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 2019/20 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 and climate change.


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 irregular migration flows, and developing models for integrating refugees into society. 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.

Subtopics in this area:

  • Populist movements in Europe;
  • Challenges in the EU (migration management, Brexit, right-wing extremism) and implications for EU/German-Turkish relations;
  • Methods of cooperation complementary to the accession process;
  • Economic cooperation between the EU and Turkey;
  • 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;
  • Issues related to integration of refugees in the EU and Turkey.


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. The program focuses 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 transition to a low-carbon energy system (i.e., energy efficiency, renewable energy) and climate 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.

All applications must be submitted in the form of a single PDF document and must contain the following documents in

  • A cover letter;
  • A completed application form, which can be downloaded on our website
  • A CV including a list of all academic publications;
  • Copies of relevant academic transcripts and/or diplomas (no translations needed);
  • A written proposal of the applicant’s project. This proposal must include:
    • Discussion of the research/project topic, relevant research questions/project objectives, and an explanation of the academic and political relevance of the project;
    • An overview of the state of research or similar projects in the field;
    • An overview of the theoretical and methodological approaches to be applied in the project (if relevant);
    • Key resources or background information related to the topic.
    • The proposal should not exceed five pages (2 cm margin, 1.5 spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font).
  • A second written proposal for an outreach strategy focusing on how the project results will be presented and discussed with policy makers, stakeholders, media, and/or the general public. This proposal must include:
    • An outline describing the outreach strategy’s format and time frame;
    • A description of the target group, political relevance, and predicted impact of the project;
    • A budget plan and a list of possible partner institutions for outreach.
    • The proposal should not exceed two pages (2 cm margin, 1.5 spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font).
    • If the fellowship project described under section e is of a practical nature and already contains a public outreach strategy, it is not necessary to attach a second proposal.
  • A timeline of the proposed project;
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or employers.


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. Please see program guidelines in the link below for further details.

The deadline for applications is March 31, 2019, 18:00 (EEST). The fellowship begins on September 2, 2019.

Please send your completed applications by email to the Program Coordinator, Ms. Pelin Oğuz (see below for contact details).

All applicants will receive a notice of receipt by email. Applicants are responsible for submitting complete applications. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For further questions please contact:

Pelin Oğuz, Mercator-IPC Fellowship Coordinator
Tel: +90 (0) 212 292 49 39 ext. 1418


Gülcihan Çiğdem Okan, Mercator-IPC Fellowship Program Officer
Tel: +90 (0) 212 292 49 39 ext. 1433

Application date
6-12 months
Social sciences
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology