Rethink.CEE Fellowship — Call for Applications

A quarter of a century after it began, the democratic transformation of Central and Eastern Europe has ground to a halt. From within, the region is challenged by ruthless power politics, political polarization, weak institutions, beleaguered civil society and media, reform fatigue, and a return of traditional nationalism and phobias. Europe and the West broadly, once the desired endpoint of the region’s transformation, have lost their attractiveness; their current weakness opens a vacuum that is filled with powerful counter-narratives. Fanning these is Russia, which has reinserted itself into the entire region, which it once ruled and seems determined to control once again. The combined effect of these internal and external developments is that the entire Eastern half of Europe is at risk of reversing democracy, forfeiting prosperity achieved, and returning to the instability and insecurity that has wrecked this region for centuries. What is at stake, in short, is the grand vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace.

Given these mounting challenges, the region and its Western partners urgently need fresh thinking and innovation in both policy-making and civic engagement. For this reason, The German Marshall Fund of the United States launched a new fellowship program last year that supports next-generation policy experts and civil society practitioners from Central and Eastern Europe.

Who we are looking for:

  • Young policy experts and/or civic activists from Central Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia), the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) and the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine).
  • Maximum age: 35 years
  • Proven track record of policy analysis and/or civil society engagement at national, regional or international levels, in a think tank, university, business, a governmental institution, or nongovernmental organization.
  • Concrete projects for innovative policy research and/or effective civil society engagement that address the current and coming challenges for Central and Eastern Europe. Priority will be given to projects that have regional, rather than single country, reach and applicability.
  • Commitment to produce a quality policy publication as the main output of the fellowship.

What we offer:
  • A year-long non-resident fellowship
  • Affiliation with The German Marshall Fund of the United States, a premier transatlantic think tank
  • Access to the GMF network of policy and civil society professionals as well as individual support by GMF peers
  • Two workshops on policy research and writing at the early and mid stages of the fellowship
  • Possibility of short-term stays at GMF offices, subject to research theme and availability
  • Professional publication, presentation, and distribution of a research paper
  • Full coverage of travel, board, and lodging for the purposes of the fellowship
  • A stipend of $4,500 for the entire fellowship

What you need to apply:
  • A letter of intent outlining your project
  • Your CV
  • A recent publication (policy paper, article, op-ed) in English authored by you
Applications should be submitted to Please mention “Rethink.CEE Fellowship” as the subject. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2019.