Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs

Taking responsibility for the world of tomorrow

Each year, the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs promotes 24 highly-committed German-speaking university graduates from all disciplines and young professionals who aspire to positions of responsibility in the world of tomorrow. Fellows receive a monthly stipend. In addition, funding is available for stays abroad, conference participation and language courses.

This is a project of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and Stiftung Mercator in cooperation with Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, and of the Swiss Study Foundation and Stiftung Mercator Schweiz in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Target groups:

German-speaking university graduates and young leaders with

  • an excellent degree from a university or equivalent institution (MA, Diplom, state examination or similar)
  • very good command of English and a good command of at least one other foreign language
  • at least one year of professional experience (internships will be counted)
  • at least one year of experience abroad after leaving school
  • very good general education
  • very good knowledge of international cooperation, wide-ranging personal interests and social engagement
  • intercultural skills, ability to work in a team, organizational skills

The application phase for the 2020/2021 fellowship year ends on 17 December 2019. Applications are invited from October and must be submitted via the online portal.


To strengthen international cooperation

The number of problems that can only be resolved through close international cooperation is growing steadily: climate change and energy security, economic and financial crises, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, human rights and freedom of information, not to mention information security, water shortage, famine and the defence of our open society. There are no purely national solutions to any of these challenges. Decisions aimed at resolving these problems are increasingly taken in international organizations and bodies.


Stipends for young leaders

These global challenges demand not only political awareness and material resources, but above all competent and motivated personnel. Together with the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, Stiftung Mercator awards 20 stipends every year to outstanding German university graduates and young professionals from all fields who aspire to positions of responsibility in international organizations. A further four stipends are granted by Stiftung Mercator Schweiz and the Swiss Study Foundation.


Projects in international organizations

During the course of the 13-month programme, the fellows work in two to three international organizations, globally active NGOs, non-profit organizations or business enterprises. Fellows select a practical issue on which to focus in their projects; this in turn determines the work placements they choose worldwide. During their project year, fellows receive intensive support from the Fellowship’s deans and partners. They also benefit from seminars aimed at developing their leadership skills and core competencies. In lectures and discussions, they meet with high-ranking experts from politics, representatives of international organizations and non-governmental organizations, think tanks and NGOs. Note: Applications can only be submitted via the online application tool.

Project manager

 Wiebke Hamel
Wiebke Hamel
Project Manager
+49 201 24522-744

Press contact

 Jochen Heimberg
Jochen Heimberg
Communication Manager Press
+49 201 24522-841