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Fellowship Program Administered by the German Chancellor

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s German Chancellor Fellowship is a prestigious program that offers numerous benefits for young professionals and graduates from South Africa.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the program and application process:

Program Overview:

  • Number of Fellowships: The foundation grants up to 60 German Chancellor Fellowships each year, with up to ten of these reserved for prospective leaders from South Africa.
  • Duration: Fellowship recipients will spend 12 months in Germany conducting socially-relevant and independently developed research projects of their choice.
  • Eligibility: The program targets university graduates with an international outlook and initial leadership experience. It welcomes candidates from various professional fields, including politics, public administration, business, and culture, who have the potential to become decision-makers, multipliers, and thought leaders. Applicants must have obtained their first academic degree (Bachelor or equivalent) no more than 12 months ago and demonstrate leadership potential.

Fields of Study: The fellowship is open to candidates from a broad range of fields, including politics, business, media, administration, society, and culture.

Fellowship Benefits:

  • Monthly Grant: Fellows receive a monthly grant ranging from 2,000 to 2,600 euros, depending on their training and career level. This equates to approximately R41,073.18 to R53,395.13.
  • Language Courses: Before beginning their fellowship, participants undertake an intensive language course. They also receive funding for German language courses during their stay in Germany.
  • Financial Support: Additional financial support is available for various purposes, including accompanying family members, travel expenses, full private health insurance, and additional German language courses.
  • Networking and Cultural Exchange: Fellows engage in joint events, networking activities, and cultural exchange with other fellows, gaining insights into German culture and society.
  • Study Tour: Participants embark on a two-week study tour across Germany, allowing them to connect with other fellows and meet representatives of German businesses and institutions.
  • Alumni Sponsorship: Extensive alumni sponsorship is provided to support long-term connections with cooperation partners in Germany throughout the fellow’s entire professional career.
  • Research Allowance: The host institution in Germany receives a monthly allowance of 500 euros for research costs.

Application Process:

  • Applications are to be submitted online through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s official website.
  • Required documents include an extensive statement with confirmation of support from a host in Germany, two letters of recommendation, academic certificates and transcripts, and, if applicable, language certificates.

Deadlines: The application deadline for the German Chancellor Fellowship Program is October 15, 2023. It’s advisable to start preparing the application well in advance, ideally a year before the deadline. This allows time for identifying a suitable host institution in Germany and preparing a convincing research proposal.

Contact Information:

  • For inquiries, you can contact the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation via email at
  • The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Centre Johannesburg is available for further support, advice, and information. You can visit their website at or reach them via email at

Important Note:

  • This opportunity is not offered by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Applicants are responsible for their own research into programs and institutions and ensuring that their qualifications will be recognized in South Africa by contacting the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and relevant professional bodies. The information provided by the sponsor supersedes any discrepancies, and no additional financial support is provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training.


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