20 scholarship holders begin their work in international organizations and NGOs
Fourth year of Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs begins
Essen/Bonn, 12 July 2012 – 20 new highly-qualified scholarship holders from Germany are just beginning their year at the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs. The programme aims to promote young, German-speaking employees and groom them for leadership positions in international organizations and NGOs. The Mercator Fellowship is a project jointly run by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) and Stiftung Mercator in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office, and targets university graduates with initial professional experience.
“The important work done by international organizations and institutions cannot be learnt from books”, says Professor Bernhard Lorentz, chairman of the Stiftung Mercator board of directors. “The Mercator Fellowship thus offers an excellent opportunity for young people to acquire practical experience at a variety of workplaces in preparation for a career in the international domain, and at the same time to profit from a wide range of accompanying seminars and a global network.” During the course of the 13-month programme, the fellows work in two or three international organizations or in globally active NGOs, non-profit organizations and business enterprises.
“The much higher expectations that Germany should help resolve international crises demand that Germany does more in future in terms of personnel in order to tackle the challenges. We are delighted that we can help highly committed and excellently trained young personnel to embark on an international career, thereby facing up to our international responsibility”, explains Dr Sibylle Kalmbach, deputy secretary-general of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.
The 14 female and six male fellows in the 2012/13 cohort, among them an electrical engineer and a doctor, will be addressing such fields as foreign, security and development policy, economy- and climate-related questions and health policy issues. Accompanying the programme will be seminars on international topics featuring senior guest speakers, and seminars intended to develop leadership qualities and core skills. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of 1,250 euros (1,500 euros abroad). Additional grants are also available to cover worldwide travel costs, conferences and language courses.
The third cohort of the Mercator Fellowship will end in September 2012. Alumni from previous years now work for the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), among others.
Stiftung Mercator has supported the Mercator Fellowship since 2009, providing a sum of 5.7 million euros initially to cover five years. Highly-qualified graduates with initial professional experience can apply for admission to the Mercator Fellowship from early November. The closing date for applications for the 2013/2014 cohort is 15 December 2012.
In Switzerland, the initiative is run by Stiftung Mercator Switzerland and the Swiss Study Foundation in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
The new fellows:
Katja Anger (27); planned project: The prevention of violence through peace-building educational measures in conflict-torn and post-conflict countries
Marike Blunck (29); planned project: Multi-track peace mediation as a tool for supporting participatory processes in post-conflict situations
Hannah Dönges (25); planned project: Involvement of local actors, particularly women and children, in peacekeeping
Liana Fix (24); planned project: Integrative strategies in European and transatlantic policy on Russia
Claudia Gerber (26); planned project: Promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa as a development strategy
Sarah Hasselbarth (27); planned project: Overcoming the Syrian refugee crisis: the examples of Lebanon and Jordan
Sebastian Haug (25); planned project: China as a "formative power" - "governance" between internal and external development processes
Sarah Hügler (28); planned project: Beyond 2015 – the prospects of global development targets
Julia Ismar (27); planned project: Possibilities for conflict-sensitive water supply in sub-Saharan Africa
Alexander Maletz (25); planned project: Promotion of social entrepreneurs as a sustainable form of development cooperation
Steffen Müller (30); planned project: Qualification of skilled labour in North Africa as the basis for a sustainable energy revolution
Severin Pinilla (27); planned project: Comparison of international strategies for the prevention of non-communicable diseases
Leana Podeszfa (25); planned project: Establishment of a network to protect the human rights of rejected asylum-seekers following deportation
Marcia Cathérine Schenck (26); planned project: Development rather than brain drain – sustainable global work migration management
Christel Scheske (24); planned project: Marine protection and development policy: an integrated approach
Tim Morris Schmidt (25); planned project: Implementing the "responsibility to protect"
Mira Schneiders (24); planned project: How can empirical research help design effective and sustainable health projects in the field of HIV prevention?
Simone Stelten (26); planned project: The future viability of the European labour market in the context of the skilled labour shortage
Christoph Vogel (26); planned project: (Semi-)integrated peace mission of the United Nations
Johanna Wehkamp (24); planned project: REDD+ as an element of a sustainable market economy
About Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes:
With around 11,000 scholars, the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) is the largest and oldest organization sponsoring the academically gifted in Germany. It is non-political and non-denominational. The Studienstiftung promotes future excellence in the areas of science, business, public administration, and the arts. Through its sponsorship programme, it promotes academic consolidation, interdisciplinary dialogue, a cosmopolitan world view and international experience. The Studienstiftung is financially supported and subsidized by the Federal Government of Germany, the German Federal States and local authorities as well as by a large number of private donors. The German National Academic Foundation was founded in Dresden in 1925, dissolved in 1934 and re-founded as a registered association in Cologne in 1948. During its existence, it has sponsored more than 50,000 exceptionally gifted students and doctoral candidates. Each year, more than 2,500 new scholars join the Foundation.
About Stiftung Mercator:
Stiftung Mercator is one of Germany’s largest foundations. It initiates and funds projects that promote better educational opportunities in schools and universities. In the spirit of Gerhard Mercator, it supports initiatives that embody the idea of open-mindedness and tolerance through intercultural encounters, encouraging the sharing of knowledge and culture. The foundation provides a platform for new ideas to enable people – regardless of their national, cultural or social background – to develop their personality, become involved in society and make the most of the opportunities available to them. In this sense it is committed to inspiring ideas. Stiftung Mercator takes an entrepreneurial, international and professional approach to its work. It has a particular affinity with the Ruhr area, the home of its founding family.
If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Tel.: +49 201 245 22-840
E-Mail: christine.ehrig (at) stiftung-mercator.de
Dr. Jörn Weingärtner
Press and public relations
Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Tel.: +49 228 820 96-336
E-Mail: weingaertner (at) studienstiftung.de