CIVICA Post-doctoral fellowship programme

CIVICA Post-doctoral fellowship programme

A unique funded opportunity for postdoctoral researchers in the social sciences and humanities to spend an academic year at one of the CIVICA partner institutions.

  • Description
  • Modalities
  • Conditions for eligibility
  • Application
  • List of sending institutions
  • List of receiving institutions
  • Selection criteria
  • Selection process

CIVICA partners have established a fellowship programme for postdoctoral researchers to spend up to ten (10) months at a CIVICA partner institution.

The programme is funded and selected applicants will receive an allowance/grant to cover their mobility. The specific financial conditions vary from one institution to another. Interested potential applicants are invited to turn to the contact persons listed below for further details. 

The aim of the CIVICA postdoctoral fellowship programme is to support early-stage researchers (ESRs) in their career development by increasing mobility across the alliance as well as to enhance collaboration within CIVICA.

In order to ensure feasibility and proper embedding in both the sending and the receiving institutions, certain practical modalities will differ from one partner to another in terms of length of the mobility period, eligibility conditions and access to additional funding covering mobility costs.

For example, institutions where postdoctoral fellows are expected to teach, may require shorter and or non-consecutive stays of the postdoctoral fellow at the host institution (the time spent at the host institution should normally be of at least  6 months overall, although shorter stays might be authorised if in the best interest of the post-doctoral fellow). 

As another example, while some partners will select their candidates only from their current pool of post-docs, thus affording the candidates an extra post-doctoral year, other partners will select (also) from their doctoral graduates to be (i.e. PhD researchers who will be defending their thesis during the application period to the fellowship programme), in which case the fellowship will enable the candidate’s first (and perhaps only) post-doctoral year.


Candidates must be registered either as a post-doctoral researcher (including those who may have a bridging teaching contract) or be about to complete or have completed a doctorate in the social sciences or humanities at a CIVICA partner institution. The applicants should be affiliated to their home institution during the application procedure and their post-doctoral fellowship. There are no further general requirements for eligibility but each university may add specific eligibility criteria.

Institution specific

For the European University Institute: only current Max Weber Fellows (first or second year) are eligible. 

For SNSPA,: PhD candidates in their last year of the PhD programme or recently graduated PhD researchers (no more than four years since graduation) are eligble in principle but their fellowship is conditional upon becoming post-doctoral students of SNSPA no later than 1 October 2024. 

Applications by candidates must include:

  • A CV and a list of publications (if any);
  • A research proposal (stating an innovative research question/hypothesis, methodology, and expected outcomes, typically a working paper);
  • A motivation letter explaining how you would benefit from spending an academic year at the host university;
  • A letter of support from the sending institution (director of post-doc programme, head of department, dean, as the case may be);
  • A letter of intent from the host institution (in principle, from the unit that will host the postdoc) concerning its willingness and ability (working space etc.), in principle (i.e. subject to the outcome of selection – see below), to host the candidate as a postdoctoral fellow;
  • A letter of intent from a professor at the host institution concerning their willingness, in principle, to act as an academic mentor for the candidate during their stay (which means, at a minimum, to meet a few times to discuss their work and ideas).
  • Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
  • Central European University, Vienna, Austria
  • European University Institute, Florence, Italy
  • Sciences Po, Paris, France
  • SNSPA, Bucharest, Romania
  • Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
  • Central European University, Vienna, Austria
  • European University Institute, Florence, Italy
  • Hertie School, Berlin, Germany
  • IE University, Madrid, Spain
  • Sciences Po, Paris, France
  • SNSPA, Bucharest, Romania
  • Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
  • SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Poland

The (weighed) selection criteria will be the following: 

  • Excellence of the candidate, as presented in their CV and list of publications (1/3)
  • Excellence of the research project (1/3)
  • Benefit from mobility, as presented in their motivation letter (1/3)

The selection takes place in two stages. The first stage occurs locally, at the sending university. The second stage occurs centrally, in an ad-hoc CIVICA committee under WP51.

First stage (locally, at the sending university)

  • The sending university decides on how to organise the first stage of the selection, taking into account the following guidelines:
    • Compliance with the abovementioned eligibility criteria;
    • Ranking based on merit of the candidate (see the selection criteria), but with due consideration of a good spread over academic disciplines (and where possible over prospective host universities);
    • Awareness of possible biases (gender, minority background, academic disciplines);
    • Partners might consider an interview with applicants as part of the selection process;
    • Ideally, the selection should be carried out by a committee of at least three professors (gender balanced and diverse)
  • The local selection results in a full ranking of all candidates deemed eligible.

Second stage (centrally, in ad-hoc CIVICA committee)

  • All partners are invited to indicate one member of the ad-hoc committee, in principle their Dean of Post-Doctoral Studies (or similar).
  • The committee will apply the selection criteria; stated above, while taking into account:
    • distribution over institutions (each sending and receiving up to two fellows),
    • distribution over academic disciplines,
    • diversity (e.g. gender, ethnicity, race etc)
  • The central selection results in full lists of selected candidates (up to two per institution) and (when available) reserve candidates (up to two per institution).

    1 WP5 is the structured working package of the alliance's project dedicated to doctoral and post-doctoral programmes.


  • 19 March 2024 |  Call for applications launched
  • 19 April 2024 | Deadline for applications
  • 3 May 2024 | First stage selection finalised at partner universities
  • 17 May 2024 | Second stage of selection: CIVICA meeting ad hoc
  • End of May 2024 | Sending universities inform applicants about the outcome

Contacts for questions and submission of applications

Photo credits: EUI.

The CIVICA postdoctoral mobility fellowship programme is coordinated by the European University Institute.  The CIVICA Alliance brings together ten leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences to build an inter-university campus that provides joint and long-lasting opportunities in teaching, research and innovative learning with the aim of enhancing academic excellence and facilitating civic engagement in Europe and beyond. CIVICA was selected by the European Commission as one of the pilot European Universities in 2019 and confirmed in 2022 for its full roll-out. Subscribe to the CIVICA newsletter.