WZB-ISSC Global Fellowship Programme

WZB Berline Social Science Center | ISSC

WZB-ISSC Global Fellowship Programme


Located in the heart of Berlin, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center is one of Europe’s largest non-university research institutes. The WZB conducts basic social science research with a focus on problems of modern societies in a globalized world. Around 160 German and international researchers work at the WZB, including sociologists, political scientists, economists, legal scholars and historians. The WZB offers a modern working environment, where both equal opportunities and the compatibility of work and family are highly valued.

The International Social Science Council (ISSC) is an international organization that works to bring the best social science to bear on the biggest challenges of our time. It does this, for example, by publishing the World Social Science Report and organizing the World Social Science Forum. With its World Social Science Fellows programme, the ISSC aims to help build the next generation of social science leaders who can create knowledge for solutions to global challenges. In this programme, talented early career social scientists are brought together at seminars to create new, interdisciplinary perspectives on a global challenge. Following the seminars, World Social Science Fellows are part of a network that is expected to be the start of new, international research collaborations.

The WZB-ISSC Global Fellowship Programme is a cooperation between the WZB and the ISSC. They invite applications for one early career scientist (postdoctoral researcher with no more than 5 years’ work experience after their PhD or scientists without a PhD but with an equivalent level of research experience and output) residing and working in a developing country to conduct research for up to six months in 2015 at the WZB. The research project of the fellow should focus on global societal problems with particular relevance to developing country contexts. Moreover, it should be linked to both research conducted at the WZB ( and to the notion of “Transforming Global Relations for a Just World,” which is the topic of the ISSC’s World Social Science Forum 2015.

Both the WZB and the ISSC strongly encourage female researchers to apply.


Through their Global Fellowship Programme, the WZB and the ISSC aim to contribute towards building a new generation of outstanding social scientists in developing countries, who are willing and able to con-tribute to solving current global problems. The WZB-ISSC Global Fellowship Programme enables an outstanding early career social scientist from a developing country to spend four to six months in 2015 in the exciting and stimulating environment of an exceptional social science research organization in the heart of Germany. Besides allowing the Fellow to focus entirely on a dedicated research project, he/she is invited to participate in the intellectual life at the WZB. The Fellow will also become a member of the network of early career scientists the ISSC is building via its World Social Science Fellows programme.

While in residence, the selected fellow is required to:

  • Conduct a public lecture or an academic seminar at the WZB
  • Write a report outlining a vision of his/her research field with relevance to developing countries in the 5 to 10 years to come
  • Write or contribute towards a paper that can be presented at the World Social Science Forum 2015, that will take place in Durban, South Africa from 13 to 16 September 2015.

On return to his/her home country, the Fellow is expected to share his/her knowledge with the scientific community there, as well as to contribute to the further development of the local science and education system. This could be achieved, for instance, through teaching Master’s or PhD level courses (where appropriate), based on the research done at the WZB.

In addition, the selected fellow will be encouraged to:

  • Take up the opportunity to contribute an article to the WZB discussion paper series or to the quarterly journal addressing issues of public concern for an expert readership beyond academia.
  • To keep the WZB and ISSC informed of any publications that result from the research stay in Berlin.

The above outcomes will be profiled by the WZB and the ISSC, for example on their websites.

The WZB offers a grant for up to six months at a level commensurate with a German postdoctoral re-searcher, as well as a contribution to local accommodation (up to EUR 500 per month). Economy travel costs to and from Berlin will be reimbursed according to the German Federal Travel Expenses Regulations. We offer workspace (equipped with PC, Internet and email access, telephone), as well as full library privileges and additional technical services. The ISSC will support the participation of the selected Fellow in the World Social Science Forum 2015.

Selection Process

Candidates should submit the following documents:

  1. A letter of motivation (what is the project, why is it important, what will be the outcome), including the preferred timing of the research stay at the WZB in 2015, as well as an explanation of the difference the stay will make in their personal careers and in their home institutions (maximum 1 page).
  2. A summary of their main research and teaching contributions, indicating how these relate to the research topics at the WZB. Candidates should also address the societal relevance of their research (maximum 1 page).
  3. 2 letters of recommendation from current or past senior colleagues.
  4. A curriculum vitae, including information on education, publications, participation in research projects and networks, teaching experience, awards and prizes received and other pertinent experiences. (Note: The majority of the degrees should have been awarded in developing countries).
  5. An indication of their English language proficiency.
  6. Agreement from their home institution to the research stay in Germany, if selected (applicable only if the candidate will be employed during the proposed period of the Fellowship).

This opportunity is CLOSED.


This website uses cookies to enhance the browsing experience. By continuing you give us permission to deploy cookies as per our privacy and cookies policy.