Scholarship Programme in Central and Eastern European Countries

Application Procedure:

1. What documents must I submit? Where should I submit the documents?
The following documents must be submitted online in German or English by the application deadline (https://www.dbu.de/2600.html):

  • Resume
  • Copy of university diploma (Bachelor and Master). If a diploma is not yet available, a transcript listing all of the completed courses, grades and the date of completion must be submitted. The final transcript/diplom must be submitted one month before the scholarship begins.
  • A project description
  • A statement from a university academic advisor in the resident country
  • And, in some cases, proof of German language skills

2. When are the application deadlines?

The application deadlines can be viewed on the DBU - homepage https://www.dbu.de/2600.html
and the homepages of the programmes in the respective countries

3. Are there local contact persons?

In most cases, there is a coordinator and a network of former scholarship reciepients in each country. If you have questions, these contact persons will gladly assist you. Contact details can be found on our website https://www.dbu.de/2600.html and on the respective country pages.

4. How should the project description be structured?

  • Introduction (What central question is to be examined? Why is the topic important and what are the problems?)
  • Scientific knowledge (What is already known about this topic? Are there any studies about this topic? Where is the current knowledge gap?)
  • What is the project goal? (What would you like to learn? Are there any ideas about how the objective can be reached?)
  • Methods (which methods/tests (laboratory experiments, literature reviews, surveys, etc.) should be employed?)
  • The project description should be 2-3 pages long (font: Times New Roman, font size: 12, line spacing 1.5)

5. Do I meet the application requirements?

The basic formal requirements for submitting and application are the following:

  • University graduate from one of the participating countries
  • A citizen of the participating country
  • Permanent residence in the participating country
  • Above-average (good to very good) grade point average for university degree (Master or Diploma, Bachelor's degree is not sufficient)
  • Graduation from the degree programme was no more than three years prior to the application date
  • Topic addresses a relevant environmental issue (for the home country, the EU or globally)
  • Knowledge of the German language, which must be demonstrated at the beginning of the research stay at the latest (application and interview in German or English)
  • The procurement of a company partner or concrete placement before the begin of the scholarship is not a funding requirement.

    For individual questionis, feel free to contact the employees of the DBU CEE scholarship programme directly.

6. Do I have to have a concrete project partner in Germany before applying for a scholarship?
A concrete project partner in Germany is not a funding requirement. If you like, you can inform us about which which university, which institution or company, etc. would come in question for you.

7. Can I apply for the CEE Research Fellowship Exchange Programme as a doctorate student?

On principle, doctorate students are welcome to apply. It must, however, be ensured that the doctoral thesis and the thesis defense will be completed after the research fellowship. Applicants that plan on ending their doctoral studies before or during the scholarship funding period are not eligible to apply.

8. Can I apply without German language skills?
German language skills are not necessary at the time of application.

9. At what level must my English language skills be?

There are no specific requirements on the part of the DBU regarding the level of your English language skills. However, if you do not speak German, it is recommended that you have advanced knowledge of the English language.

10. Are language courses funded by the DBU?
All scholarship recipients participate in a 3-4-week intensive German course in Osnabrück. The cost of these course are covered by the DBU. Further information will be communicated after the successful accomplishment of the application process. Other language courses are not funded by the DBU.

11. How hard is it to get a scholarship?
There is no clear answer to the question. On principle, the success rate is relativley high.

12. Can I apply with a bachelor's degree?
You can only apply with a bachelor's degree if it includes admission qualifications for a doctorate degree; the "normal" three-year degree, however, is not suffiecient.

13. If I did a second Master’s degree and worked in between the two, which date counts as my graduation date? The date of completion of the first or the second Master’s degree?

In most cases, the completion and, therefore, the date of graduation for the second Master’s degree (not post-graduate studies) counts. The exception, however, is when more than two years lie between the first and second degree.

14. Should I find an internship for myself?

As a rule, the DBU helps you find a suitable internship position. However, candidates can try to find an internship on their own as well.

15. Are there any main topics of focus that positiveley affect the success of applications for a DBU scholarships?


16. Does one necessarily need a passport photo for the application?

A photo must be included with the application documents. However, it does not necessarily have to be a passport photograph.

17. In what language should be the recommendation of the academic supervisor? Can I translate the document myself?
The recommendation of the academic supervisor should be in German or English. A translation by the applicant is not allowed.

18. How can the necessary language skills be demonstrated?
Your language skills can be verified via a language certificate or transcript. However, the assessment of a language teacher is also suffiecient.

19. What happens if the application documents are incomplete?
Incomplete applications will be rejected.

20. When will I be informed about wheter or not my application was was successful?
The invitation to the selection interview is typically sent at least 4-6 weeks after the application deadline. The results of the selection interview will be communicated the day after the interview.

21. Can I apply again the following year if the application has been refused?
Generally, a renewed application is not possible once you have been rejected. However, in some individual cases, the DBU request applicants to submit an application again. Nonetheless, these are very isolated cases.

Selection interviews:

1. How long does a selection interview take?
The interview lasts 30 minutes. The candidate has 10 minutes to present the project idea and must then answer some questions from the jury.

2. Who participates in the selection interviews?

A panel of German and local environmental experts, a representative of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), the national coordinator for the resprective country and former scholarship recipients participate in the interview.

3. In what language can the presentation/interview be conducted?

The interviews take place in German or English.

4. How should the presentation be structured?

The presentation should include a brief introduction to the topic, highlight the environmental problems and identify possible methods of representing solutions.

5. When will I know the result?

The decision of the selection committee can choose the day after the talks with the country coordinators are requested by phone.

Before going abroad :

1. Are the accommodation costs during the language course and the introductory seminar funded by the DBU?
No. The DBU does all the organization but the costs will be deducted from the scholarship payment.

2. Should one pay the travel expenses to Osnabrück and/or the internship location oneself?

The travel costs to Germany (Osnabrück) must be paid by the scholarship recipients. The journey to the internship location will be organised and paid for by the DBU.

3. When does one receive the scholarship payment for the first month?

You receive the first scholarship payment in cash at the introductory seminar.

4. Is the monthly scholarship payment issued in cash or via bank transfer?

The scholarship payment (after the first month) is always transferred to your German bank account at the middle of the month.

5. Should I open a German bank account?

Yes, opening a German bank account is essential.

6. What should I match out for when opening a bank account?

Information about opening a bank account will be given at the introductory seminar in Osnabrueck. In general, however, you should make sure that the account administration fees are not too high and that you do not have to pay any fees to open accounts.

7. Do I need to pay taxes on the scholarship in Germany or in my home country?

Paying taxes on the scholarship is neither necessary in Germany nor in your home country.

8. What is the easiest way to find accomodations during one's research fellowship?

Normally, the supervisor on-site helps you find suitable accommodations. If this is not the case, it is advisable to look in the advertisement section of the Wednesday and Saturday online newspapers or to ask the DBU for help.

9. Does one have to sign an official employement contract at the internship location/institute?

This varies from internship to internship and, therefore, can not be answered by us.

10. Does one have to pay for additional expenses during the internship such as laboratory fees and fees for equipment needed for experiments, etc.?


11. Does one have to be enrolled at the university during the internship?

No, you do not. You will receive more information about this at the introductory seminar.

12. Does one have to pay tuition fees oneself?


13. How can I travel inexpensivly with the train in Germany?

There is a wide range of affordable travel options with the Deutsche Bahn. More information regarding railway travel will be provided at the introductory seminar.

14. Should one report to the DBU if one goes home on vacation?

When it comes to short trips over the weekend, a notification is not necessary. In case of longer periods of absence you should notify the DBU. You do, however, have to report trips abroad to your insurance provider, regardless of the duration of your trip.

15. Does DBU provide financial support for the participation in scientific conferences?

Only in some justified and exceptional cases. Each student receives a monthly travel allowance which should be used to pay for participation in conferences.

16. Are there DBU events in which it is mandatory to participate?

Yes. Participation in the introductory and status seminars is mandatory!

17. How does the DBU decide if the duration of the scholarship can be extended?

To receive an extension, the scholarship recipient must submit a progress report 4 1/2 months into the scholarship. Whether or not the scholarship period can be extended will be decided upon based on this report.

18. Can one finish or break off the internship in less than 6 months?

Yes, after consulting with the German supervisor and the DBU.