DAAD Award

For outstanding international students at Goethe University

Every summer semester, the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD) and Goethe University identify an international student with exceptional qualifications to be given the DAAD award, which includes prize money to the amount of € 1,000.

Candidates must be suggested by university lecturers. International students may approach university lecturers and ask them about the award.

The award ceremony usually takes place as part of the New Year’s Reception for international guest researchers and DAAD scholars.


2016 - Amine Taktak - Master Computer Sciences

The winner of 2016th DAAD award Amine Taktak originates from Tunisia and was able to convince the award jury especially with his exceptional academic performances during his Master's degree in Computer Sciences. He completed his studies with a double specialisation in System Engineering and Physics and was able to show great engagement in the field of knowledge and research transfer. His master thesis related to a current problem in computer science and was completed in cooperation with a local company, where he had also held a student job position. He started his Bachelor at Goethe-University in the winter semester of 2008, after having completed a Bachelor degree in Economics from Karthago University. While studying at Goethe-University he worked as a student assistant for the Goethe-Centre for Scientific Arithmetics and was characterised by his engagement for the student run „Joint Robotics Lab“ (JRL) by the faculty of Computer Sciences and Mathematics and as a tutor for undergraduate and international students.

X grafik daad preis 2015

2015 - Rebecca Renee Silva - Master German Literature

Rebecca Silva is of US and Chilean nationality. After a Bachelor’s degree in Maine and two years of professional employment, she decided to further pursue an academic career and in 2013 enrolled at Goethe University for a Master’s degree in German Literature. Rebecca demonstrated exceptional academic skills, astute reasoning and great diligence when collaborating in project groups, research colloquia, and as a tutor. Her outstanding study achievements became apparent in her thesis in the field of empirical literary didactics. Various scholarships and awards (among them the DAAD Alumni Association Excellence Award) as well as her voluntary involvement in educational areas, including in a bilingual primary school and in the project “football meets culture“ to support reading skills in children with a migration background, are further proof that Rebecca is a worthy recipient of the DAAD Award.

X grafik daad preis 2014

2014 - N’dia Ange Stephano Kouassi - Master Political Science

Mr Kouassi, who is from Ivory Coast and has been living in Germany since 2005, is a student of Political Science with a focus on International Relations. In his Master’s studies, he delved deep into the areas of peace and conflict research as well as political economics and development theory. In particular, the careful selection and execution of various seminar papers made him stand out. Aside from his excellent study achievements, based on which he received a scholarship from the protestant development service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst), he worked as an intern with “Bread for the World“ and the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) in Kinshasa, DR Kongo. Part of his role as Vice President of the association “Afrika trifft Deutschland e.V.“ was to organise events centred around themes of development policy.

X grafik daad preis 2013

2013 - Eric Otieno - Bachelor Sociology & Political Science

Eric Otieno is a Bachelor student of Sociology and Political Science from Kenya. Not only has he proved his academic and didactic skills as a tutor and achieved excellence in his studies; he has also attracted attention through his competent contributions to expert discussions. Furthermore, he funded his entire studies on his own and still found time to get involved in social activities, for example as member of the board of the Association of Kenyan students in Hessen and in the STUBE-Hessen programme, which offers support for students from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

2012 - Serena Zanaboni - Master Curatorial Studies

Serena Zanaboni from Italy won over the selection committee with her excellent study achievements and her engagement in cultural matters. After studying History of Art and Modern Literature in Milan, she enrolled in Curatorial Studies at Goethe University. Here in Frankfurt, an outstanding term paper on Dante caught her professor’s attention and led to her nomination as DAAD Laureate. In addition to her studies, Serena works at the Städel and the Goethe-Haus doing provenance research, and for the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. Prior to this, she gathered practical experience working at the Louvre and other renowned institutions all over Europe.

2011: No prize awarded this year

2010 - Arvi-Antti Särkelä - Master Political Theory

Arvi-Antti Särkelä from Finland is a Master’s graduate of Political Theory. He was chosen for the DAAD Award based, in particular, on his Master’s thesis “Intelligence in History. John Dewey’s Theory of Democracy in the Light of his Lectures in China“ which, according to his mentor, may give Political Philospohy entirely new impulses. Arvi-Antti combines theoretical discourse and subject competence with journalistic involvement in socio-political matters, for example as editor of the Swedish edition of “Le Monde Diplomatique“.

2009: No prize awarded this year

2008: Jingjing Chai - Diploma Business Administration

Jingjing Chai has received the highest possible praise for her diploma thesis: 1,0 is a grade awarded to only 5 out of 200 theses mentored by Professor Raimond Maurer. This achievement is indicative of Ms Chai’s academic career. She was always at the top of her economics classes and, after completing her pre-diploma, was recommended for the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes“. Now busy with her doctorate, she continues to show impressive results. Ms Chai also works as a tutor, translates for television and offers private tutoring.

2007: Ariunzaya Shagdar - Law

Law student Ariunzaya Shagdar from Mongolia has achieved excellent study results despite the fact that she has to work six days a week to finance her studies. Ariunzaya is also actively engaged in the Mongolian Democratic Party, in trade union work and in the Frankfurt Committee for Legal Advice for Foreigners. She has further impressed the selection committee with her intelligent, well-structured and carefully prepared lectures as a tutor at the Law Faculty.