After 15 years, the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs (known in German as Mercator Kolleg für internationale Aufgaben, Short: Mercator Kolleg) is entering a new phase: Starting from 2025, the Mercator Kolleg will annually award 20 scholarships to changemakers, transfer masters, and strategy developers from all fields and industries who aspire to work on sustainable visions for an inclusive and secure future. The Mercator Kolleg will function as a dynamic hub where individuals from diverse disciplines and industries converge to exchange ideas and collaboratively tackle global challenges.

Our guiding principle is formulated as: “Europe in the World 2030 – Sustainable Visions for an Inclusive and Secure Future.” We seek individuals who think globally and are willing to contribute their knowledge and perspectives in areas such as business, administration, international organisations, and NGOs, while also engaging in cross-sectoral learning.Ultimately, our aim is to cultivate a widespread understanding of global interdependencies and the imperative of cooperation in shaping an inclusive and secure future.

If you have any question about the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, please contact  Teresa Spancken, Stiftung Mercator, and Katharina Seibel, German Academic Scholarship Foundation.


All Mercator International Affairs Fellows become part of a cohort, where they engage with peers from all sectors, industries, and disciplines. A diverse and rigorous program, held at various locations across Europe, brings the cohort together in three seminars spread throughout the year, actively drawing on the expertise of the fellows. Between seminar phases, they have the opportunity to shape their year through practical fellowship placements. These placements in total range between 6 and 10 months and are primarily intended for a shift in perspective—through the immersion in a different sector, exploration of a new thematic area, or relocation to another world region.

Host institutions can invite Mercator International Affairs Fellows into their work for periods of 2-6 months, gaining new perspectives and expertise that may be less considered in their regular work routines. We invite insitutions – International Organisations, NGOs, Think Tanks, companies – to reach out to our network and to learn more about possible ways to host a Mercator Fellows. Please contact us: Teresa Spancken


The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs is a project jointly run by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office.

The Fellowship’s current dean is Dr. Klaus Scharioth, former State Secretary in the German Federal Foreign Office and ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Starting from September 2024, we welcome Sabine Sparwasser, former Ambassador to Canada, as the new director of the Mercator Kolleg.

The Fellows benefit from an active alumni network: Our over 500 members come from various fields and currently reside and work in approximately 60 countries. They assume societal responsibilities worldwide and advocate for international understanding. 75% of all graduates from the Kolleg, which has been in existence for approximately 30 years, are members of the alumni association: nefia e.V.

Fellows 2025

Applications for the Fellowship Year 2025 are accepted from April 15 – June 15 2024. After the acceptance into the programme all Mercator International Affairs Fellows will be introduced here.

Information for applicants: Please note that the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs is only open for German nationals (or permanent residents in Germany) or EU nationals with a German higher education degree and fluent German language skills. Please refer to the German website for further information: 



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