20 re:constitution Fellowships "Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe" (Forum Transregionale Studien e.V.)

20 re:constitution Fellowships "Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe" (Forum Transregionale Studien e.V.)

Forum Transregionale Studien e.V.
Vom - Bis
01.10.2020 - 31.07.2021
Forum Transregionale Studien e.V.

Democratic values are increasingly contested in the EU, but how to deal with and respond to these tendencies? In view of these developments, re:constitution promotes dialogue on democracy and the rule of law across Europe and its member states. The programme is intended to offer room for discussions and enable European scholars and professionals to share experiences and exchange ideas on this topic of paramount importance. re:constitution is a joint programme of the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien and Democracy Reporting International, led by Christoph Möllers who is Professor of Public Law at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Permanent Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. The programme is funded by Stiftung Mercator.

re:constitution invites applications for 20 fellowships for the upcoming academic year from October 2020 to July 2021. The programme aims to provide for a high-quality and flexible environment of exchange and debate among scholars, legal practitioners and journalists from across Europe. Fellows will pursue their own, topic-related projects and will become part of a European exchange network. For more information on the re:constitution programme and the application form, please visit reconstitution.eu.


in the early stages of your career as a

SCHOLAR holding a PhD* in
- Law/Legal Studies
- Political sciences, social sciences, philosophy or other neighbouring disciplines (focusing on legal issues and/or the rule of law in Europe)


- Legal expert (i.e. judge or court employee, in NGOs,…)
- Government official
- Researcher working on questions on the rule of law and/or democracy in the EU
- Journalist reporting on the rule of law and/or democracy in the EU

Eligible for the fellowship are residents of the European Union or the United Kingdom, non-EU EEA countries or Switzerland.

*Your PhD project should have been completed no more than 10 years ago. Scholars who are still working on their project may be eligible if their PhD is close to completion. For practitioners, a PhD is not required.


- You are interested in current developments and challenges regarding democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
- You are looking for new ways to work on your own project within the context of democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
- You want to be part of a group of fellows to debate and learn from each other.
- You are keen to pursue new work opportunities at institutions in other EU countries.
- You want to engage in a multi-faceted exchange about questions on democracy and the rule of law in Europe with junior and senior experts from all over Europe, from different sectors and from across the political spectrum.


re:constitution fellowships for one academic year, starting from 1st October 2020 until 31 July 2021, offering the freedom to pursue your own project on a topic of your choice, such as an academic article, essay, policy paper, book, report, podcast, feature story, piece of analysis, etc.
For non-academic experts, a fellowship could be a form of sabbatical.
Please visit our website to take a look at the first group of re:constitution fellows:https://www.reconstitution.eu/en/fellows.html

Exchange and Debate
Personal exchange meetings of 3-5 days in EU countries: The first meeting will take place from 27 to 30 October 2020 in Berlin and Frankfurt/Oder, the second and third in February and June 2021 in other EU member states. The curriculum of these meetings will be developed jointly by the fellows and in consultation with the coordinator of the programme. Opportunities to attend and organise events with emphasis on specific aspects and topics of the programme.

Mobility period of six months, the so-called ‘stage’ at institutions of scholarship and practice of your choice in another EU country than your residential one; the ‘stage’ should be divided between a research institution and an institution of legal practice. Monthly stipend of €2.500 during the ‘stage’ (plus supplements, depending on personal circumstances).

Access to a European network of scholars and practitioners who are interested in and working on questions on the current state of democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

Digital exchange formats for the fellows: The exchange between the fellows will be supported by a secure digital working space provided by the Forum Transregionale Studien.

Please submit your application via our secure online application platform by 24 May 2020:

Applications by email will not be considered. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
the programme coordination team: reconstitution@trafo-berlin.de

You will be asked to prepare and upload as part of your application:
- Curriculum vitae including publications (2-3 pages),
- Project outline (2-3 pages),
- Short abstract of your project (max. 300 words),
- Two references (university faculty members or practitioners in a field relevant to the applicant’s project) who can serve as referees (no letters of recommendation required),
- Potential host institutions (your preferred institutions of research or practice in EU member states to spend part of your ‘stage’, ideally including an indication of preferred dates and/or existing personal contacts).

The working language of re:constitution is English.

The diversity of our society should also be reflected in the fellowships. We therefore welcome applicants regardless of their cultural and social background, age, religion, world view, disabilities or sexual identity. The applications will be evaluated by the re:constitution Collegium of experts from different European countries. All applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process during July.

We are monitoring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the safety and mobility of people closely, but for now we are hoping to go ahead with the fellowships as announced in this call.

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien (Forum) is a research platform that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and outside, it carries out research projects that examine other regions of the world and their relationship to Germany and Europe systematically and with new questions. The Forum currently supports the following research programs and initiatives: Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME), Prisma Ukraïna: Research Network Eastern Europe, re:constitution – Exchange and Analysis on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe. Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship and 4A LAB: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics are programs that are closely connected to the Forum. The Forum is a founding member of the Academy in Exile and of the consortium of MECAM: Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb to be established in Tunis in 2020.

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin, Germany. DRI supports and engages people who are working to build, preserve and defend democratic and accountable institutions. DRI believes that institutions play a critical role. People make change, but institutions preserve it. In a polarised world, DRI helps local actors to protect and expand the democratic space that all share, independent of political opinions, religious beliefs or personal preferences. DRI’s Berlin team works with country offices to implement projects in different countries (Tunisia, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova) and undertake policy-oriented research. Global projects and smaller country projects are also implemented directly from headquarters. Furthermore, DRI works thematically on democratic discourse, including social media & democracy, as well as rule of law in Europe. DRI’s projects are funded by the European Union, European Ministries of Foreign Affairs and private foundations.

Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; improving the quality and impact of cultural education; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities.


Lisa Möller

Wallotstraße 14
14193 Berlin

030 89001 434