Young DGAP Fellowship

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Fellowship – Bewerbung beendet


At a glance

Duration of the 2023/2023 cycle: October 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024    
Number of fellows: 4
Location: Berlin and online                 

The Young DGAP Fellowship 2023/ 2024 has been completed. The call for applications for the next cycle (starting in October) will be published here in the summer.

Young DGAP

Founded in 2008, Young DGAP offers programs and innovative event formats tailored to young foreign policy professionals. These are created as additional DGAP offerings for all members under the age of 35 that offer information and networking on topics such as training, getting started professionally, and careers. In particular, we also call on our young members to get involved, e.g., to initiate and carry out events themselves. Young DGAP aims to provide its members with a helpful, inspiring platform through which to become active in foreign affairs and to set YOUNG impulses in foreign policy!

Program description

The Young DGAP Fellowship Program offers a variety of opportunities to deepen one’s knowledge in the field of foreign policy and to expand one’s network in politics, academia, and civil society. Throughout, fellows can draw on the experience, expertise, and networking of the DGAP Research Institute.

As part of their fellowships, Young DGAP Fellows develop their own policy project on a topic related to a thematic focus of the DGAP Research Institute. Professional support is provided by a mentor from the Research Institute who, in addition to supporting the fellow in the implementation of his or her policy project, is the contact person for all questions, provides assistance, and opens doors into the policy world.

Fellows can also help shape debates on foreign and security policy both internally at (Young) DGAP and externally, for example by organizing and participating in panel discussions or by giving keynote addresses. The fellowship can serve as a springboard for making one’s expertise known to a larger professional audience and gaining experience in think tank work.

Target group

For the 2023/2024 cycle, we are looking for highly motivated students (with at least a bachelor’s degree) or young professionals (up to 35 years old) with initial experience in the field of data science and an interest in foreign policy issues. Applicants should demonstrate competencies in one or more areas of data science, such as:

  • Data collection
  • Data processing
  • (Interactive) visualization
  • Statistics

We place particular emphasis on the ability of applicants to apply their data science skills to foreign policy issues. In the 2023/2024 cycle, the fellows – in cooperation with DGAP experts – will support innovative approaches to analysis, consulting, and communication at the intersection of these fields. We are looking for candidates outside of traditional political science whose professional and methodological background complements the profile of the teams in the DGAP Research Institute, e.g., advanced studies/degrees in data science, information design, fine arts, social and economic communication, futurology, new work and design thinking, or other disciplines.

The Young DGAP Fellowship Program aims to promote diversity in policy advice and policy-making. Underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply, especially people with migration histories, people with disabilities, and first-generation academics.

Membership in Young DGAP is not a prerequisite for participation. 

Main topics

The call for applications for the 2023/2024 cycle focuses on these projects created in cooperation with the DGAP Research Insitute with an orientation toward data science. Further projects will be announced shortly so please stay tuned!

Topic 1: Norms in Cyberspace

The DGAP project “Norms in Cyberspace” analyzes the emergence of norms within the United Nations’ Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and its Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) as well as in state-led cyber operations. In particular, it focuses on better understanding how emerging technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things shape the character of cyber norms. 

Against this background, the project of the Young DGAP Fellow will examine how states define critical infrastructure. We aim to visualize the data collected on a world map with interactive elements and make the results publicly available. The project ties into the 2021–2025 OEWG for the Security and Use of Information and Communications Technology and will help to create greater transparency and strengthen trust across borders.

Topic 2: Civilian Stabilization

The societies in the states of the Sahel are confronted with armed groups, climate change impacts, strong population growth, insecure governance, and other challenges. Niger – with a democratically elected government that shows no interest in Russian influence and pursues partnerships with many European states – has long been seen as an anchor of stability in this region, but the coup of July 26, 2023, is now changing circumstances there. The fact that no one seems to have been prepared for it illustrates the lack of oversight in the numerous military and civilian collaborations with Niger. In view of the current developments, the DGAP project on “Civilian Stabilitzation” can adapt dynamically; the same holds true for the activities of the accompanying Young DGAP Fellowship project.

Topic 3: TBD


Topic 4: TBD


An accompanying training program

In addition to receiving professional support, the fellows benefit from a structured training program that is carried out in cooperation with the Impact & Innovation Lab. It accompanies the fellows in the process of implementing their policy projects. In interactive workshops, experts impart practical knowledge, instruments, and important framework conditions for innovative and effective think tank work. In addition, various networking activities take place, giving fellows the opportunity to get to know their mentors better and to exchange ideas with other staff members at DGAP and beyond.

Participation in the training modules is a mandatory part of the fellowship. The modules for the 2023/2024 cohort will be similar to those used in the previous cycle:


DGAP reserves the right to make program changes at any time. If the further evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic does not permit face-to-face meetings, all training will be conducted online or hybrid.


All fellows are expected to actively participate in all training modules and the monthly jour fixe meetings, as well as to work independently and on their own responsibility on the individual policy projects. A fellowship contract is concluded between DGAP and the fellows, which defines the mutual rights and obligations. After successful participation in at least 80 percent of all mandatory modules and the completion of the policy project, the fellows receive certificates for their participation in the fellowship as well as a one-year free membership in DGAP.


Very good knowledge of German and English is required for the fellowship. The working language with the mentors and for possible publications or events can be chosen individually; the training modules take place in German. The working language at DGAP is predominantly German.

Payment and scope of work

Fellows receive a monthly allowance of 450€ (mini-job basis). The weekly working time is 8 hours. It should be noted that future fellows must be registered in Germany.

If the place of residence in Germany is outside Berlin, travel expenses and accommodation during the three training modules will be covered within the framework of DGAP’s guidelines.

Past Cohorts

The 2022/2023 Cycle

Topic 1: Complex challenges to domestic and foreign policy: the nexus between internal and external security.

Mentor: Miriam Katharina Heß, Security and Defense Program

Fellow: Verena Wingerter

Topics such as migration, technology, terrorism, extremism and climate cannot (or no longer) be adequately addressed by the classical division into matters of domestic and foreign policy. Both policymakers and researchers in political science and international relations still find it difficult to link internal and external security policy in such a way that a usable framework can emerge. Conceptual challenges include the understanding of "internal security" as distinct from "external security," as well as questions about the meaning of "internal" as "domestic" or as "intra-European." Further then those aspects which are part of our external security as part of other, non-European regions and those which are also to be treated as aspects of our internal security. It is not sufficient to think boldly and broadly only within one discipline, an interdisciplinary view corresponding to the challenge is needed in order to be able to identify conceptual core questions as well as future trends, relevant stakeholders and topics.

Desired subject expertise: e.g. law, futurology, physics, IT, data science, geography, biology, engineering.

Topic 2: China and the geopolitics of digital infrastructure: What are the consequences of the current situation for innovation and Europe's technological competitiveness?

Mentor: Dr. Tim Rühlig, Technology and Global Affairs Program

Fellow: Felix Klein

Europe has largely banned Chinese technology giant Huawei from its market. But European providers are also visibly disappearing from the rollout of the 5G network in China. This raises questions for innovation and long-term technological competitiveness as more innovative technology is deployed in the Chinese market. As a critical digital infrastructure, the development of wireless networks is central to Europe's digital competitiveness and strategic autonomy. How do the policy frameworks and their technical implementation differ in wireless infrastructure in Europe and China? What are the implications for the development of future technology, in particular 6G? What are the implications of these developments for Europe's technological competitiveness?

These questions are at the core of this project and include political, regulatory, economic and technological dimensions. In addition to supervision by DGAP, fellows will also have access to a joint research project with other European China researchers and engineers.

Desired subject expertise: Technical understanding of wireless network infrastructure (e.g. through computer science or engineering studies).

Topic 3: The lost innocence of weather - climate attribution science and its practical applications

Mentors: Dana Schirwon and Dr. Kai Kornhuber, Center for Climate and Foreign Policy

Fellow: Lea Rahman

Attribution Science and the Loss and Damage Fund: Using Science Will Make the Fund More Fair and Effective

Despite international agreements to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, current emissions trends fall far short of those needed to achieve these goals, and radical change is not in sight. The new discipline of climate attribution addresses the extent to which extreme weather and other climate signals and their impacts can be attributed to human-induced climate change. Courts around the world are now confronted with this question when states or large companies with high CO2 emissions are sued by affected parties. The scientific findings of attribution science are thus finding their way into courtrooms to hold polluters responsible and liable. Climate attribution science thus offers potential for the enforcement of effective climate protection. Extreme weather attribution combines natural science, humanities, and social science components and is central to climate and science communication.

Desired subject expertise: e.g., law, physics, natural sciences, social sciences, data science, fine arts, media and communication studies, design thinking.

Topic 4: Thinking outside the box - new perspectives for the implementation of a Feminist Foreign Policy in Germany

Mentor: Leonie Stamm

Fellow: Jannis Kappelmann


In its coalition agreement, the new German government pledges to "strengthen the rights, resources and representation of women and girls worldwide and promote social diversity in the spirit of a Feminist Foreign Policy." German foreign policy is thus henceforth to conform to the principles of a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP). The underlying assumption of FFP has been specified by the German government as "inclusive, intersectional foreign policy that reflects the needs of society as a whole." Beyond that, implementation has so far remained unspecified.

Feminist foreign policy is a comprehensive approach with the principle of human security at its core. It affects numerous policy fields. But what does its implementation mean in concrete terms for German policy? A strategy paper on the implementation of FFP, to be published in early 2023, should provide clarity. It must ensure that FFP can be applied in a context-oriented manner to Germany's role in a global structure. FFP must provide both long-term and short-term answers, while also addressing current issues.

The need for solution-oriented recommendations for action and sound, context-oriented analyses is growing in this framework - especially as a complement to the primarily normative-activist treatment of the topic. Additional perspectives and disciplines can help define the implementation of an FFP and include other contexts for a comprehensive analysis.

Desired subject expertise: e.g., economics, business communication, statistics, administrative sciences, social psychology, military training.

Contact person



Past events