Home | Sitemap | Imprint | Privacy Statement | Deutsch
Economy and Education

3.2.03 International scholarship programme – imparting knowledge and cultivating contacts

The BMBF scholarship programme “International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies” (IPSWaT) represents the direct implementation of a recommendation made in the “Action Concept: Sustainable and Competitive German Water Industry” from 2000. The aim of the programme is to support highly qualified young scientists, promote the international transfer of knowledge and cultivate longterm contacts in the fields of science, water management and development co-operation.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the IPSWaT programme in 2001 as a means of providing highly qualified students and budding scientists from Germany and abroad with scholarships for international, English-language Masters courses and Ph.D degrees at German universities. In the context of capacity building, the granting of these scholarships is to promote the international transfer of knowledge and technology in the field of water management and support future decision-makers in developing and emerging countries in particular. The programme is also to lay the foundations for future co-operation.

Scholarships are available for Masters courses (M.Sc.) and Ph.D degrees. Around 35 M.Sc. and Ph.D. scholarships are awarded in two annual selection rounds. Candidate applications should ideally refer to a specific problem in their home country or region and include a methodical solution approach. The relevant issue should be studied in the context of a bi- or multi-lateral research project. The selection panel is particularly interested in applicants intending to research areas of integrated, sustainable water management including aspects of economic value creation. Depending on the desired scholarship, applicants must have acquired a Bachelors or Masters degree. The scholarship will allow Masters students to participate in one of 20 accredited German degree programmes for a period of two years. Ph.D degrees are funded for a period of three years and can be completed at any German university.

Numerous universities and technical colleges have been accredited for the IPSWaT programme (source: IPSWaT brochure)

Applications assessed by experts

An expert panel meets twice a year (April and November) to assess received applications. Once the successful applicants have been selected by this external, independent committee, the relevant universities are notified of the results by the International Bureau of the BMBF. Candidates are selected first and foremost on the basis of their outstanding academic qualification. Other selection criteria include:

  • Potential to be included in bilateral or multilateral cooperation in science, industry or development policy
  • Practical relevance and transferability of the planned research work
  • Institutional links to countries of origin and/or partner countries
  • Relevance of the research project to integrated water resource management

Scope of scholarship

In addition to the monthly stipend (and family allowance, where applicable), the following will be paid to IPSWaT scholarship holders: travel allowance for one return journey to the place of study, a German language course at the start of the scholarship, health, accident and liability insurance for the duration of study, tuition fees for the first semester, maintenance grants for research visits abroad, a one-off start-up payment and a monthly bonus in the form of a research grant. During the study programme, the scholarship will also cover attendance of any relevant international conferences, training courses and trade fairs, field studies abroad as well as placements of up to three months at a German water technology company or water supplier. The following are not covered: Insurance and travel costs for family members as well as multiple journeys to and from the place of study.

A group of students at the IPSWaT scholarship meeting in Leipzig, July 2010

A group of students at the IPSWaT scholarship meeting in Leipzig, July 2010
A group of students at the IPSWaT scholarship meeting in Leipzig, July 2010

Creation of networks

A poster session at the IPSWaT scholarship meeting in Stuttgart, July 2009

EA poster session at the IPSWaT scholarship meeting in Stuttgart, July 2009
A poster session at the IPSWaT scholarship meeting in Stuttgart, July 2009

Since the programme was launched, the BMBF has funded over 350 students from 60 different countries. A central aspect of the IPSWaT is the creation of networks both among current and former students as well as with German partner organisations from the fields of water management, research and development co-operation (e.g. with the BMBF programmes IWRM and IWAS or the institutions DAAD, DED, GIZ, InWEnt, KfW). The annual scholarship meetings have proved to be a successful platform for internal and external networking. At these events, students can discuss their research work with one another and also have the opportunity to meet relevant stakeholders from German water institutions representing the worlds of business, science and development co-operation.

The programme is currently scheduled to run until the end of 2014.

Project website www.internationales-buero.de/en/789.php

International Bureau of the BMBF
German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies (IPSWaT)

Cornelia Parisius
Heinrich-Konen-Straße 1
53227 Bonn, Germany
Tel.: +49(0)2 28/38 21-4 22
Fax: +49(0)2 28/38 21-4 44
E-mail: cornelia.parisius@dlr.de
Ressource Wasser
Quick view
Project website