DAAD-SEARCA Scholarship Programme

DAAD's partnership with SEARCA started in school year 1975-1976 through a support to the Center's graduate scholarship program leading to Masters and PhD degrees in agriculture. The first 15 beneficiaries of the DAAD support were graduate students from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Ten scholarship recipients pursued their Master's degree, while five pursued their PhD.

As of Academic Year 2023/2024, DAAD and SEARCA have awarded 419 Southeast Asian nationals from Cambodia (19), Indonesia (91), Lao PDR (10), Malaysia (15), Myanmar (30), Philippines (100), Thailand (82), Timor Leste (26), and Vietnam (46). Among the 419 scholarships, 206 pursued their MS, 208 pursued PhD, and 5 enrolled for Non-degree.

DAAD In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme

In 2018, the DAAD In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme was offered to foster strong and internationally oriented higher education systems with the capacity to contribute to sustainable development. Scholarships are granted for development-related Master or Doctoral studies of individuals who plan to pursue a career in teaching and/or research at a higher education institution in their home region or in their home country.

By training future academic professionals and leaders, the DAAD In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme contributes to the following long-term impacts:

  • Qualified professionals' involvement in solving development-related problems
  • Graduates strengthening education and research in Southeast Asia
  • Structural strengthening and regional networking of partner institutions and universities

To achieve these long-term impacts, the following outcomes have been formulated as programme objectives:

Programme objective 1: Graduates are qualified to take on responsible positions in or for their region of origin
Programme objective 2: The participation of women and underprivileged groups is reinforced
Programme objective 3: Organizational, financial, and personal capacities of partner institutions are strengthened


  • Open to nationals of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Timor Leste, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Must be (a) staff member of a public university, (b) or a candidate considered for teaching or research staff recruitment, (c) or from the public sector
  • Must not be more than 35 (Master's Degree) or 40 (PhD) years of age at the time of application.
  • Have completed their last university degree not more than 6 years ago at the time of application.
  • Proposed thesis research should focus on SEARCA's overarching theme of Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN). Moreover, priority research topics must fall within the ATTAIN priority areas:
    • Agri-Business Models for Increased Productivity and Income
    • Sustainable Farming Systems and Natural Resource Management
    • Food and Nutrition Security
    • Transformational Leadership for Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD)
    • Gender and Youth Engagement in ARD
    • Enhanced ARD towards Climate Resilience
    • EcoHealth/One Health Applications to ARD

Scholarship Benefits

Covers tuition and other school fees; study and research allowance; printing allowance; stipend for food, lodging and incidental expenses; travel allowance (In-Region only); and insurance.

DAAD In-Country/In-Region scholarship holders are also encouraged to apply for a research grant in Germany for 2 to 6 months, at the time of application. The short-term research scholarship includes:

  • A monthly scholarship payment for living costs
  • Health/accident/personal liability insurance
  • A flat-rate travel allowance

Study Posts

Effective AY 2024-2025, any one of the following universities may serve as study posts for new master's and doctoral scholarship recipients under the DAAD In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme for the indicated major fields:

UniversityCountryMajor Field/Programme
Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB University) Indonesia
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Kasetsart University (KU) Thailand
  • Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resource Management
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Indonesia
  • Food Science / Food Science and Technology (MS only)
  • Planning and Management of Coastal Area and Watershed / Geography
University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Philippines
  • Environmental Science
  • Food Science
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Malaysia
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental System and Modeling
  • Food Science / Food Science and Technology

Application Requirements

The required documents to be submitted/uploaded should be in English:

  1. DAAD and SEARCA Application forms to be filled up online;
  2. Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if any);
  3. Duly stamped (if applicable) and signed recommendation letter by university teachers (one for MS, two for PhD);
  4. Notice of university admission or proof of application to the university;
  5. Certified true copies of diploma/certificate and transcript of academic records of each degree completed (BS diploma and TOR for MS applicants; BS and MS diploma and TORs for PhD applicants);
  6. Letter of motivation (1-2 pages for MS or 1-3 pages for PhD) with personal, social motivation as well as your reference to the studies and a Master project (for MS applicant) or PhD project (for PhD applicant);
  7. Copy of bio-page of the passport or a copy of National Identification Card;
  8. For research-based MS/PhD program: a timetable (if applicable, mentioning the planned research stay in Germany); For course-based MS/PhD program: semestral/term schedule and timetable;
  9. Brief description of the research the applicant plans to conduct for thesis/dissertation. The research topic must be in line with SEARCA's overarching theme of Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN) with the following priority areas: 
    • Agri-Business Models for Increased Productivity and Income
    • Sustainable Farming Systems and Natural Resource Management
    • Food and Nutrition Security
    • Transformational Leadership for Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD)
    • Gender and Youth Engagement in ARD
    • Enhanced ARD towards Climate Resilience
    • EcoHealth/One Health Applications to ARD
  10. Certification from a medical doctor that the applicant is in good physical and mental health condition and is fit to undertake graduate studies;
  11. Official endorsement from the employer;
  12. Result of Test of English as a Foreign Language: TOEFL iBT result (80) or IELTS result (6.0). The TOEFL results must be issued by Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Check the schedule and venue of TOEFL tests in your country at http://www.ets.org/toefl. If this is not available at the moment, a certification from the previous study post that the applicant's English proficiency is in the level of IELTS 6.0 may suffice.
  13. For PhD candidates, submit the following additional documents:
    • Declaration of acceptance from the academic supervisor or a commitment letter from the intended study post that a supervisor will be assigned
    • Detailed and precise PhD proposal (8-10 pages), including detailed work and timetable indicated with months and dates as well as information on when the last exam will take place (if applicable, mention the planned research in Germany). Concept note will not be accepted
    • Abstract of the proposal on one page (please include name and title of proposal)

Your application is only valid if you submit all the required documents to the online portal on time. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. If you do not have documents such as letter of admission at the time of application, please upload a statement in the online portal indicating the reason/s.

For further information about the In-Country/In-Region Scholarship Programme, you may check the following:

  1. Call for Scholarship Applications 2024 – Natural Resources Management
  2. Call for Scholarship Applications 2024 – Food Science

Applications must be submitted to the following portals:

SEARCA https://ischo.searcaapps.org/v2 12 January 2024
DAAD Natural Resources Management: https://bit.ly/47oGNxH
Food Science: https://bit.ly/3NPQRJ1
31 January 2024

Applications submitted through other channels or to other authorities will not be considered.

Contact Information

For inquiries, please contact:

Education and Collective Learning - Graduate Scholarship and Institutional Development (ECL-GSID)
Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
College, Los Baños, 4031 Laguna, Philippines
Tel: +63 49 554 9330 to 39; +63 49 536 2290; +63 49 572 3743; +63 2 8657 1300 to 02 local 2200 to 2203
Fax: +63 49 536 7097