Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Fellowship Programme 2021 (Funding available)

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Fellowship Programme 2021 (Funding available)

Deadline: August 23, 2020

Applications are open for the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Fellowship Programme 2021. The programme is designed to bring highly qualified people from academia, the business world, and civil society to the institute, who provide expertise, inspiration, and creative input.

Each year, up to 30 individuals from around the world participate in the institute’s Fellow Programme. 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 in an international community of eminent researchers, not only within the institute, but also in the wider Potsdam-Berlin area. In keeping with the institute’s transdisciplinary approach to research, fellows are encouraged to engage with stakeholders from all areas of society.

The minimum duration of fellowships is three months, and the maximum duration is twelve months. 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 starting period for fellowships is Spring/Summer 2021. Fellows are permitted to interrupt their fellowship and may even divide it into several stages. In any case, fellowships in this cohort have to be concluded by June 30, 2022.

Research Areas

They 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 the coordinator of the Fellow Unit and to consult directly with researchers at the IASS while developing their project idea.

Applications should be related to one of the current research areas of the IASS:

  • Perception, values, orientation
  • Democratic transformations
  • Governance for the environment and society
  • Systemic interdependencies: technology, nature, society
  • Energy systems and societal change
  • Forums: science, policy and society


  • Fellows will receive financial compensation to cover their additional costs of living during their stay in Germany. The exact amount will depend 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 organising workshops, production costs for artistic work, etc.


  • Open to individuals at all career stages and may be combined with sabbaticals.
  • The IASS strongly encourages experts with a strong interest in sustainability and societal transformation to apply for this programme.
  • Applicants can come from a wide range of sectors such as science, public administration, the private sector, civil society, media or the arts.
  • Applicants from the scientific community are expected to generally have completed a PhD or similar level of experience before the actual Fellowship begins. For those outside academia, several years’ work experience in a given field is a requirement.


For your application, they require the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation. Please mention whether you consider yourself an academic or a practitioner, and for academics what prior experience you have at the interface of your field of expertise and other sectors of society (such as science, politics, business, the arts, media, etc.).
  • A current CV which should not exceed three pages.
  • If available, a list of projects, publications, lectures or similar can be added. The list should be limited to the most important items and not exceed three pages.
  • A proposal outlining your planned activities. The proposal should be no longer than five pages (excluding bibliographic references) and should be structured as follows:
    • Title of your project
    • Project Outline (max. 300 words)
    • Specification of which of the six research areas your activities are most closely linked to
    • Description of activities
    • Details of how these activities will contribute to the work of the IASS
    • Resource needs (e.g. special infrastructure, travel costs, costs for workshops, etc.)
    • Timeline (intended start and end of Fellowship)

Applications that do not follow the above structure may be rejected. Applications must be submitted in English. All documents should be collated into a single PDF file not exceeding 10MB.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit IASS Fellowship.