Think Tank School 2024: Call for Applications

Embark on a transformative journey with our comprehensive learning program.

CfA Think Tank School 2024


At a Glance   

Program: four thematic training modules, three self-paced project phases, regular peer calls
Duration: six months, from May 14 to November 7, 2024
Location: Berlin, Brussels, and Online     
Language: English 
Application Deadline: April 7, 2024
Tuition Fee: EUR 1,175 (excl. statutory VAT)  


The Think Tank School is a unique training program for early-career professionals that is specifically tailored to the requirements and demands of the think tank sector. 

The six-month program offers fellows the opportunity to take the next step in their careers by developing their skills for effective think tank work, expanding their professional network in the policy and think tank community, and applying innovative methods to an individual research project of their choice.


Who Can Participate    

The Think Tank School is open to think tank professionals who have:

  • Research and analysis roles in a think tank or policy-oriented research institute based in Germany; and
  • One to five years of professional experience in the sector or other relevant fields. 

Career changers are also welcome to participate. We do not impose age restrictions for applicants. The program offers 15 to 18 spots per cohort. 

We reserve the right to allocate a limited number of places to think tankers from European organizations. If this applies to you, please get in touch directly. 

You can check the profiles and projects of the previous participants here.

Learning Objectives

The Think Tank School is based on a competency framework that was specifically developed to reflect the variety of skills required to excel as a think tanker in an ever-changing environment.  

After participating in the Think Tank School, you will be able to:

  • Critically reflect and consciously shape your dynamic role as a think tanker;
  • Develop and implement innovative and relevant projects that are designed 
    to impact policy;
  • Cooperate with peers and stakeholders toward a common policy goal; and
  • Provide your organization with impulses for its further development. 

Why Participate 

For fellows: Unlock your potential at the Think Tank School – a unique opportunity to acquire and test new skills within the context of a practical policy project. Get expert guidance, implement innovative projects, and expand your professional network by connecting with peers, policymakers, and think tank stakeholders. Plus, become a member of the Bosch Alumni Network and MercatorGlobe, joining global alumni communities fostering cross-sectoral exchange and collaboration.

For organizations: Enhance your think tank's capabilities through the Think Tank School – systematically train and empower your employees, gain insights into innovative approaches, and expand your network with other think tanks. The School provides a safe space for experimenting with novel project forms and designs while ensuring a seamless knowledge transfer back to your organization.

Tuition Fee

Participation in the Think Tank School is possible for a fee of EUR 1,175 (excl. statutory VAT). A limited number of partial scholarships are available in case of financial needs; please contact us directly if required. 

The tuition fee covers:

  • All expert lectures, learning activities, networking events, and site visits;
  • All online community calls with additional input from experts;
  • All learning materials, including project templates, background resources, and a learning journal; 
  • Lunch and coffee breaks during the in-person trainings and activities;
  • Diploma upon completion of the Think Tank School; and
  • Access to the Think Tank Lab community and alumni networks. 

The fee does not include travel and accommodation to Berlin and Brussels. Participants are responsible for arranging and covering these costs themselves. 

Information Webinar 

For interested participants and organizations, an information webinar will take place on March, 7, 2024, from 12:00 – 01.00 PM. To participate, please register here.

How To Apply

To apply for a spot in the Think Tank School 2024, please fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM and submit all supporting documentation by April 7, 2024.

To apply, you must submit ALL of the following:

  • A motivation statement (two-minute video or 300-word essay) describing why you would like to participate, and how you will apply what you have learned to your work. 
  • A description of the policy problem (300-word essay) you would like to work on during the program.
  • Details about the stakeholders that you would like to interview and shadow and why you have selected them. 
  • A letter of support from your organization stating that you will be allowed to participate in all trainings and community calls. It should also describe the type of support you will receive in implementing your policy project (e.g., the ability to publish your analysis on the organization’s website, assistance in organizing an event, etc.).
  • A short written bio (100 to 150 words) and your resume (two to three pages). 

Selection Process 

Participants will be selected on the basis of their experience and expertise, their chosen problem, and on how the Think Tank School will support them at this point in their career. The Think Tank Lab team will also take into consideration the background of other participants to ensure a diverse cohort.

The participants of the 2024 cohort will be announced no later than April 17, 2024.



Find more information on 
For further questions, please reach out to

The Think Tank School is an offer of the Think Tank Lab, a project of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). It is kindly supported by the Stiftung Mercator and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

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