General description

Through the MWK-FELLOWS initiative, co-financed by the European Union’s Framework Programm for Research “Horizon 2020”, the Max-Weber-Kolleg has been able to establish a new fellowship programme which was designed to strengthen the internationalizationof research at the Max-Weber-Kolleg and the University of Erfurt by attracting outstanding researchers from all over the world. In addition to the advancement of their research projects and the participation in the MWK’s advanced study programme, fellows receive support in enlarging research networks, in identifying promising career prospects in and beyond academia, and in strengthening their skills and capabilities through personalized training opportunities. 

MWK-FELLOWS fosters interdisciplinary researchby addressing and bringing together experienced researchers in cultural and social studies (sociology, economics, religious studies, law, philosophy, history, theology and related disciplines that refer to the ‘Weberian’ research programmeof the Max-Weber-Kolleg). The ‘Weberian’ research programme combines historical, comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives with an interest in normative issues in the social sciences. It has a focus on societal challenges of contemporary societies, especially (religious) plurality, cultural diversity and social order, processes of acceleration and growth.

MWK-FELLOWS also follows the principle of intersectoralityand encourages researchers currently working outside academia to return to academic contexts.

Calls for application are opened every year and every time up to 10 researchers are selected for a fellowship through a multi-stage selection and evaluation procedure. The fellows stay at the Max-Weber-Kolleg for a duration of 12 months from September to August of the next year. The first call was opened on 1 September 2015 and the Max-Weber-Kolleg is glad to welcome the first 10 MWK-Fellows in September of this year.

Fellowship Programme

The Max-Weber-Kolleg is a high-ranking research centre which forms an avant-garde institution of the University of Erfurt. It is distinguished by a unique organisational structure – combining the features of an Institute for Advanced Study and a Graduate School – and a ‘Weberian’ research programme. Research options offered within the MWK-Fellows programme will comprise, next to the involvement into a high quality and intellectually vibrant research community, excellent arrangements and measures in regard to interdisciplinarity, internationality and intersectorality.

MWK-Fellows will strongly benefit from a well-tailored fellowship programme which on the one hand supports independence and personal responsibility and allows individual arrangements within a broad set of opportunities for knowledge and skill enhancement as well as career development. On the other hand integration into the interdisciplinary working community and all in all a successful and profitable stay at the Max-Weber-Kolleg is guaranteed due to responsible staff and hosts providing strong support to the MWK-Fellows as well as several specific actions and measures for career guidance and training.

Fellowship Flow

At the beginning of the fellowship general information and support are provided by the directors of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt, a staff member at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt as a contact person for general questions, and the fellows internal host.

The regular duration of each MWK-FELLOWS fellowship is 12 months. MWK-fellows will commence work in Erfurt in September and start the advanced study programme at the beginning of the winter semester in October. 

The first term of the regular research and advanced study programme is from October to January. In February/March MWK-Fellows can choose to spend up to six weeks at an external academic partner institution (research stay) or a secondment with an external non-academic partner (see also: Intersectorality). From April to July the second term of the advanced study programme takes place. At the end of the fellowship a workshop or a conference can be organised by the MWK-Fellow alone or, alternatively, in cooperation with members of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. These activities will be strongly supported by the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. Within one month of completing the fellowship MWK-Fellows have to submit a report that lists their research results, completed publications or publications in progress, as well as, networking achievements, improvements in individual skills and impact on career development, and finally an evaluation of the fellowship itself. In this section fellows are requested to comment on the research context, quality of mentoring, organisation and the overall level of helpfulness encountered at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt.

Next to the research and advanced study programme MWK-Fellows will be strongly supported by offering them several career guidance and training measures, which are based upon the EU Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training. MWK-Fellows will profit from a broad range of subject-specific courses as well as those on transferable skills that will help them to advance their career in academia and the non-academic sector.