The promotion of young talent has been one of the founding principles of the FES.
At the time when Friedrich Ebert was elected as the first president of the Weimar Republic, it was almost impossible for talented children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to study at universities or take part in research programmes. With the foundation of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in 1925, the first scholarships were awarded to particularly talented young individuals from a working class milieu who were taking an active part in the young democracy of the Weimar Republic.
To address social disadvantages by supporting students who actively work for freedom, justice and social cohesion in their commitment to social democracy, or will do so in future, continues to be one of the aims of the FES.
For the FES, service to the common good deserves recognition. It is therefore not only the applicants' academic achievement but their social and political involvement and personal attitudes that play an important part in the selection process.
The FES also supports foreign applicants who are already studying, or doing their postgraduate studies, in Germany at the time of application. Up to 40 students from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe may qualify for the scholarship programme every year with the exception of those who are already receiving some support from public sources.