Research in Germany
A Step by Step Guide: DAAD Research Grant Application
What prerequisite qualification will i need to meet?
As a rule, you will need to to have:
- A very good higher education degree that is recognised in Germany. Generally, that is a degree equivalent to a German Master.This means you need to have completed 18 years (MS/ M Phil) of education in Pakistan.
- No more than six years should have passed since you gained the last degree.
In the past, applicants to the DAAD "Research Grant" programme have been, expected to be faculty of a Pakistani university or research institution. Now, postgraduate students (having recently completed 18 years of education) or who are in the process of finalizing their M. Phil course or who are on an "M. Phil leading to PhD" programme or those who have already started their PhD research work without being employed at any university are eligible to apply. They should, however be full time members of a university or research institution (as faculty or as postgraduate students) and they should be clearly aiming at an academic career. This means, professionals working in any other private or public organization or company are not eligible to apply for a DAAD Research Grant.
The programme announcement can be found here.
In what order should i approach my preparation?
1. The point to start from is the careful consideration of your research question. Please keep in mind that PhD is supposed
- to be based on previous research and findings in the specific field and
- to contribute new findings to the academic discourse.
Thus, the following pre-knowledge is mandatory:
- Broad knowledge in your field as such.
- Knowledge of the state of research including the latest national and international publications in your field of specialization.
- Knowledge of methodology and its implementation. (Not just "quantitative" and "qualitative" methods but how exactly they are executed and to what purpose with expected results.
If you are not sure if you can master this, buy some books, sit down and read. For literature on your own field, read the international online journals which are mostly accessable from Pakistani universities.
2. The next step is to find a supervisor – a Doktorvater or Doktormutter. Please read theguideline "How to find a supervisor" carefully.
Keep in mind that you have to find a professor with matching research foci. The German professor is looking for somebody with an intersting project to join his/her team. So inform yourself very well about the ongoing research projects at his/her institute.
Read all available information carefully including abstracts, of the ongoing research projects, but do not make contact with the professor at this stage!
A comprehensive search of the German research landscape can be conducted by using the Research Explorer. or by visiting the following links:
3. Before contacting the supervisor, it is important that you have a well prepared synopsis of the doctoral dissertation you are planning to write.
The research proposal should have the following components and structure:
- Table of Contents
- Introduction to the General Topic
- Problem Statement and Justification of the Research Project
- Hypothesis and Objectives of the Study
- Literature and Research Review
- Research Method(s)
- Data Collection, Analysis and Evaluation of Data (in empiric research)
- Analysis of texts and documents
- Expected Results and Output of the Study
- Appendix, e.g. Tables, Graphs, Questionnaires etc.
For detailed explanation, please read the guideline "How to write a research proposal".
Please strictly obey the rules of good academic practice and never ever plagiarize from other people's publication. (Whatever is taken from another source word by word has to be enclosed in quotation marks followed by a reference to the original. Whenever you use other people's ideas, you have to give the reference to the original.)
The regulations of the University of Cambridgecan be found here.
4. Next you have to write a careful introductory e-mail to a professor which you have identified in step 2. Please follow the guideline "How to make contact", before sending out any e-mail. Always write a new e-mail to each professor and explain in detail why you think you will be a suitable member of his/her research team. Make sure you have read at least one of his/her online publications and refer to it in your e-mail. Add your draft research proposal and your CV. Also, please make sure that you have read the guidline Email Etiquette, for formal e-mail writing, carefully.
5.While waiting for a response from the supervisor(s), you may acquire your IELTS or TOEFL certificate as well as your letter of recommendations. You can provide your referee with the "Report Form" provided by the DAAD to fill out, or use the letter head of the referee`s institution/university.
Submission of either an IELTS or TOEFL certificate is mandatory!
A written confirmation that the language of instruction at the home university was English does not replace an IELTS or TOEFL.
You are required to create two complete identical application dossiers with the following documents in the order shown below:
- Application form
- Research proposal (or letter of motivation if applying for a Master’s program)
- Letter of invitation by German professor (for research grant only) or admission to a Graduate School
- All university and school certificates plus transcript of reports starting with the newest. (All photocopies of certificates have to bear the original attestation stamp!)
- TOEFL or IELTS report
- List of publications (if any)
- Other documents (if any)
The DAAD application form can be found here.
7. Now you are ready to post your complete application to the DAAD Information Center Islamabad, by the deadline, via a courier service.
Always make sure that you check the postal address on the website. See (contact).
(Deadline of application: 30. September 2013)