Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Scholarships

Website: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation


The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s German Chancellor Fellowship Programme is targeted at university graduates from the United States, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Brazil and India who have an international outlook and initial leadership experience. It addresses prospective decision-makers, multipliers and thought leaders from a broad range of professional fields such as politics, public administration and business as well as society and culture. The fellowships give them the opportunity to spend a year in Germany networking with other prospective leaders from abroad, who are also sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation, and to explore new solutions to the global issues of our times. With this programme Germany once again presents itself as a destination of choice for intercultural dialogue and as a meeting place for the international leaders of tomorrow.

During their stay in Germany, the German Chancellor Fellows usually pursue research-based, self-developed projects in the areas mentioned above at host institutions. They are supervised by hosts in Germany who they select themselves and who have the necessary level of expertise to mentor the respective research topics. The projects should not only be of social significance, but should also have a long-term, publicly-visible impact. They should also be conducive to advancing fellows’ career development. During their stay in Germany, fellows will be able to expand their specialist knowledge and gain new international experience whilst enhancing their intercultural skills and thus enabling them to develop into successful leaders.

Program Benefits:

  • a monthly fellowship of €2,170, €2,470 or €2,770, depending on your qualifications
  • individual mentoring during your stay in Germany
  • additional financial support for items such as family members accompanying you, travel expenses or a German language course
  • a study tour of Germany and a number of events during which you can make contact with other fellows and representatives of German companies and institutions
  • extensive alumni sponsorship, particularly to help you sustain contact with collaborative partners in Germany during your entire professional career

Application requirements

  • the applicant must be a national of the United States, the Russian Federation, The People’s Republic of China,Brazil or India
  • Bachelor’s or equivalent academic degree completed less than twelve years before the beginning of the fellowship (1 October of the year following application)
  • initial proven leadership experience; applicants with a preponderantly academic background should have acquired initial leadership experience in addition to their own research activity
  • German or English language skills
  • a letter of motivation
  • a project plan; candidates must draw up their project plan independently and discuss it with their intended host prior to application
  • a detailed statement, including confirmation of supervision, by the host in Germany two references by individuals qualified to comment on the candidate’s professional, personal and/or academic background

Applicants who have been in Germany for more than six months immediately prior to the application deadline (15 September) are not eligible to apply. Anyone who has already been sponsored by the Humboldt Foundation cannot apply to the Foundation for the German Chancellor Fellowship and should instead refer to the Foundation’s Alumni Programme for support for further stays in Germany.

Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status

Apply online at

Applicants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Previous career and leadership potential 
  • Significance of fellowship for further career development 
  • Potential to build bridges between home country and Germany 
  • International outlook and future role as an international leader 
  • Existing knowledge to help complete the project successfully 
  • Relevance of the project for the dialogue of modern societies
Applications must be completed online. The closing date for applications is 15 September of each year.

The complete application form, including all required supporting documents, must be submitted online by the closing date. The applicant will be sent a confirmation of receipt upon submission of the application and supporting documentation.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that he or she has submitted all the necessary documents. It may not be possible to consider incomplete applications in the selection procedure.
The proposed host in Germany should send his or her confidential statement directly to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation by the closing date at the latest.
The selection process involves two stages. The most promising eligible candidates will be selected on the basis of the candidate’s application and written documentation and invited to a selection meeting in Bonn. In an interview the candidates will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves and to present their projects to an independent selection committee, which determines the allocation of fellowships. A group discussion on an overarching topic of general interest is a further selection tool.

Since 1990, the AvH has awarded 10 German Chancellor Scholarships annually to prospective leaders from the U.S.A. (under 35 years of age) in the academic, economic and political fields, enabling them to carry out research projects of their own choice in Germany. During one-year research stays, scholars are also given an opportunity to gain an insight into the social, cultural, economic and political situation in Germany.

German Chancellor Scholars also take part in a four-week introductory seminar in Bonn and Berlin in September, a fact-finding tour of Germany and an evaluation seminar in Bonn.

In addition to the scholarship, the Foundation bears the costs for preparatory German language tuition and an intensive course of several weeks in Bonn.

Contact Information
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

1101 17th Street NW, Suite 603
Washington, DC 20036
T: (202) 783-1907
F: (202) 783-1908


American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 

1101 17th Street NW, Suite 603
Washington, DC 20036
T: +1 (202) 783-1907
*This e-mail was distributed by AFAvH. The American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is the professional partner of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in the United States.