Call for Applications

4 months Research Grant at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.

Call for Applications

The Europa Institut at the University of Zurich (EIZ) in cooperation with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), offers two short-term research grants at the top U.S. Think Tank Wilson Center in Washington D.C. in 2018.

As successful applicant you will get the chance to spend four months at the WWC conducting independent, advanced research. You will get access to their research facilities and libraries (f.e. Library of Congress) and you can profit from their strong marketing department and their wide network. The grant of total 20’800 USD will give you the freedom to focus entirely on your research.


About the Wilson Center:

The Wilson International Center for Scholars is the official memorial to the nation’s 28th president. More than just a collection of marble pillars and famous quotes, the Wilson Center is “a living memorial,” a gathering place for some of the best and brightest scholars and experts from around the world. Their work is the centerpiece of the activity and informs the nation’s public policy debates with nonpartisan and relevant research and information.

At the Wilson Center, preeminent scholars and experts research topics of national and international relevance. In the spirit of President Wilson, they build a bridge between the worlds of academia and public policy, to inform and develop solutions to the nation’s problems and challenges.

Through public meetings and events, broadcast media and social media, publications in print and online, and a wide range of outreach activities, the Wilson Center is engaged in the global dialogue of ideas. More importantly, the Wilson Center provides you with the tools and opportunities to join the national conversation.



The competition is open to outstanding and award winning scholars, practitioners, journalists and public intellectuals (individuals in higher Education Institutions or individual researchers) who want to push forward their new and evolving perspectives on historical and current events.

Priority will be given to post-docs scholars and individuals in higher education Institutions working on issues of central interest to the Wilson Center and the Global Europe Program.

The applicant must fulfil the following requirements:

  • The applicant must have a master's degree of state-recognized university;
  • The applicant must have the Swiss citizenship or a valid Swiss residence permit;
  • The applicantsmust be fluent in both written and spoken English.


Benefits and Responsibilities:

This is a residential scholarship program. The EIZ, through an agreement of administrative logistic support with the Wilson Center, will provide a 5,200 USD per month stipend, broken down as follows: housing & living, room & board allowance, round trip airfare, and health insurance.

The stipend will be awarded through a contract signed between the EIZ and the successful applicants. The Center will offer a library carrel space available 24 hours a day, and a windows-based personal computer. The Wilson Center’s Library provides access to digital resources, its book and journal collections, and to the Library of Congress, university and special libraries in the Washington metropolitan area, and other research facilities.

While at the Wilson Center, you will be expected to pursue full-time independent research and writing based on the topic outlined in their proposal, submitted at the time of application. You will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences organized by the Wilson Center, as well as to contribute to the intellectual life of the Wilson Center, and the larger Washington, D.C. scholarly community.


In addition the scholars must publish two contributions on their current work write a 1-2 pages report on their experiences at the Wilson Center once they get back from D.C.

Although you will be responsible for locating your own housing in the Washington, D.C. area, the Center provides housing suggestions to help facilitate the search process.


Deadlines for 2018:

  • Deadline for submitting applications to the EIZ:
    • 1 June 2017
  • Final selection:
    • Fall 2017
  • Start of the Short term Research Fellowship Program:
    • January, June or September 2018


Application Requirements & Guidelines:

  • A one page cover letter outlining your motivation, the title of your research, and the desired starting date;
  • a professional curriculum vitae (please indicate your birthdate);
  • a brief description of the proposed research project (max. 5 pages, double spaced, including:
    • the title of your research;
    • a detailed explanation of the research topic;
    • discussion of the methods, approaches, sources, and materials to be used;
    • a discussion of the project’s originality, its scholarly contribution, and its relevance in relation to contemporary issues future research;
    • plan for the time after your stay at the Wilson Center.


Selection Criteria:

  • Significance of the proposed research, including the importance, and originality of the project;
  • relevance for the Wilson Center;
  • academic achievements of the applicant.


A panel of experts selected by the EIZ will review all the applications and make recommendations for the final selection of the Wilson Center. The representatives of the Wilson Center, in collaboration with the EIZ, will make the final selection.



Carrie Bührer

Europa Institut at the University of Zurich
Hirschengraben 56
CH-8001 Zürich
tel.: +41 44 634 48 91


In Cooperation with


Swiss Day 2016: «Transatlantic Perspectives in Fighting Violent Extremism: Challenges and Strategies»

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Swiss Day 2015: «Can Central Banks Save the Global Economy?»»

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Experience Prof. Dr. Martina Viarengo

«It has been a wonderful experience to serve as a Swiss Scholar at the Wilson Center, and a great honor. I am very grateful to the Europa Institute for offering me this opportunity.

I really enjoyed my stay. Being at Wilson has meant being part of an extremely dynamic and forward-looking policy-oriented research environment, and being surrounded by enthusiastic members of the Staff and Scholars committed to address some of the most pressing global challenges. I was impressed by the breadth of scope of the Center’s Programs and Initiatives, the number of high-profile events and seminars organized every week. In addition to this, being in Washington has allowed me to interact with colleagues at the IMF, Brookings and the World Bank, as well as to observe the different dimensions of U.S. policy-making.

Moreover, the intellectually stimulating environment has made my stay very productive. I benefited from getting access to historical sources and archives at the Library of Congress, and made good progress on a research project on the long-run consequences of large-scale migratory flows.  In addition to this, I completed a book on the role of education policy and other interventions in preventing youth unemployment.

More importantly, my stay has allowed me to better understand what President Wilson envisioned as a “living memorial” and what he referred to, when on an earlier occasion he mentioned that [we] “are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement”.» (Prof. Dr. Martina Viarengo, Swiss Fellow 2015)



 M. Viarengo [joint with L. Pritchett] (2015), “The State, Socialization and Private Schooling: When Will Governments Support Alternative Producers?” Journal of Development Studies, (lead article), Vol. 51, No. 7, July, pp. 784-807; [Harvard University, Center for International Development Working Paper No. 272]

M. Viarengo [joint with F. Kramarz] (2015), “Ni en Emploi Ni en Formation – Des Jeunes Laissés pour Compte,” Paris: Sciences-Po Press

The book has recently been reviewed in Le Monde