Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) scholarship program

Sur-place scholarship program in Ethiopia Local scholarship for post-graduate students in Ethiopia with excellent performance in academic studies and society

What is the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) sur-place scholarship?

The KAS sur-place scholarship is a local scholarship offered by the KAS Office Ethiopia/AU in the form of financial support to Ethiopians who are enrolled in and are pursuing post-graduate studies in universities in Ethiopia and who show excellence in their academic performance and in society. The phrase “sur-place” is French and means “on site” and the scholarship is named as such to signify that it is a scholarship offered to students on site where they are studying, in this case Ethiopia. Find out more information below. We especially encourage women and persons with disabilities to apply. The scholarship is offered once a year. The application phase for the new scholarship year usually starts in September.


Who is eligible?

In general, there is no age limit and all academic disciplines are eligible to apply. However, the scholarships are primarily intended for young Ethiopians who have finished their Bachelor’s degree and who are entering or are already enrolled into a Master’s program in an Ethiopian university, or to those who are at the start of their professional careers in Ethiopia and wish to take a course to specialize their skills. It should be noted that students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree, a PhD, or studies abroad are not supported by this scholarship. This scholarship only supports Ethiopian students conducting a Master’s program in Ethiopia. It is important to note that the scholarship program is only open to Ethiopians who are pursuing studies or projects in Ethiopia (“sur place”) and who share and champion KAS’ values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Social Market Economy, and Human Rights.

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Who is Konrad Adenauer and what does the Konrad Adenauer Foundation do?

Founded in 1955, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (or Konrad Adenauer Foundation) is a German, publicly-funded political foundation close to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany. The CDU is the political party of five Chancellors since 1949. It is rooted in Christian conservative values, the ideas of European integration, and strongly believes in the transatlantic partnership. The foundation is named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, who opposed the Nazi regime and used to be the Mayor of Cologne. During his 14 years as Chancellor, he was responsible for rebuilding Germany after the Second World War. Political foundations were founded in Germany in the 1950s to educate Germans in democracy and the functioning of a democratic society. In the 1960s, the German government extended their mandate to contribute to democratic development abroad through civic education. Today, there are six political foundations in Germany with different political ideals and values. KAS is among the biggest. It has one of the largest alumni networks in Germany and in more than 120 countries worldwide. It is also among the leading global think tanks in international relations. Every year, besides offering workshops, seminars, and conferences in Germany and abroad, KAS fosters exchanges between political stakeholders and experts from Germany and its partner countries. In Ethiopia, KAS was registered as a Civil Society Organization (CSO) in 2019 under the new CSO proclamation.


When is the application period for the next round of scholarships in Ethiopia?

The application period for the scholarship year that starts at the beginning of 2023 will open on September 1, 2022. The deadline to submit applications is September 30, 2022.  The selection process including contacting shortlisted candidates, assessing them through a written test and an interview, will take place in November. The candidates that are selected will be notified in December.


What types of sur-place scholarships does the KAS Office Ethiopia/AU offer?

There are two categories of scholarships. The “monthly academic scholarship” and the “training grant”.


The “monthly academic scholarship” supports students in Ethiopia who have finished their Bachelor’s degree and who are currently enrolled in a Master’s program or are about to enroll into a Master’s program. This scholarship consists of a monthly stipend of 70 Euro. It is not a full scholarship, but an encouragement for and a recognition of excellent performance in academic studies and society.


The “training grant” is a one-time financial support and is intended for young Ethiopian professionals who have finished their postgraduate studies (either a Master’s or a PhD) and who want to cover the cost/tuition to take a short training course in Ethiopia to specialize and develop their professional skills, for example by taking an IT course or a project management course or a course on another more focused topic in their respective discipline. Applicants for the grant are required to identify a course they want to attend and must mention it in their application. In their application, they must provide a 2-3 page long detailed proposal that introduces the topic, length, and cost of the course they identified, the institution offering it, as well as how they intend to make use of the course for their professional development. Applications with insufficient information on these elements will not be considered.


The training grant is not meant to cover tuition for full-fledged master’s programs. The amount of the grant will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


What is the length of the scholarship program?

The length of the “monthly academic scholarship” is one year. Depending on the scholarship recipient’s performance in the first year, the scholarship is renewable once if the master’s program extends into the following year. The “training grant” is a one-time grant and covers a training program that can take a maximum of one year.


What awaits a scholarship holder during a scholarship year?

The KAS sur-place scholarship program offers more than financial support. The KAS Office Ethiopia/AU endeavors to support scholarship holders in their academic pursuits and in advancing their careers.  Scholarship holders are part of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which today has one of the largest alumni networks in Germany and in more than 120 countries. They will be given access to KAS workshops, conferences, discussion fora, and many other resources KAS offers. You will learn, i.e., about German and European history, discuss international relations, questions of development, and peace and security in Africa and Ethiopia.


Does the “sur-place program” support studies abroad?

No. The KAS Office Ethiopia/AU can only support scholarship recipients pursuing studies or training in Ethiopia (“sur-place”). The scholarship program does not support students pursuing master’s studies or further training abroad.


What are the selection criteria for both scholarships?

The KAS sur-place scholarships in Ethiopia support young people who demonstrate excellence in their academic studies and in society. To be a successful recipient of the “monthly academic scholarship”, applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in their Bachelor’s degree (in every year of the Bachelor!). Students applying for the “training grant” must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in their Master’s/ or (if applicable) summa cum laude in their PhD. In general, it is a very competitive program. On top of that, we seek students who not only excel in their studies, but who are highly involved in civic engagement as we fundamentally believe that countries can only grow if everyone contributes to the community.


What constitutes “civic engagement” for the purposes of the scholarship?

KAS does not only seek out excellent students, but also young women and men who are already involved at a young age in civic engagement in their respective communities. We want to support young people who are dedicated to working for and with the society they came out of. The application must therefore provide evidence of this. There is a wide array of activities that KAS considers to be civic engagement, whether it be membership or collaboration in a political party, a professional or youth association, a church, a sports club, in your university or in your neighborhood. Being a political foundation, we particularly look for people with a political interest, an understanding of the importance of multiparty democracy, the Rule of Law, Social Market Economy, Human Rights, and the world today.


And if I only have a GPA of 3.4, can I still apply?

Yes, you can. As described above, there are additional criteria important for KAS besides good grades.


Can I apply if I already receive another scholarship for the same master’s program?

Students receiving a scholarship for their studies by the Ethiopian Government or another institution including the university offering the master’s program are also eligible. In this case, however, they are not eligible for financial support, but can be part of the KAS network and the mentoring and education opportunities provided by KAS during the scholarship year.


How does the selection procedure work?

The selection procedure has two stages. The first stage is the pre-selection and shortlisting of the best candidates on the basis of their application documents (grades, levels of civic engagement, etc.). On the basis of that, KAS will invite the best candidates to the second stage, the selection weekend.

The second stage is the selection of scholarship holders during a weekend which takes place towards the end of the year in Addis Ababa. The weekend consists of a written test which assesses the candidates’ general knowledge of history, politics, national and international news, and of global issues. After the written test, each candidate must present themselves for a 45-minute long interview before an interview panel. While there is no predetermined number of scholarship holders that will be selected every year, the badge of 2022 and 2023 comprised a total of 20 and 15 recipients respectively.


What will be in the focus of the written test?

KAS is seeking out the most knowledgeable and well-rounded candidates and thus expects candidates to be interested in politics and current affairs, that they have a solid knowledge of the history of Ethiopia and the world, economics, science and literature, and that they are  familiar with the history and politics of Germany and Europe.


What application documents do I have to submit?

Please note that we will only consider applicants who submit their documents correctly and complete. For this, please carefully read the following information about the necessary application documents:


a) For the “monthly academic scholarship”

Letter of motivation

Updated curriculum vitae

2 letters of recommendation (by academic advisor and/or employer)

A copy of Bachelor’s Degree Certificate

Copies of all transcripts of records during your Bachelor’s studies (of each year)

And (if applicable, if you have already started a master’s program) all the transcripts in your Master’s studies so far;



All transcripts must show your GPA

If you have not received your Bachelor’s Degree Certificate yet, you can still apply. However, by the time of admission to the scholarship program, you must present your diploma copy of your Bachler’s Degree Certificate which needs to meet the grade requirements above.


b) For the “training grant”

Letter of motivation

In addition to the letter of motivation, a 2-3 pages long detailed proposal that introduces the topic, duration, and cost of training course the applicants intends to take; the institution offering it; as well as how the candidate intends to make use of the course for his professional development. Applications with insufficient information on these elements will not be considered.

Updated curriculum vitae

2 letters of recommendation (by academic advisor and/or employer)

Copy of Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Certificates, and (if applicable) your PhD Certificate;

Copies of all transcripts of records during your Bachelor’s and MA studies (of each year)

all documents must show your GPA. If the degree certificates do not indicate GPA, then copies of transcripts indicating GPAs for each year must be submitted.


How to write a strong letter of motivation?

Successful candidates pay special attention to writing a strong letter of motivation. A strong letter of motivation shows your personality, your motivation for pursuing your career goals, and it gives an impression of your civic engagement. Applicants to the “training grant” should also clearly express the kind of training for which they seek support.

How T o Apply??

Correct submission of application documents:

We only accept applications sent to us by e-mail. Your application must be sent to us in one single e-mail and with one single merged/combined pdf document attachment that does not exceed 5MB. We do not accept applications sent in several e-mails or e-mails with multiple attachments, or applications sent to us by physical mail. Please send your application in English by e-mail no later than September 30, 2023 to the following address: scholarships.ethiopia@kas.de.


Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we will only be able to notify candidates who are shortlisted and invited to the selection weekend.

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