Application


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Please collate your CV, letter of motivation and research proposal in one file for upload!

IASS Fellow Programme Call for Applications for 2020

The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) is an international, inter- and transdisciplinary research institute located in Potsdam. It is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal State of Brandenburg. The main purpose of the institute is to conduct scientific research on global sustainability, particularly in the following six areas:


For the 2020 intake of fellows, the IASS is calling for applications related to its six main research areas.

Each year, about 35 individuals from around the world are invited to join the institute as fellows for up to one year or longer. During their stay, fellows work with each other and with IASS researchers, providing expertise, inspiration, and creative input. In return, the IASS offers fellows the opportunity to develop their ideas within an international community of eminent researchers, not only within the institute, but also in the wider Potsdam-Berlin area. Consistent with the institute’s transdisciplinary approach to research, fellows are also encouraged to interact with actors from politics, the business sector and civil society and contribute to the public debate on sustainability.

Applications should be related to one or ideally more research areas. We particularly welcome proposals that envisage active collaboration with IASS researchers and aim to achieve joint outputs with one or more of the institute’s research groups. With this in mind, applicants are encouraged to contact researchers at the IASS while developing their proposal. At the same time, we also welcome applications for stand-alone or cross-cutting projects. Please visit our website to get an overview of our research: https://www.iass-potsdam.de/en/research.

Fellowships are open to individuals at all career stages and may be combined with sabbaticals. The IASS strongly encourages applications from people from science, public administration, the private sector, civil society, media or the arts with strong interest in sustainability and societal transformations.

Applicants from the scientific community are expected to have a PhD or similar level of experience. For those from outside academia, several years’ experience in a given field is a requirement.

Fellows will receive a financial compensation intended to cover their additional living costs during their stay in Germany. The exact amount is dependent on the particular situation of the successful applicant (e.g. whether they are on paid or unpaid leave) and will be decided on an individual basis. On request, the IASS can also provide limited resources to cover travel expenses, publication fees, support for organizing workshops, production costs for artistic work, etc.

Fellowships usually last from three to twelve months, but can be extended for up to two years under certain circumstances. Fellows are expected to be physically present at the IASS during their stay and actively contribute to the work of the institute, for example by holding seminars and participating in other IASS activities. The intended start date is early 2020. Interruptions or home visits, e.g. for important events, are possible during the fellowships.

The application deadline is 14 July 2019. Applications will undergo a formal review process organised by the Fellow Unit. It includes an internal review by the relevant research group leaders. The top 20 to 25 per cent will then be passed on for an external review. The final decision will be made by the Board of Directors in late summer or early autumn 2019. Here and elsewhere, the IASS strives for diversity in terms of geographic background and gender balance.

For your application, we require the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation and your current CV. Be sure to mention any prior experience at the interface of science and another sector of society (such as politics, business, the arts, media, etc.).
  • A proposal outlining the activities you plan to conduct. The proposal should be no longer than five pages (excluding references) and should be structured as follows:
  1. Title
  2. Abstract (max. 300 words)
  3. Key words (max. 10)
  4. Description of activities
  5. Details of how these activities will contribute to the work of the IASS
  6. Resource needs (in terms of both funding and infrastructure)
  7. Timeline (intended start and end of fellowship)
  8. Finally, please select a maximum of three research areas where you would like to become involved during your time at the IASS.

All documents must be submitted in English.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the IASS Fellow Unit at fellowship@iass-potsdam.de.