Frequently Asked Questions
What's the application deadline for the Fellowship programme 2019/2020?
The online application portal will close Sunday, 22 September 2019.
When will I get informed, whether I was selected as a Fellow?
We will get back to every candidate by the end of October. In case of a positive reply, we will provide our future Fellows with a detailled onboarding and an invitation to our Kick-Off Summit.
When does the programme officially start?
The research year starts with the official Kick-Off Summit on Thursday, 14 November 2019. By then, the grant agreements should be signed and the research projects specified. Also mentoring and hosting institution should be defined, just so you can start your research immediately, inspired by the discussions of the Summit.
Do I have to attend the Kick-Off Summit?
Yes. You will receive a special invitation for the Summit with your grant agreement. The Summit will provide you with the first opportunity to meet the other Fellows, to engage with European descision-makers and to discuss relevant topics and questions of your research project. The day will end with a festive fellowship award ceremony, in the presence of the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Are Think Tanks or Institutes egliable to apply?
We can not support Institutions, Associations, NGO's or Think Tanks, though our Fellowship is addressed at their employees, junior researchers, research assistants, founders or volunteers. The organisation can thereby be named as the hosting institution for the Fellowship programme.
Do I need a hosting institution?
We strongly recommend to conduct the research project in cooperation with a scientific or political institution, though it is not compulsory for your application.
Do I need to propose a mentor during my application?
If you wish to propose a specific person that already knows your research project, or from who you think could help you a lot by supervising your research, you are welcome to do so. In other cases, we might recommend you a scientific mentor to ensure that you will receive professional feedback on a regular base. Your scientific mentor might be chosen by your hosting institution, though you're free to choose a mentor from an other institution or university.
Which documents should I attach as 'certificates and references'?
Labelled as “Supporting documents” this section will give you the possibility to attach letters of recommendation, previous awards or validations of your experience in the specific research field, which would be a beneficial addition to your general application documents. While the main selection criteria will focus on your previous experiences and the quality of the research proposal, as well as on the academic relevance of your proposed research question, you can use this section to add aspects that you think should also be considered during the selection procedure. It is not compulsory to attach your academic diplomas yet, though they will be requested in case of your selection as a Fellow.
Which information should be stated within the Cover Letter and which information should be stated in the Research Proposal?
The Cover Letter is a formal document, which can be attached to your application in order to introduce yourself and your motivation to apply for this specific programme. The research proposal, indeed, should focus on your research question, your timeframe, your milestones and your plan to implement your research project, which will leave no space for an individual presentation of yourself. Generally, your application should be conclusive and all documents together should picture a clear presentation of who you are and what you would like to achieve.
Do I need a language certificate?
A language certificate is not compulsory for your application. However, english language skills will be indispensable for this programme. Therefore, we will assess your language skills based on the quality of your proposal.
Is the Fellowship programme open to all citizenships?
Yes. Everyone who's under the age of 35 and who's holding a Masters degree is eligable to apply - independent of your citizenship or place of residence.
I am 35 at the time of my application. Am I still eligable to apply?
While the programme is directed at young academics and junior researchers, we set the limit up to 35, though the main selection criteria remains the quality and the relevance of the research proposal, as well as your previous career path. In this sense, individual decisions would have to be made in case you wouldn't meet the critieria of being under the age of 35 by the start of the programme.