The IASS Fellowship Programme

IASS Founding Director Klaus Töpfer continues to be affiliated with the IASS as an Honorary Senior Fellow. (c) IASS/David AusserhoferIASS Founding Director Klaus Töpfer continues to be affiliated with the IASS as an Honorary Senior Fellow. (c) IASS/David Ausserhofer

The Fellowship programme at the IASS brings highly qualified people to the institute who add expertise, inspiration, and creative input to that of the staff, but who are not directly engaged in the fulfilment or operation of an IASS project. The IASS offers Fellows the opportunity to develop their ideas within an international community of world-class researchers, to engage with the latest developments in research and methodology within their disciplines in Germany, and to establish working relationships and networks with researchers at the Institute and among its various partners.

Fellows support the IASS in fulfilling its objectives of transmitting the insights of science to the political and public spheres, and generating knowledge for transformation processes towards sustainability in cooperation with key actors. They bring fresh ideas to the institute and inspire IASS researchers in their work, including through the Incubator programme, which provides opportunities for new topic development and for reflection on the foundational concepts and methods of IASS. Contributions of Fellows also contribute to enhanced cooperation between colleagues of different disciplines and experts in different sectors of society.

The programme spans six categories of fellowship. As a rule, only the Junior Fellowships will be advertised; all other fellowships will be allocated by invitation.  The first four types (1-4) of Fellows may be either from the academic community, or from practitioners or other communities, such as politics, business, and civil society (so-called “Transfer Fellows”).

  1. Junior Fellows, who are in the early stages of their careers (e.g., PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and assistant professors) and who will learn to work with new tools and engage with new approaches during their Fellowships.
  2. Mid-career Fellows for whom the stay at the IASS provides an opportunity to explore ideas and engage in scholarly debate with peers.
  3. Senior Fellows, who are in the later stages of their careers (such as full professors or directors) and for whom the IASS provides an open space for research and discussion.
  4. Associate Fellows, who are not located for extended periods at the IASS, but who interact with the Institute in relation to certain thematic areas regularly over a longer term. Associate Fellows can be at any stage in their career.
  5. Honorary Senior Fellows, who contributed substantially to the development of the Institute and shaped its profile. The Institute’s Honorary Senior Fellows include Klaus Töpfer, who was the founding director of the IASS, Carlo Rubbia, the first scientific director of the IASS, Ernst Rietschel, who was the first chair of the General Assembly of the IASS and supported its creation over many years, and Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, father of the Anthropocene concept, which has emerged as a formative concept for the IASS. These are exceptional fellowships (only four have been awarded since the creation of the IASS in 2009) and are purely honorary titles.
  6. Klaus Töpfer Fellowships are a special category of fellowship that will be awarded specifically in honour of the work of Klaus Töpfer as founding director of the IASS.