The MWK-FELLOWS four-stage selection process is strictly based on a set of criteria: eligibility criteria, selection criteria and criteria for the interview. The criteria are implemented in checklists, guidelines and questionnaires for the assessments of the applications by the committees and persons involved in the selection process. Furthermore, strict criteria are also set for the selection and appointment of external reviewers. All criteria are published and documented to assure a fair and transparent merit-based selection process.

Details about the criteria:

  • Eligiblity Criteria
  • Selection Criteria
  • Criteria and Questionaire for the Interview
  • Criteria for the appointment of reviewers

Formal Eligibilty Criteria

In the first stage of the selection process (eligibility check) all applicants have to submit the following required application data and documents (in English or German) on the online application portal before the call deadline (1 October 2018, 11:59 p.m. CEST). Applications have to be submitted via the online application portal. The portal opens on 1 September 2018. All documents have to be uploaded as pdf-files.

All applications will be evaluated according to the following checklist:

  • Applicants are strictly required to submit all necessary documents in German or English via the online application portal:

    - Completed online application form (provided at the web-based application portal)
    - Curriculum vitae including a list of publications (Please make sure that for all periods in which you were employed, received a stipend, fellowship or grant, or stayed abroad you mention the exact dates on which the period started and ended in the following format: DD/MM/YYYY
    - Copy of the degree certificate and transcript of the most recently completed university degree (Degree certificates which are not originally issued in German or English have to be translated. The translation has to be officially certified. You must submit both the scan of the original degree certificate and the scan of the officially certified translation)
    - Electronic copies of either three reviewed journal publications or one individually authored book, or a copy of the doctoral thesis
    - Motivation letter which explains the reasons for the application for the programme, particularly why the proposed research project can be excellently supported at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt
    - Names and contact details of three proposed independent external referees
    - Outline of the research proposal (up to 3000 words). The proposals must include a detailed working programme and an overview of the most important project-specific publications
    - Completed and signed Ethical Issue Form which you can find under the following Ethical Issue Form
    - Proof of research experience: in case applicants do not hold a PhD-degree, a minimum of 4 years full-time equivalent research experience at the call deadline has to be documented
  • Research Experience: Applicants must have a doctoral degree or at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience at the application deadline. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in Germany, irrespective of whether a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
  • EU Mobility Rule: They can be of any nationality, but at the time of application researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the application deadline. Compulsory national service and short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Support: Applicants must propose a research project that can be particularly well supported at the Max-Weber-Kolleg. To fulfill this requirement applicants must explain in detail in their motivation letter which research group or research centre at the Max-Weber-Kolleg can provide this support. Furthermore they must identify in their motivation letter at least one relevant researcher from a research group or centre at the Max-Weber-Kolleg who has specific expertise in the field of the applicant’s proposed project and with whom the applicant would like to work during the fellowship.
    A complete list of research groups and research centres at the Max-Weber-Kolleg can be accessed here
  • Ethical Issues: The research project must propose research that is not excluded from EU funding due to ethical issues.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria are relevant for the external reviewers as well as for the selection committee and the selection board of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. They are the basis on which the applications are assessed.

Criteria concerning the project: 

  • interdisciplinary and innovative research question in a relevant field of advanced cultural and social studies (novelty and quality of the proposed research question),
  • familiarity with the current international state of research (awareness of the state of the art and presentation of the research objectives in a concise manner),
  • appropriate methodology (viability of method and approach, feasibility of the project plan).

Criteria concerning the candidate:

  • academic excellence of the candidate (degrees, PhD thesis and its research contribution, prizes, etc.),
  • quality and quantity of publications and research record (including impact of publications and conducted research projects),
  • ability to conduct the proposed research project (previous collaboration experiences - also with non-academic partners), experience in interdisciplinary research and potential for leadership and management including gender and diversity.

Criteria and Questionnaire for the Interview

The semi-standardised questionnaire addresses the following issues (relying on the critique and comments of the reviewers):

Concerning the project:

  • the way in which the project is linked to societal challenges,
  • the way the interdisciplinary research context at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt is expected to enrich the applicants’ project,
  • the way the University of Erfurt can provide the necessary infrastructure for research in terms of methodology, sources, material, timeline, etc.

Concerning the candidate:

  • the motivation to come to the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt,
  • chances of career development through cooperative interdisciplinary research and networking,
  • relevant training opportunities (in academic and non-academic perspective) and individualised support options.

Criteria for the appointment of reviewers

The reviewers will be appointed based on the following criteria:

  • expertise in the research area addressed by the research project,
  • broad overview of the interdisciplinary research landscape,
  • experience as a referee,
  • international expertise,
  • no formal member of the University of Erfurt (at present or in the last two years),
  • no member of the selection committee of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt,
  • distance from the applicant (non-bias).

Reviewers will be recruited internationally (if possible avoiding the country the applicant has recently worked in). In order to eliminate potential or actual bias and conflicts of interest, reviewers will be selected carefully and in line with the bias criteria suggested by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The reviewers will be asked to provide a short note outlining their biases.

Reviewers who meet the following criteria will be excluded from the evaluation process (exclusion criteria):

  • first-degree relatives, spouses, those in unions similar to marriage, other close personal relations or conflicts,
  • economic interest in the funding decision,
  • current or envisaged close collaboration with the applicant,
  • current or former supervisory relationships with the applicant,
  • planned application or implementation of a project with a closely-related topic of research.