• International Senior Fellowship Programme

Call for Applications

International Senior Fellowship Programme 2025/2026

The College for Social Sciences and Humanities is an Institute for Advanced Study established in 2021 as part of the Research Alliance Ruhr, a joint initiative of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Ruhr University Bochum and TU Dortmund University under the umbrella of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr). Based in Essen/Germany in the heart of the Ruhr region, one of Europe’s densest and most vibrant science landscapes, the College offers an excellent academic environment for outstanding international researchers who seek to work on a self-selected research project in close collaboration with local tandem partners from the UA Ruhr.

The international Senior Fellowships will be awarded for six months and may start on 1 March 2025 or 1 September 2025.

Application Requirements

Senior Fellowships will be awarded to advanced and well-established senior researchers (preferably R4 level) who

  • are active members of a foreign university or research institution,
  • have an outstanding research profile in the social sciences and/or the humanities (proven primarily by a significant track record of excellent publications),
  • have completed their doctorate at least six years prior to their application, and
  • seek to initiate or intensify research collaboration with a fellow researcher from the UA Ruhr.

As the Senior Fellowship Programme is based on the principle of collaboration, applicants are required to identify a matching tandem partner from the UA Ruhr prior to their application.

Tandem Partnerships

Tandem partnerships can be established with advanced, highly experienced senior researchers (at least R3 level) from one of the three member universities of the UA Ruhr (University of Duisburg-Essen, Ruhr University Bochum, TU Dortmund University) working in the fields of social sciences and/or humanities. In addition to being an integral part of a joint research collaboration during the fellowship, the tandem partners will actively integrate the international Senior Fellows into the academic landscape of the UA Ruhr.

More information for potential tandem partners can be found here: www.college-uaruhr.de/fellowship/application/tandem-partners.

Financial Arrangements

Depending on the Fellow’s individual situation, the College for Social Sciences and Humanities is able to offer the following funding options:

  • Fellows who are granted leave of absence with continued payment of their salary from their home institution receive a general allowance of €3,050 per month (pre-tax), a family allowance of €250 per month (if applicable), and a mobility allowance of €125 per month to cover relocation costs.
  • Fellows who are granted leave of absence without continued payment of their salary from their home institution can be funded by means of a compensation agreement within reasonable limits (usually equivalent to a W3 professorship with approximately €7,100 pre-tax per month). Alternatively, Fellows may receive a monthly grant of €5,000 (pre-tax).
  • If necessary, the College can also cover, within reasonable limits, the costs for a substitute of the Fellow at the home institution.

To support research collaboration between the Senior Fellows and their tandem partners, each fellowship includes a project budget of €7,500 max. (€1,250 per month) for joint workshops, conferences, publications, etc.

Travel expenses for arrival and for departure after the fellowship will be reimbursed in accordance with the guidelines of the State Travel Act of North Rhine-Westphalia. Visa costs will be reimbursed entirely. Costs for accommodation and health insurance and other expenses need to be covered by the Fellows.


All Senior Fellows have a dedicated office in the College facilities at their disposal. The facilities available include well-appointed meeting and conference rooms equipped with modern technology, enabling (hybrid) events such as workshops, lectures, and conferences. The College provides individual support services for its Senior Fellows, including IT support, a library service, and support by a Fellow Manager and Event Coordinator.


During their fellowship, the international Senior Fellows are expected to

  • live and work in the Ruhr area,
  • be present at the College at least three days per week (Tue - Thu),
  • actively take part in the weekly colloquium as well as in other academic activities of the College (conferences, lectures, reading groups, etc.),
  • collaborate with the tandem partner on a regular basis, and
  • organise at least one event (e.g., workshop, lecture, seminar) with the tandem partner.

The Senior Fellows are also expected to acknowledge the College for Social Sciences and Humanities in talks and publications related to the fellowship.

The working language at the College is English, proficiency in German is not mandatory.

Location and Academic Environment

Based in one of the densest and most diversified science hubs in Europe, the College for Social Sciences and Humanities offers its international Senior Fellows excellent conditions for interdisciplinary research and manifold opportunities for academic exchange and networking. For more than 14,000 researchers, the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) provides a conducive framework for cutting-edge research and cross-university, interdisciplinary collaboration: it harbours 21 collaborative research centres, 17 research training groups, and dozens of research projects funded by the German Research Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research or the European Research Council.

All member universities of the UA Ruhr maintain close ties with prestigious national and international research institutions, such as the Max Planck Society and the Leibniz Association, and European university networks, such as Aurora and UNIC. Furthermore, the Senior Fellows will be in close contact with the interdisciplinary research professorships and junior research groups of the College. Fellows may also profit from various local collaborative research centres in the social sciences and humanities and partnerships with other research institutions, such as the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. A large variety of renowned museums, theatres, galleries, archives, and other cultural institutions adds to the attractive environment of the Ruhr region.

Other German university cities such as Düsseldorf, Cologne, or Münster are within short reach. Several destinations in bordering European countries Belgium, the Netherlands, France, or Switzerland are only a few hours’ travel away.

More information about the University Alliance Ruhr: www.uaruhr.de

Research Alliance Ruhr

As part of the UA Ruhr, the Research Alliance Ruhr was founded in 2021 to concentrate excellence in different research fields: along with the College for Social Sciences and Humanities, the four Research Centres “One Health Ruhr – From Molecules to Systems”, “Chemical Sciences and Sustainability”, “Trustworthy Data Science and Security”, and “Future Energy Materials and Systems” form its constituent parts. The Research Alliance Ruhr is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

How to apply

Applicants are asked to submit their application via the online form: www.college-uaruhr.de/fellowship/application-form.

Along with a brief outline of the planned research project and the intended tandem collaboration (written in English, up to 10,000 characters incl. spaces), applications must include the following information:

  • the preferred period of the fellowship
  • the preferred funding option
  • the name of the potential tandem partner and a letter of intent in which the partner confirms their commitment to collaborate with the applicant during the fellowship
  • the desired outcome/goal of the fellowship and tandem collaboration (e.g., joint conference, publication, grant proposal)
  • CV (incl. a list of the applicant’s five most important publications)

The application deadline is 10 June 2024 (23:59 CEST).

The selection of Fellows will take place in July / August 2024, selected candidates will be informed shortly thereafter. The selection committee may conduct interviews via video conference as part of the selection process.

For detailed information on the international Senior Fellowship Programme, please read the FAQ.


With questions regarding the international Senior Fellowship Programme, please contact Sophia-Helena Zwaka (e-mail: fellowship@college-uaruhr.de, phone: +49 201 183-6543).


Submit an Application