Institutions fostering the intellectually gifted

In Germany, there are 13 Begabtenförderungswerke, or institutions that foster the intellectually gifted and talented. These have joined together under the umbrella term of StipendiumPlus. The scholarship providers represented here have diverse religious, political or social foci, and therefore the conditions for awarding scholarship vary. There are full and partly scholarships. Sometimes scholarship holders will receive additional book allowances. Furthermore, they will receive immaterial support through free seminars and courses.

>> Stipendiumplus

Comprehensive information on the talent programmes and foundations and  a list of their Vertrauensdozent_innen (contact professors) at Goethe-University can be accessed via the scholarship information page of the SSC!

Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

The Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, or German Academic Scholarship Foundation, is the Federal Republic of Germany’s oldest and largest foundation sponsoring the intellectually gifted. According to its statutes, it fosters the “academic education of young people whose outstanding academic or artistic talent and personality promise special services to society“. Selection and sponsoring of the candidates is unrelated to any political, ideological or religious requirements.

Application and support: Candidates can be proposed by teachers or apply directly. There is non-material support by way of networking, exchange, advice and a broad range of educational offers. In addition, all scholarship holders receive financial support in the form of a monthly allowance to cover the costs of studying, and they can apply for an additional basic stipend. The foundation also offers funds for studies abroad.

Target group: Students from EU member states and Bildungsinländer*innen pursuant to §8 BAföG.

>> Website of the Studienstiftung

Foundations affiliated to political parties

There are several foundations that are considered “affiliated to a political party“, i.e. they are close to one of the major political parties in Germany. They look for scholarship candidates who relate to their ideals and values and show commitment and engagement accordingly.

>> Further information on foundations affiliated to political parties

Target group: International students from EU member states and students who are considered to be Bildungsinländer*innen pursuant to §8 BAföG can usually apply in the same way a German student would. Some special programmes are available to other international students (non-EU). However, some foundations exclude them altogether.

Faith-based scholarship sponsors

As a rule, you should belong to the denomination in question. Exceptions may be possible in individual, well-reasoned cases.

Target group: Members of the relevant faith, students from EU member states and Bildungsinländer pursuant to §8 BAföG.

Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (Foundation of the German Industry) - Studienförderwerk Klaus Murmann

The Studienförderwerk takes its name from its founder, the entrepreneur and former president of the Confederation of the German Employers’ Association, Klaus Murmann. It awards scholarships to students and doctoral students who demonstrate community spirit and entrepreneurship. Candidates are selected according to their level of performance, their commitment and their potential for development. They have the drive and the ability to assume responsible positions in the future to help shape society.

Target group: Students from EU member states and Bildungsinländer pursuant to §8 BAföG.

>> Further information

Further talent programmes and subject-specific scholarships

MainCampus – ‘Stipendiatenwerk der Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main’

This is a foundation dedicated to the support of students (undergraduate through to doctoral) in the universities and other institutes of higher education in Frankfurt. The foundation offers undergraduate and postgraduate students support in the following subject fields:

  • Natural sciences
  • Technical disciplines
  • Pedagogy
  • History
  • Music and music pedagogy
  • Visual and performing arts
  • Architecture

You cannot apply for this directly! Instead, the university puts forward candidates that have distinguished themselves through outstanding personal and academic achievements, motivation and competency.

>> Further Information

Kölner Gymnasial- und Stiftungsfond

This endowment fund supports students with a special interest in and talent for science and social responsibility

Endeavours supported by the Stiftungsfond

  • Studies at higher education institutions or polytechnic college equivalent that offer a final exam recognised by the state;
  • Studies abroad relevant to your chosen subject for a limited period of time
  • Postgraduate studies relevant to the occupation you aspire to;
  • Postdoctoral degrees;
  • Studies with a specialist focus (specialist scholarships).


  • An average score of at least 2,0 on a certificate of eligibility for university entrance (Abitur, placement exam);
  • Proof of enrolment/student status; support is available at the earliest after the third semester;
  • Average marks of at least 2,5 on course assessments (credits, exam results);
  • Completion of your study course within the standard period of study; given sufficient reason, a period of study in excess of the standard study period by max. 30% is permissible
  • Completion of a course of study before the age of 31
  • Support for international applicants is only available for studies within Germany

You can apply either in the time period: February 1st to March 1st, or August 1st to September 1st.

>> Further Information

Stiftung Begabtenförderung berufliche Bildung

This foundation supports people looking to enter a programme of study having already completed vocational training, having demonstrated a high degree of professional capability in their training and work, and with at least two years of job experience.

The requirements for an application are:

  • Completed vocational training or other further training to advance your career
  • At least two years of job experience (after completion of training and before beginning of studies)
  • No university degree (you can still apply before the end of your second semester of studies)
  • Proof of a high degree of professional capability in training and work
  • Target Group: Students from EU member states and Bildungsinländer*innen pursuant to §8 BAföG.

>> Further Information

Subject-specific scholarships (examples)

‘Stiftung der hessischen Rechtsanwaltschaft’ (Foundation of Hessian Lawyers)

“The Stiftung der Hessischen Rechtsanwaltschaft has set itself the task of financially supporting international lawyers and students of law that seek supplementary qualifications in Germany before they return to their home country. The stronger the connection of your studies to the federal state of Hessen, to Hessian institutions and to the Hessische Rechtsanwaltschaft (the practice of legal professions within Hessen), the more likely your endeavour is to be seen as worthy of support.”

>> Further Information