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Logo of the Cusanuswerk
Logo of the Cusanuswerk
Overall responsibility as chairman of the Cusanuswerk e. V.
Ekkehart Reimer
Georg Braungart
Secretary General
Thomas Scheidtweiler
Spiritual rector
Clemens Blattert SJ
Board of Directors of the Scholarship Holders
Sebastian Faller, Marius Kulassek, Sandra Perino
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation
Wim Kösters
Basic data
Founding year: 1956
Scholarship holders: approx. 2000 (as of 2018)
Office website:
Website of the scholarship holders

and scholarship holders:

The Cusanuswerk is one of the thirteen gifted support organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany . It is based in Bonn .


The Cusanuswerk was founded in 1956 as a registered association by the German Bishops' Conference and is the organization for the promotion of talented students of the Catholic Church in Germany. With state, church and private donations, the Cusanuswerk has already supported around 10,000 outstandingly talented Catholic students and doctoral candidates - financially and ideally. Patron saint is the polymath Nikolaus von Kues (1401 - 1464).

The Cusanuswerk has been financially supported by the Cusanuswerk Foundation for the Promotion of Talented Students since 2002. The Cusanuswerk has been headed by Georg Braungart since October 2011 . Auxiliary Bishop Christoph Hegge , Münster, has been the representative of the German Bishops' Conference for the Cusanuswerk since 2013.

Application and funding

The Cusanuswerk awards state funding to exceptionally talented Catholic students and doctoral candidates from all disciplines.


As a rule, applicants are recommended by their school, a university lecturer or former scholarship holders for inclusion in the grant. Self-application is possible on an equal footing. The selection takes place in a multi-stage selection process. Three aspects are taken into account in the selection process - professional performance, volunteer work and active membership in the Catholic Church. Admission to the Cusanuswerk is possible at the beginning of the first semester at the university, technical college, art academy or music college. Applicants for study grants must have five semesters of standard study time or, alternatively, an entire master’s course ahead of them at the time of application. Alternatively, the promotion of a doctorate is also possible regardless of previous membership in the Cusanuswerk.

Financial support

The financial support is based on the guidelines set by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research . In the study grant, the financial support consists of the "lump sum for study costs" and a monthly grant. Similar to BAföG (Federal Training Assistance Act ), the calculation of the scholarship is based on the income and assets of the scholarship holder, the parents and, if applicable, the spouse. In the case of doctoral funding, on the other hand, the scholarship holders are funded regardless of their parents' income. In addition, family allowances and childcare allowances can be applied for. For candidates may in studies abroad expatriation allowances granted and travel expenses and tuition fees to be replaced.

Non-material support

The funding includes not only financial support, but also regular educational events, a spiritual program and an annual conference.

During their studies, the scholarship holders form their own groups in the university locations and have liaison lecturers there as contact persons. Particular emphasis is placed on social engagement and on gaining international experience. Twice a year the speakers of the university groups meet at the Cusanus Conference.

As part of the artist promotion, the Cusanuswerk organizes an annual selection exhibition with works by the applicants. Another special feature of the artist sponsorship is the awarding of the Georg Meistermann scholarship to graduates.

The Cusanuswerk also offers a career advancement program for scholarship holders from all thirteen gifted student organizations. As part of the “Securing Talents - Shaping the Future” program, talented young women act as mentees and establish relationships with executives who advise and support the professional development of the junior staff over a period of 18 months. In the seminars accompanying the program, the special requirements for management tasks and the associated professional and private challenges are trained and reflected upon.

After receiving funding, former scholarship holders can participate as "Altcusaner" in various program items such as the student council meetings of the Cusanuswerk; they are represented in the elected Altcusanerrat and form a large network.

Cusanushaus Mehlem

In March 2012, the Cusanushaus in Bonn-Mehlem was opened on the initiative of the Spiritual Rector Siegfried Kleymann. In this spiritual study house, "Ora et labora" weeks are regularly offered: Scholarship holders can withdraw there for an undisturbed study time. The structured schedule, the joint study in a work room and the lack of external distractions can promote concentrated work on the respective study project. The spiritual setting (morning prayer, evening service) helps to recognize the importance of work as a current life task and at the same time enables a distance from work. In addition, the house is available to all scholarship holders for a longer period of study, e.g. for a period of one to four weeks. This gives a larger number of students and doctoral candidates the opportunity to "study and pray".

Well-known former Cusanuss scholars (so-called Altcusaner)


  • Hermann Breulmann , Wolfgang Frühwald , Annette Schavan (eds.): Talent as a challenge . Paderborn, Munich, Vienna Zurich 1991.
  • Unifying diversity. 40 years of Cusanuswerk . Editor: Claudia Lücking-Michel, Cologne 1996
  • Cusanuswerk (Ed.): 50 years of the Cusanuswerk. Episcopal scholarship. Believe. Knowledge. Design 1956–2006 , Bonn 2006.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Association. Retrieved June 10, 2020 .
  7. Annual Report 2018, p. 6. [1] (PDF)
  9. Further information. Retrieved June 10, 2020 .
  11. ^ Episcopal scholarship
  12. Cusanuswerk selection process:
  13. Funding for doctoral candidates. Retrieved June 10, 2020 .
  14. Federal Ministry for Education and Research for Talented Students:
  15. Funding in the Cusanuswerk:
  16. Program and events of the Cusanuswerk:
  17. Career advancement for women. Retrieved June 10, 2020 .
  18. Pages of the Altcusaner:
  19. Cusanushaus Mehlem was opened. Cusanuswerk, March 30, 2012, accessed on August 18, 2020 .
  20. Home. Retrieved June 10, 2020 .
  21. Catholic and gifted - this is where the students of the Cusanuswerk learn. Retrieved June 10, 2020 .