As a rule, a pre-selection round or an assessment of incoming applications is carried out by a pre-selection committee in your home country. The pre-selection committee may be made up of local university teachers (with special consideration given to former DAAD scholarship holders and former Alexander von Humboldt Foundation scholarship holders), German university teachers and assistant professors appointed by the DAAD, lecturers from the Goethe-Institut, representatives of the relevant ministries or partner organisations of the DAAD or the relevant DAAD regional office. The final decision is generally made by a selection committee of German university teachers with the involvement of staff members from the DAAD head office in Bonn. However, the latter have no voting rights.
The selection committee for the final decision is appointed by the DAAD Executive Committee on the basis of academic and regional factors. The selection committee members review the submitted applications and then judge the reasons given for the application on the basis of their knowledge of the general and academic circumstances in the applicant's country of origin and in Germany. They assess the plausibility and feasibility of the project, the status of preparations for the stay in Germany, how the stay is integrated into the applicant's schedule of studies or academic career, the applicant's academic qualifications and language skills. If necessary, experts of the respective subject are asked to submit written statements.
The applicant's academic qualifications and personal suitability are the decisive factors in all scholarship award decisions. The DAAD selection committees will, above all, base their decision on the proof of academic achievements, on letters of recommendation submitted by university teachers and on a description of the study or research project in question.
Specifically, the following selection criteria will be taken into consideration:
1. Previous academic achievements and examination results as well as the applicant's particular knowledge in his/her academic field
2. Letter from a German university teacher confirming the provision of academic supervision for the applicant; proof of contacts between the applicant's home and host institutes
3. Where appropriate, proof of German language skills
4. General questions of character and personality that are of significance to the success of a stay abroad
5. Where appropriate, the significance in terms of development policy of the proposed project for the home country
6. The extent to which the applicant will be able to apply the experience gained in Germany back in the home country (prospects for career re-integration, particularly relevant in the case of scholarship award decisions for applicants from developing countries)
Once the application has been reviewed, it will be rated on the basis of a points system. This is then used to produce a ranking list and finally to award the scholarships in accordance with the number of available places. Decisions are documented in writing at the DAAD head office. Applicants are advised of the results of the selection process. The diversity of assessment elements, their weighting in relation to each other and the assurance of absolute confidentiality of the decision-making process in the selection committee mean that applicants are not advised of the reasons for decisions.