (Fax)

  • The Studienstiftung can also be reached by electronic mail and internet via

  • The main representative in charge of the North America programs is currently

  • If you are a scholar or alumnus of the Studienstiftung, you can enter the DaidalosNet-intranet for further reference and resources. A user-login and password are required to obtain access to this service.

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Support for Scholars

The Studienstiftung offers its scholars a network of services and support. Besides financial assistance the scholars have the opportunity to participate in the so-called Sommerakademien (summer universities) and are encouraged to spend part of their university education abroad. The most important means of support are

  • Scholarship: Scholars receive financial support depending on family income; the support is higher for the scholars in the process of completing a dissertation.
  • Library Support: Every scholar is awarded about $100 per month for the purchase of books and other scholarly material.
  • Foreign Studies Programs: The Studienstiftung encourages its Scholars to receive part of their education abroad and offers special financial support and programs.
  • Special Initiatives: The Studienstiftung offers financial support for worthy special initiatives for which other support cannot be obtained easily.
  • Advice: Every scholar is in close contact with other scholars as well as professors locally representing the Studienstiftung.
  • Summer Academies: One of the most popular programs are the summer academies, at each of which around one hundred scholars participate in one of five to ten parallel specialized two week block courses. The academies usually take place in southern Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, and other places. In the last years the Studienstiftung began cooperations with similar organizations from Switzerland and France to organize combined academies.

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Activities in the US

As part of the support for studies in foreign countries, the Studienstiftung maintains a variety of Exchange Programs in the US, most of which are listed in the yearly Studienstiftung report Wissenschaft und Praxis. One of these programs is a cooperation with the Departments of Physics and Mathematics at Michigan State University, which offers support for studies of one year or more. As part of the program, scholars receive an assistantship from MSU, and additional financial support is provided by the Studienstiftung.

Besides these official programs, the Studienstiftung also encourages its scholars to try to organize foreign study or a program on their own. A List of Scholars that are currently or have recently been in the United States can be found here. In order to provide information about additional programs not listed there, please send an email to Martin Berz.

The Studienstiftung arranges annual meetings for those scholars currently studying in the United States. Recent meetings have been in Boston, Pasadena and Washington.

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Other Information

There are a variety of other places where you can find information on the German National Merit Foundation.

  • The Studienstiftung in Wikipedia A brief description of the Studienstiftung.
  • The Daidalosnet An internal communication and information platform of the Studienstiftung. Requires official user authentication from the Studienstiftungs headquarters.
  • The Stifti Wiki This Wiki for current and former Studienstiftlers is, according to the home page, "an inofficial representation of the collected knowledge of the current and former Studienstiftlers in the Internet". Wow. In German.
  • Stifti-Treff in Boston This website is maintained by scholars in the Boston area and offers a lot of infromation for incoming students. In German.
  • Studienstiftung-Page Ilmenau maintained by scholars at TU Ilmenau, "THE inofficial homepage of the Studienstiftung", offers a wealth of information. In German.
  • Stifti-Treff Berlin This is a quite extensive website about the activities of a group of scholars in the german capital. In German.
  • City Group Heidelberg Extensive pages, mostly local but also some general information. In English and German.
  • Studienstiftung Initiativgruppe Dresden This site from students at the technical university of Dresden. In German.
  • Studienstiftung an der TU Clausthal. In German.

To have other web sites included, please send e-mail to Martin Berz.

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The Daedalus Medal of the German National Merit Foundation

To find out more about the Daedalus Medal that is shown at the top of this page, follow this link.

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