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To apply for a scholarship a letter of motivation or a research exposé is required. The following guidelines will help you.

How do I write my letter of motivation?

A letter of motivation is required when you apply for a study scholarship or a grant for a language or specialist course. This letter gives you the chance to describe your personality and the reasons why you are applying for a DAAD scholarship.

The following information and questions will help you to write an informative letter of motivation.


  • Facts about your education, skills and knowledge
    • Studies: study programme, number of semesters, if applicable, degree
    • Professional experience, if applicable
    • Academic knowledge, skills and language skills
    • Prizes and awards (if applicable)
  • Academic motivation
    • Why do you wish to take the study programme or attend the language or specialist course for which you are applying?
    • What appeals to you about the university you have chosen?
    • What are your expectations of studying in Germany or attending the course (personal, professional, for your career)?
  • Reasons for applying for a scholarship
    • Why are you applying for a DAAD scholarship?
    • What do you expect of this scholarship?
    • How will the scholarship help you achieve your academic, professional and personal goals?
  • Personal interests
    Here you can outline special extracurricular achievements and commitments or personal qualities that say something about your character.

Formal information

The letter of motivation should be between one and three DIN A4 pages long.

How should I introduce my research project? – Or: How do I write a research exposé?

In a research exposé, you define the goals of your research work, reflect upon the theoretical and methodical procedure and you describe the individual steps.

The objective

  • What is the content of your research project?
  • Which steps are planned?
  • How do you plan your work schedule?

The structure

The explanation (approx. 3–10 pages) should provide information about the following:

1. The research field in general and the current state of research literature:

  • What is the current level of research?
  • Which theories/work of other academics do you refer to?
  • What theoretical framework and what academic model are you using? Discuss why you are drawing on this theory or model. Are there competing theories/models and why are you not using them for your work?
  • What is your research question?

2. Key research questions (hypotheses), research objectives and the academic relevance of the project:

  • What do you intend to find out?
  • What objectives are you pursuing with your project?

3. Research strategy/methods:

  • How do you intend to answer the research questions?
  • How do you want to collect data (document analyses, quantitative or qualitative survey, experiment, etc.)?
  • What academic literature will you use?
  • How will you evaluate your results?
  • What is your schedule?
  • What preparatory work have you already completed, and what preparatory work will you have completed by the time the scholarship begins?

4. Ethical issues/anticipated difficulties in collecting data

5. Preliminary time schedule (in tabular form)

How much time do you need for the individual research phases (before, during and, if applicable, after the scholarship period)?

6. Research bibliography

List of the books and essays upon which your work is based

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