skip to main contentskip to main menuskip to footer Universität Bielefeld Play Search
  • Information for researchers at risk

    Welcome Centre  

    © Bielefeld University

Researchers at risk

Switch to main content of the section

Welcome Centre

Help Desk


A central concern of Bielefeld University is to support people in developing their potential in study, research and teaching and to promote the freedom of science.
By supporting researchers at risk, we stand up for education, science and diversity.

Scholarships for vulnerable/refugee Researchers

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers the scholarship programme "Hilde Domin Programme" with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (AA).

The Hilde Domin Programme is intended to support doctoral students at risk worldwide who are formally or de facto denied the right to education in their country of origin to take up or continue their studies in Germany in order to obtain a degree or doctorate at a German university. The long-term goal of the scholarship programme is to enable the students and doctoral candidates to study or do research in a safe environment so that they can make an important contribution to political, economic and social development after completing their degree or research project.

Requirements for nominations are:

  • Possession of educational qualifications that allow approval for admission to a universities and guarantee the degree of the intended degree programme or research project according to Anabin (note: last degree max. two years ago).
  • Admission to a degree programme or a confirmation of supervision for a research project at Bielefeld University
  • A proven or credible threat to personal well-being or safety (e.g. through physical violence, arrest, denial of civil and educational rights, etc.).

*Except for subject areas: Human Medicine, Art, Communication, Film, Music and countries of origin: EU, EEA, EFTA countries as well as Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the United Kingdom.

Please note: An independent application for the programme is not possible. Nominations are made exclusively through the rectorate and the International Office of Bielefeld University. Therefore, please contact us as early as possible:

After successful nomination by Bielefeld University, potential applicants will be given the opportunity to apply directly to the DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service] via an online portal. The final selection of candidates is made by an independent selection committee appointed by the DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service]. In the course of the selection process, both vulnerability and academic performance are assessed.

Further information on the Hilde Domin Programme can also be found on the DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service] website.

With the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, universities and research institutions in Germany are given the opportunity to host researchers at risk for 24 months within the framework of a full scholarship or an employment contract. In addition, there is the possibility of a one-year extension within the framework of a co-financing model.

This initiative is financed by the Federal Foreign Office, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Stifterverband and the Mercator Foundation.

Bielefeld University has successfully applied as a host department with a support concept so that new applications can be based on an existing central support concept.

The application deadline is February 16th, 2024. The application is submitted by the International Office. (Contact: Monika Bokermann,
The selection results will be announced around the end of May 2024. The expected start of funding is July 2024.

Requirements for an application are:

  • Research project and acceptance by a professor at Bielefeld University.
  • The researcher must have a doctorate/Phd studies or a comparable university degree and, in principle, must not have been outside the home country for more than five years at the time of application. "Bildungsinländer" or staff, people with dual citizenship are excluded.
  • A residence status in the context of an asylum procedure within the EU showing a recognised vulnerability, or credible third-party evidence of vulnerability no more than 12 months prior to the application deadline, e.g. documentation by the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) or the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA). If endangerment is to be proven through Scholars at Risk, the application must be submitted to Scholars at Risk/CARA as early as possible.

If you have any questions about the application, please contact the Welcome Center:

Further information can be found on pages of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

back to top