Mercator-IPC Fellowships in Istanbul on EU/German-Turkish Relations or Climate Change

The Istanbul Policy Center-Sabancı University-Stiftung Mercator Initiative invites academics, journalists, and professionals to apply for the Mercator-IPC Fellowship Program. The program aims to strengthen academic, political, and social ties between Turkey and Germany, as well as between Turkey and Europe, based on the premise that the acquisition of knowledge and the exchange of people and ideas are preconditions for meeting the challenges of a globalized world.

Mercator-IPC Fellows work at Istanbul Policy Center (IPC), an independent policy research institute with global outreach located in downtown Istanbul. IPC’s mission is to foster academic research and its application to policy making. The Center is firmly committed to providing decision makers, opinion leaders, academics, and the general public with innovative and objective analyses of key domestic and foreign policy issues.

IPC offers Mercator-IPC Fellows access to a broad network of academics, civil society activists, and decision makers, as well as a unique platform for sound academic research to shape hands-on policy work. Fellows benefit from Sabancı University’s exceptional intellectual capital and vast reserves of scientific knowledge.

Who can apply?

In the 2017/18 round, Mercator-IPC Fellowships will be available for outstanding young academics, journalists, and professionals who have significant prior work experience. The fellows will be expected to work on academic and/or practical projects at IPC.

A Master’s degree (or equivalent) is required for this position, but a PhD degree is strongly preferred. Applicants without a PhD degree will only be accepted if their work experience and expertise meet the program requirements according to the jury’s satisfaction. Projects focusing on the German-Turkish nexus are likewise preferred. Applicants cannot apply for fellowships to fund their PhD dissertations.

Fellowships are available for a period of six to twelve months and are predominantly, but not exclusively, granted to applicants from Germany and/or with a strong connection to German society. Unless the fellows are required to travel to complete their individual projects, they are encouraged to be physically present in Istanbul. Project proposals can be of an academic or practical nature. However, in order to ensure the socio-political impact of fellowship work, applicants should also include a proposal for an outreach strategy, putting a focus on how the project results will be presented and discussed with policy makers, stakeholders, media, and/or the general public. Please note that a Coordination Team will be assisting you in the process of realizing your outreach strategy in terms of logistics and capacity. The fellowship program will be open to academics, journalists, and professionals who work in one of the following two thematic areas:

  • EU/German-Turkish relations
  • Climate change.

EU/German-Turkish relations

The Initiative and its fellowship program aim to give new impetus to the EU/German-Turkish partnership. Given that Turkey, Germany, and Europe have entered an era of multiple crises, continuous and open dialogue between Turkey and the EU is a necessity for combating terrorism, maintaining peace and stability in the European periphery, managing the current refugee crisis and prospective irregular migration flows, and developing models for integrating refugees into society. Education, in this sense, plays a leading role in promoting mutual respect in a culture of living together and in developing joint policy towards these challenges.

Furthermore, in the midst of economic and foreign policy-related challenges, Turkey’s role in preserving stability in the region is crucial now more than ever. Turkey-EU, as well as Turkish-German, relations bear considerable opportunities for successfully tackling new challenges together.

Subtopics in this area:

  • Populist movements in Europe;
  • Crisis in the EU (refugee crisis, Brexit, right-wing extremism) and implications for EU/German-Turkish Relations;
  • Methods of cooperation complementary to the accession process;
  • Turkish-German cooperation as a key pillar in Turkey’s relations with the EU;
  • Turkey’s role in the MENA region and its importance in the EU’s external actions and foreign policy;
  • Managing and teaching diversity in pluralistic societies/Education as a means to promote democratization and a culture of living together;
  • Integration of refugees into education systems in the EU and Turkey.

Climate change

Few issues necessitate international cooperation as strongly as the need to respond to the threat of climate change. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can only be accomplished through the joint efforts of national governments, businesses, academia, civil society groups, and individual citizens. In particular, the transformation of energy systems in Europe and elsewhere towards decarbonization is crucial for reducing greenhouse gases for mitigation and adaptation. The Mercator-IPC Fellowship Program aims to raise awareness among decision makers and the broader public of the threats posed by climate change. A particular focus of the program is on Turkey, where the issue of climate change has so far not received the necessary political and public attention.

Subtopics in this area:

  • Analysis of the social and economic impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies;
  • Mechanisms for effective multi-level governance in climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • Obstacles to policy reform (in developing countries) and overcoming the alleged dichotomy of economic development and climate change mitigation policies;
  • Mapping the impacts of climate change in Europe and Turkey;
  • Turkey’s climate and energy policies in the European context.

Selection criteria

Mercator-IPC Fellows will be selected by an international jury consisting of leading experts in the two thematic areas. In choosing applicants, the jury will place particular emphasis on the following criteria:

  • Academic and professional merit based on the applicant’s publications and work experience;
  • Academic and political relevance of the applicant’s project to one of the two thematic areas;
  • General impact of the project on EU-Turkish and especially German-Turkish relations;
  • Applicant’s connection to German society;
  • Coherence and feasibility of the applicant’s project;
  • Value of the project’s public outreach dimension;
  • Applicant’s language skills


Mercator-IPC Fellows will receive a monthly net payment of up to 2,700 EUR and a travel allowance of up to 2,500 EUR net in total. Fellows may furthermore be entitled to additional allowances.

The deadline for 2017/18 fellowship applications is April 3, 2017. The fellowship begins on September 4, 2017.

Application date
3 Apr 2017
Date of residence
4 Sep 2017
6-12 months
Middle East Turkey
Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
Up to € 2.700/month + travel costs