The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) 2023 Scholarship Program: Empowering Future Leaders
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) has always been dedicated to nurturing young talent. Back in the days when Friedrich Ebert became the first president of the Weimar Republic, it was a significant challenge for gifted individuals from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education or engage in research programs.
In 1925, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation was established, granting scholarships to exceptionally talented young individuals from working-class backgrounds who actively contributed to the flourishing democracy of the Weimar Republic.
Today, the FES continues its mission by running the 2023 Scholarship Program, aiming to address social inequalities and support students who are devoted to freedom, justice, and social cohesion within the realm of social democracy.
Eligibility: Opening Doors to Change-Makers
The FES values service to the greater good and acknowledges not only applicants’ academic achievements but also their social and political involvement and personal beliefs during the selection process. This year, approximately 2,700 students and postgraduates will be awarded grants by the FES.
Moreover, the FES extends its support to international students who are currently pursuing their studies or postgraduate programs in Germany at the time of application. Every year, up to 40 students from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, excluding those already receiving support from public sources, may qualify for the scholarship program.
Eligibility Criteria: A Broad Spectrum of Opportunities
The FES welcomes applications from students of all academic disciplines, studying at public or state-approved universities, as well as universities of applied sciences/polytechnical colleges (FH). Additionally, the FES supports postgraduate programs (PhD) for those seeking to pursue advanced research in their respective fields.
However, it is important to note that the FES does not provide support for second-degree courses, study visits outside Germany, final phases of academic studies, or postgraduate courses in medicine.
Application Timeline and Language Proficiency
To be considered for a scholarship, applicants from abroad must have already enrolled in a German university or have a supervisor for their doctoral studies. It is expected that students reside in Germany before applying and demonstrate an adequate command of the German language by providing a language proficiency certificate.
Acceptable certificates include the “German language test for university entrance” passed with at least DSH-2, the “Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache” passed at level 4, “Telc C1 University,” the “Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz Level II,” or the “Certificate C1” from the Goethe Institute. Additionally, foreign students applying for the scholarship should be able to provide proof of their initial academic achievements/marks, except for those enrolled in Master’s or other postgraduate programs.
Application Deadline and Geographical Focus
Applications must be submitted by specific deadlines depending on the academic level: by the end of the 6th semester for diploma/magister/state examination, until 3 semesters before completing the standard period of study for bachelor/undergraduate programs (if 6 semesters by the end of the 3rd semester; if 7 semesters by the end of the 4th semester), and by the end of the 1st semester for postgraduate/Master programs.
It should be noted that the FES currently supports students from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Students from Western European countries are not eligible for the scholarship at this time.
The Selection Process: Unveiling Potential
The application process typically takes between 4 to 7 months and consists of the following steps:
- Self-Application: Applicants are required to utilize the “Online Application” system, available exclusively in German (supplementary sheet).
- Individual Interviews: Shortlisted candidates will be invited for two individual interviews. The first interview will be conducted by an FES lecturer, while the second interview will be carried out by a member of the FES scholarship committee (AWA). Based on these interviews, two reports will be generated and presented to the AWA.
- Discussion and Final Decision: The AWA, an independent body composed of university lecturers, as well as experts from various fields such as science, politics, art, and media, will convene to review the reports and make the final decision. The committee meets at least three times a year, meticulously deliberating each application.
- Written Notification: Applicants will be notified of the AWA’s decision through official correspondence.
Benefits and Expectations: Investing in Changemakers
Selected foreign scholarship holders will receive substantial benefits, including a monthly stipend of €934 under the basic scholarship program or €1,200 under the graduate scholarship program. Additionally, a family allowance of €276 per month will be provided if applicable, along with the reimbursement of healthcare costs. It is important to note that any income exceeding €400 per month will be deducted from the scholarship.
In return, the FES expects scholarship holders to actively engage in extracurricular seminars and activities organized by FES campus groups on a regular basis. Furthermore, they are encouraged to strive for above-average academic results in their degree programs while continuing and deepening their socio-political commitment.
At the end of each semester, scholarship recipients are required to submit a semester report to FES, providing insights into their current academic performance and their involvement in social initiatives.
The FES is dedicated to fostering a vibrant community of scholars who not only excel academically but also actively contribute to positive societal change. By supporting students from diverse backgrounds who embody the values of freedom, justice, and social cohesion, the FES Scholarship Program continues to build a bridge towards a brighter and more inclusive future.