20 young Germans spend a year working in international organizations and NGOs
Third year of Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs begins
Essen/Bonn, 21.07.2011 – 20 new scholarship holders from Germany – among them outstanding university graduates from all over the country – are just beginning their year at the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs. In the autumn, they will start working in international organizations. The Mercator Fellowship aims to promote young, German-speaking employees and groom them for leadership positions in international organizations and NGOs. The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs 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.
“Through the Mercator Fellowship, Stiftung Mercator prepares tomorrow’s young “globalists” for the major international challenges of our time”, explains Dr Bernhard Lorentz, president of Stiftung Mercator. “The Arab Spring, the Fukushima disaster and the current euro crisis are increasingly confronting us with the global risks and problems of the 21st century; in response, we need not only fresh ideas and highly committed and competent personnel, but also new international approaches to shaping the future. This is where the Mercator Fellowship comes in”, continues Lorentz. Stiftung Mercator supports the Mercator Fellowship with 5.7 million euros over a period of five years.
“The Studienstiftung is happy to be able – through the Mercator Fellowship – to contribute personnel to tackle worldwide problems”, says Dr Gerhard Teufel, secretary-general of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. “Our third intake of fellows will be addressing key topical issues such as the process of democratic change in the Middle East, the control of weapons in South Sudan and the creation of a common EU strategy to deal with refugees arriving in Europe from North Africa. We wish our scholarship holders every success with their projects as they embark on their work in international organizations.”
During the course of a 13-month programme, the fellows will work in two or three international organizations or in globally active NGOs, non-profit organizations or business enterprises. The fellows choose their respective work placements during the year based on their individual project outlines. To accompany the placements, summer and winter schools are provided to help the fellows develop their leadership qualities and core skills; these include training in rhetoric, communication and negotiation. The stipend for the 13 months is around 17,000 euros, and all travel costs for foreign placements worldwide are paid. Additional grants are also available for conferences and language training.
The second year’s intake of the Mercator Fellowship ends in September 2011, and is already showing the first signs of success. For example, even before completing their fellowship year a good half of the fellows have already been given follow-up contracts, including from UNDP in East Timor, an NGO in Laos and the Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
From September, the fellows will also be compiling weekly blogs from all over the world – from South Sudan, for instance – and posting their reports on a new blog on the alumni homepage “Netzwerk für internationale Aufgaben” (Network for International Affairs) at www.nefia.org.
The following new fellows have been enrolled in the Mercator Fellowship:
• Sibel Atasayi (25) from Heidelberg, planned project: The interplay between good governance and migration and refugee policy as the basis for democratic change in the Middle East
• Hanna Baumann (25) from Berlin, planned project: Cautious urban development in the Eastern Mediterranean: how can cultural heritage and tourism be promoted without violating the rights of abode of minority groups?
• Damian Borowski (25) from Berlin, planned project: Intelligent EU innovation policy as the source of economic growth in 21st century Europe
• Silvia Danielak (23) from Düsseldorf, planned project: Complementarity or competition? Strategies for efficient multi-track conflict management in the South Caucasus and Central Asia
• Felipe Alexander Dunsch (26) from Hamburg, planned project: Randomized field research – a breakthrough in improving the effectiveness of multilateral development cooperation in Africa?
• Mariko Higuchi (29) from Berlin, planned project: Female empowerment to promote society as a whole: transcending the boundaries of international cooperation
• Nicolai von Hoyningen-Huene (29) from Hamburg, planned project: Strategies for the control and reduction of small arms and light weapons in South Sudan
• Kristen Huttner (29) from Düsseldorf, planned project: The use of renewable energies to produce drinking water through desalination in developing countries: developing clear standards and effective regulatory instruments
• Matthias Kaufmann (26) from Erlangen, planned project: Diplomatic dialogue with China: communication strategies for good governance cooperation
• Nina Köksalan (26) from Duisburg, planned project: Effective agricultural policy in Bolivia: adaptation to climate change as opportunity for combating poverty and strengthening indigenous populations
• Jan-Christoph Kuntze (25) from Hamburg, planned project: Dissemination of renewable energies – which investment conditions for solar and wind energy projects are necessary in order to encourage international investment and enable technology transfer? The example of Morocco
• Florian Lewerenz (27) from Bonn, planned project: Alternative development as strategy for changing the framework conditions of drug economies
• Fei Lu (28) from Munich, planned project: The human face of climate change – integration of the health aspect into climate adaptation measures
• Friedrich Lutz (25) from Villars-sur-Glane, planned project: Integrating the economic assessment of ecosystems and biodiversity into political and economic decision-making processes
• Max Middeke (26) from Kassel, planned project: Employment for peace and development in Somalia
• Corinna Müller (28) from Nuremberg, planned project: Between national interests, European responsibility and humanitarian mission: creation of a common EU strategy for refugees arriving in Europe from North Africa
• Florian Schatz (26) from Berlin, planned project: Alternative incentives for good governance – potentials and boundaries for development cooperation in the promotion of accountable institutions
• Max Schaub (27) from Ganderkesee, planned project: Mobility partnerships as a model?
• Michelle Söller (25) from Berlin, planned project: Promoting domestic accountability systems in developing countries
• Jasper Dag Tjaden (25) from Berlin, planned project: Local solutions – global challenge: integration of immigrants
Every year, the Mercator Fellowship enrols 20 new fellows from Germany. Highly qualified university graduates of all disciplines have until 31 March each year to apply for admission to the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs.
The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs promotes university graduates not only in Germany, but also in Switzerland, where the initiative is run by Stiftung Mercator Switzerland and the Swiss Study Foundation in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Links to further information:
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.
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.
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