The re:constitution programme
The re:constitution Fellowship programme provides a platform for exchange and analysis on democracy and the rule of law in Europe, addressing the persistent challenges in the EU. By bridging the gap between academia and practice, Fellows can contribute to the development of legal and political solutions at the European level. The programme is based on a unique concept of pan-European mobility and a network of Fellows, who collaborate with partners and institutions on a project related to democracy and the rule of law. Fellows become part of a European exchange network, building bridges between diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and countries. The programme's attachment continues through the re:constitution alumni network.
The re:constitution Fellowships are designed for both academics and practitioners and offer a mobility period in two tracks to best accommodate professional requirements or personal circumstances. The Fellowships will be awarded for the period from October 2023 until July 2024 in two tracks:
- 10 Fellowships for the academic year 2023-2024 available
- Mobility period of 6 months to be taken flexibly between October 2023 and July 2024
- Research stays during mobility period at two host institutions in EU / EEA / UK or CH, divided between a research institution and an institution working in a practical context and on a full-time basis each. The host institutions’ locations must differ from the EU country of residence during the time of the Fellowship.
- Stipend of 2.500,- € per mobility month to cover 6-month mobility phase
- Participation in 3 Fellows’ Exchange Meetings over 2-3 days each mandatory (First meeting: October 2023 in-person in Berlin, Second meeting: February 2024 online, Third meeting: June 2024 in-person outside of Germany)
- Presentation of re:constitution research project and full participation in Online Fellow Talks series
- 5 Fellowships for the academic year 2023-2024 available
- Mobility period of 3 months full-time (or 6 months part-time) to be taken flexibly between October 2023 and July 2024
- Research stay during mobility period at one host institution in EU / EEA / UK or CH, with a duration of 3 months on full-time basis/ of 6 months on a part-time basis
- The location of the host institution must differ from the EU country of residence during the time of the Fellowship.
- Stipend of 2.500,- € per mobility month to cover 3-month full-time/ 1.250,- € per mobility month to cover 6-month part-time mobility phase.
- Participation in at least 2 out of 3 Fellows’ Exchange Meetings. Attendance of the first in-person meeting in October 2023 in Berlin is mandatory. Subsequently, at least one of the remaining meetings is to be attended (Second meeting: February 2024 online, Third meeting: June 2024 in-person outside of Germany)
- Presentation of re:constitution research project in Online Fellow Talks series, participation in full series optional
The programme is seeking applications from EU and EEA / UK or CH residents in the early stages of their careers as
SCHOLARS holding a PhD in law/legal studies and/or political sciences, social sciences, philosophy or other neighbouring disciplines (focusing on issues on and around democracy and/or the rule of law in Europe). Your PhD research should have been completed no more than 10 years ago. Scholars who are still working on their dissertation may be eligible if their PhD is close to completion (within a year)
PRACTITIONERS such as
- government officials (e.g. policy advisors) from central authorities and local self-government bodies,
- judges or practicing lawyers (attorneys),
- NGO legal / policy experts working on rule of law and democracy in the EU,
- journalists reporting on the rule of law and/or democracy in the EU,
- general researchers/legal experts working on questions pertaining to the rule of law and/or democracy in the EU (This list is non-exhaustive).
For practitioners, comparable work experience is expected, but a PhD is not required.
Independence for scholars and practitioners to research and publish on an issue of their choice connected to democracy and the rule of law in the EU.
Exchange and debate on topical projects in high-quality and flexible environment of mutual learning and debate among scholars, legal practitioners and journalists from across Europe.
Mobility via collaboration with select host institutions across the EU and EEA/UK or CH, offering new personal and remote work and exchange opportunities.
Networking through multi-faceted exchange about democracy and the rule of law in personal meetings with leading experts and decision makers from across Europe and different backgrounds offering diverse perspectives.
Shaping the future re:constitution alumni network to build a sustainable community of knowledge with potential for further collaboration and support.
Support by the coordination team and access to a secure digital collaborative working space provided by Forum Transregionale Studien.
Opportunities to become involved in the broader analytical work of the re:constitution programme run by DRI, based on interests and availability.
With accepting the Fellowship, the applicants will agree to:
- To pursue an independent research project about an issue pertaining to the programmatic scope of re:constitution,
- To select host institutions across the EU and EEA / UK or CH and to manage their own research stays of 3–6 months at these host institutions according to the specifications of the preferred track,
- To attend the Fellows’ Exchange Meetings in October 2023, February and June 2024, according to the specifications of the preferred track,
- To ensure their participation in the Fellow Talk series to present their research and discuss other Fellows’ research projects, according to the specifications of the preferred track,
- To publish the project results and outcomes in a suitable format. These can be re:constitution Working Papers (for any academic papers) or alternatively, other output formats (e.g. policy papers, op-eds, reports, essays, podcast episodes, blog posts etc). Producing one type of outcome is the minimal requirement; further publication and dissemination is welcome. Please specify your preference/s in the application!
How to apply
Please submit your application via our secure online application platform by 3 May 2023, 12 noon CEST:
Important! Applications by e-mail will not be considered!
As part of your application, you will be asked to prepare and upload the following:
- Curriculum vitae including publications (2-3 pages),
- Project outline (2-3 pages),
- Short abstract of your project (max. 300 words),
- Two references (university faculty members or practitioners in a field relevant to your project) who can serve as referees (Please note: Letters of recommendation are NOT REQUIRED),
- Potential host institutions (your preferred research and practice institutions in EU countries to spend part of your mobility period, ideally including an indication of preferred dates and/or existing personal contacts. By the time of submitting your application you are not yet required to organise your stays.),
- Preferred Fellowship track (only one track to be selected),
The working language of re:constitution is English.
The diversity of our societies should also be reflected in the Fellowships. We therefore welcome applicants of all cultural and social backgrounds, ages, religions, world views, disabilities or sexual identities. The applications will be evaluated by an evaluation committee of scholars and practitioners working in the fields of democracy and the rule of law. All applicants will be informed of the outcome of the evaluation process by early July 2023.
If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQ or contact the programme coordination team: reconstitution(at)trafo-berlin.de