Notfall-Fonds (Emergency Fund)


The Notfall-Fonds (Emergency Fund) is a special funding project by the DAAD-Stiftung. Generally all students can apply for support in an exceptional unexpected emergency situation.

The Notfall-Fonds is based on donations. Every contribution counts.

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Before considering an application, please, take note of the following:

NO FUNDING POSSIBLE (especially) in the following cases:

We are aware that many students and researchers might find themselves in a precarious (financial) situation due to the circumstances of the Corona pandemic.

Unfortunately the DAAD-Stiftung will not be able to offer support in all these cases. Hope must lie with predominantly superior administrations finding a universal solution.

Therefore the consequences of the coronavirus (such as loss of student job) cannot be considered a viable selection criteria in the context of the emergency funds.

Corona help by BMBF
Students who experience an emergency due to Corona pandemic and need immediate help can apply for an Überbrückungshilfe (non-repayable grant) at Studentenwerk.
Please visit the website of KfW-Bank where students can appy for a bridging loan.
This support is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Continuous funding
The Emergency Fund does not grant scholarships, nor any other related kind of long-term support.

The mere fact that a student is not being awarded BAföG or other public funding is not sufficient in itself to represent a hardship for the purpose of the DAAD-Stiftung's Emergency fund.

Settling of debt
The accumulation of debt over a recent period is not considered an acute emergency as such.

Also NOT covered

  • Lack of money per se
  • Payment difficulties due to insufficient planning of the study project
  • Court costs, penalties, fines
  • Nonessential costs

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...  an unexpected stroke of fate or a sudden damaging event occurs which threatens the ability to continue one's studies/research. The situation should not be caused by one's own making and all other resources (e.g. scholarships, financial aid by the university, assistance from family/friends, student jobs, other personal options to receive support, student loans, alternative solutions) must be exhausted.

Examples (list not exhaustive)

  • Costs related to loss of essential study equipment due to fire, theft or natural disaster
  • Travel expenses associated with death or fatall illness of a family member
  • Emergency medical care proven to not be covered by the insurance
  • Other financial needs arising from special individual circumstances
    (case-by-case decision on the basis of the criteria listed below)
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General criteria for receiving support in special cases of emergency

Selection criteria

  • Serious acute case of emergency
  • Unpredictability
  • Difficulties arising through no fault of one’s own
  • General inability to procure financing through DAAD funding programmes, public funding or other third-party financing (e.g. emergency funds offered by the respective university or city). All other resources must be exhausted.
  • Objective verifiability

Funding criteria

  • One-time funding measure
  • Minimum funding amount (generally): € 1,000
  • Maximum funding amount: € 10,000
  • All documents required for the selection process must be submitted no later than the date of application (in very rare cases date of funding decision).

The responsibility for funding decisions generally lies with the Foundation Board.

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In case you are not sure if you meet the criteria and have further questions regarding your eligibility we would be happy to provide you with further information. Before putting time and effort into submitting an application, please contact us via phone or email.

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In order for the administrative office to present the board of the DAAD-Stiftung with all the information they need for a decision we need the following documents:

  • signed cover note with detailed description of the acute emergency situation
    (with referral to the selection criteria)
    For every reason explaining the emergency situation a verifying document shall be attached!
  • particular reasons regarding the requested (one-off) amount
    which is being applied for to cope with the current hardship
    (incl. list of regular monthly expenses)
  • gapless tabular resume
  • certificate of studies / graduation(s)
    (incl. subject, number of semesters/terms and over view of marks)
  • copy of passport or comparable document
  • where applicable: copy of residence permit and official registration of address
  • if applicable: medical certificates or e.g. hospital invoice etc.
    (this also applies to family members if the application is based on their state of health)
  • copies of proof on the financial situation during the past three months
    (account statement)
  • where applicable: proof on the granting or denial of BAföG
  • proof on unsuccessful efforts regarding other funding opportunities and/or proof of applicant's efforts to personallly contribute to resolving the (financial) situation

The documents must be complete and should be complemented by further papers if relevant for proving the emergency situation. Whenever possible, they should be one-pagers only (except official documents, e.g. study certificate). A structured statement and a schematic presentation of the situation is preferred over running texts. For those documents that are not in German, English, French or Spanish an informal translation needs to be provided. The preferrd file format ist pdf, generally we ask for current file formats (e.g. docx). Incomplete applications may be rejected on formal grounds.

Adress for applications:
Kennedyallee 50
53175 Bonn

The papers may be submitted via mail or e-mail.
In case of submission by e-mail files in docx, pdf or jpg fomat can be attached. Please use self-explanatory file names.

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Support for refugees
Due to recent events, the DAAD-Stiftung has intensified its efforts to support young people who have fled from their home countries and wish to study in Germany. The DAAD-Stiftung is committed to helping talented student and reseachers who find themselves faced with unexpected hardship in overcoming this situation and being able to succeed in their studies. This mainly relates to propaedeutic measures (e.g. preparatory language classes).


View the first call for donations, announced by the former chairwoman of the Foundation Board of the DAAD-Stiftung in LETTER, the DAAD alumni magazine, in August 2015.