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German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

  • Field: DAAD Communication Officer, DAAD Administrative Officer
  • Phone: +27/11/717 9334
  • Fax: +27/11/717 9335
  • E-Mail Address: daad@wits.ac.za
  • Url: http://ic.daad.de/johannesburg
  • Postal Address: University of the Witwatersrand, East campus, Senate House, 3rd floor, rooms 3150, 3151 and 3171, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Contact Person: Ms Kerynn Dahl, Ms Silke Wassum

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the largest academic exchange organisation in the world. It is a joint establishment of the German higher education institutions and promotes international academic cooperation. The DAAD acts as an intermediary organisation in the field of foreign cultural, science and education policy as well as in the field of education cooperation with developing countries. It supports the worldwide exchange of international students, graduates, academics and scientists within the framework of more than 200 different programmes. The DAAD has 14 regional offices and 46 information centres worldwide, where those interested in studying and doing research in Germany are provided with information and advice.

The DAAD's aims and objectives are, for example:

To advance international academic exchange
To promote the German system of higher education through
participation in higher education fairs
print and electronic publications
special events (alumni meetings etc.)
To establish networks in Germany and abroad
To grant organizational and (limited) financial support to universities
To award scholarships and grants
To provide information and counselling

Ae you interested in doing research in Germany?
Germany offers excellent opportunities for basic research, applied research and experimental developments. It invests a large proportion of its GDP in R&D, being the 3rd largest investor worldwide and the largest in Europe.

In mid-June 2005, German federal and state government leaders approved the "excellence initiative", which will run until 2011. The main aim of the initiative is to promote world-class research in Germany, thus improving the international competitiveness of German higher educations institutions. The governments have allocated EUR 1.9 billion to the initiative, 75% of which will come from the federal government. The funds will be used to establish 30 research centres of excellence as well as 40 colleges for young academics and scientists at German higher education institutions.

All this may explain why Germany has produced 84 Nobel Prize winners to date!

Green Talents

The Green Talents initiative was launched in February 2009 and is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education. This competition gives excellent young researchers and engineering scientists in the field of environmental technologies the opportunity to apply for participation in the “International Forum for High Potentials in Green Technologies”. The International Forum will take place in August/September 2009. For one week, the selected participants will travel through Germany, visiting leading universities, research institutes and companies in order to gather specific information about research activities on site and learn about the possibilities of cooperating with German partners.

The deadline for applications is 31 May. Further information on the competition and application guidelines are provided on the “Green Talents” website http://www.research-in-germany.de/greentalents.

Overview of German Research Organisations
World-class research in Germany is conducted in more than 750 state-funded scientific institutes, including universities and research institutes. It is therefore difficult to give a short but comprehensive overview of research opportunities. For more detailed information about Germany as a research destination please consult the following websites:

Search engine and map of science and research institutions in Germany

Overview of research landscape, search engine, information on research grants, FAQs
Selected German Research Organisations At A Glance (in alphabetical order)

Fraunhofer Society (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, FhG) www.fraunhofer.de

Founded in 1949
Approximately 80 institutes
Applied research
90% of research is commissioned by business, industry or government. The main aim is to transfer scientific expertise to practical applications.
13.000 employees, mainly scientists and engineers
Annual budget: approximately EUR 1 billion, allocated as:
40% public funding
60% contract research
Helmholtz Association (Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, HGF) www.helmholtz.de

Founded in 1970, renamed in 1995, restructured in 2001
Association of 15 large-scale research centres for the natural sciences, technology, medicine, biology
Six priority research areas: energy, earth and environment, health, key technologies, structure of matter, transportation und space
24.000 employees, including approximately 10.000 scientists
Annual Budget 2004: EUR 2.2 billion, allocated as:
70% public funding (90% federal, 10% states)
30% third-party resources

Leibniz Association (Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, WGL)www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de

Founded in 1995
Umbrella organisation for 80 research institutes and service facilities
Between basic research and applied research
Fields: humanities and educational sciences; economics, social sciences, regional infrastructure research; life sciences; mathematics, natural sciences, engineering; environmental sciences
12.500 employees, including about 5.100 academics
Annual Budget 2003: EUR 943,5 million, allocated as:
77% institutional basic research (funded equally by federal and state governments)
23% third-party resources, incl. 59% DFG

Max-Planck-Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, MPG) www.mpg.de

Founded in 1948 as successor of Kaiser Wilhelm Society
Umbrella organisation for 80 research institutes and centres
Basic research in the areas of:
Life sciences, particularly biology and medicine
Natural sciences, particularly physics and chemistry
Humanities and social sciences
12.000 employees, including about 3.400 scientists and scholars; in addition, about 9.100 (2002) doctoral candidates, post docs, visiting researchers and scholars, more than half of which coming from abroad
Annual budget 2004: EUR 1.3 billion, allocated as:
81% basic budget (funded equally by federal and state governments)
14% project budgets from states, federal government and European Union
5% own income, member dues, donations
Research Funding Organisations (in alphabetical order)

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, AvH)

Founded in 1953
Awarding a great number of research fellowships and awards for postdoctoral scholars and scientists every year:
Up to 600 research fellowships
Up to 150 research awards
Up to 150 research fellowships for young German scientists
Open to applicants from all nations and all academic disciplines

German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD) www.daad.de

Founded in 1925, re-established in 1950
World's largest organisation specifically designed to expand academic horizons through a wide variety of academic exchange programmes
More than 200 different scholarship programmes
Open to applicants from all nations and all academic disciplines (For more information about the programmes open to South Africans please consult the "Scholarships" section)

German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) www.dfg.de

Founded in 1952
Self-governing body of German scientific community
Funding research projects and facilitating cooperation among researchers, currently supporting about 25,000 projects
DFG Research Centres
Research Training Groups
International Research Training Groups
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
Emmy Noether Programme

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