The Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs annually sponsors 24 German-speaking young professionals and university graduates from all disciplines who are committed to improving the world of tomorrow. Fellows receive a monthly grant; foreign trips, conferences and language courses may also be funded. Mercator Fellows are part of a network of more than 400 alumni, the Netzwerk für internationale Aufgaben (nefia e.V.).

If you have any question about the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, please contact  Wiebke Hamel, Stiftung Mercator, and Dr Julia Schütze, German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

Working in International Organizations

During the 13-month programme, Fellows work in two or three international organizations that are active worldwide – non-governmental or non-profit organizations, or business enterprises. The Fellows’ own practical questions serve as their project proposals and determine their workstations anywhere in the world. Seminars are also held on current issues in foreign policy and international cooperation, and to develop their leadership skills and key competencies.

An International Career Start for University Graduates and Young Professionals

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 as well as the Swiss Study Foundation and the Mercator Foundation Switzerland in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Fellowship’s dean is Dr. Klaus Scharioth, former State Secretary in the German Federal Foreign Office and ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC.


Twenty German Fellows are selected by the German project partners. The Mercator Foundation Switzerland and the Swiss Study Foundation run the application process for the Swiss Fellows.

Application Requirements

  • Independently designed project plans that suggest possible workstations
  • An outstanding degree from a university or a university of applied science (masters, state examination, diploma or comparable degree)
  • Very good English-language skills and knowledge of another modern foreign language



  • At least one year of international experience after graduation
  • At least one year of professional experience (internships are acceptable)
  • Very good all-round education, very good knowledge of international politics and economics, broad personal interests and social engagement




  • Graduation within the last five years

  • German or Swiss nationality

Alumni of the Carlo Schmid Programme may apply for a Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs if at least two years have elapsed between their participation in the Carlo-Schmid Programme and the start of their Mercator Fellowship.

Application tool

Applications for a Mercator Fellowship must be made online during the application period.

> Application Link

 Please note that we only consider applications of german citizens.

  • September 2018: Start of the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs, Fellows 2018/19
  • 25 October 2018:  Start of Application period, Fellows 2019/2020
  • 20 December 2018: Application Deadline, Fellows 2019/2020

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