Frequently Asked Questions

(Concerning Fellowship Applications)


I don't yet fulfill the eligibility requirements, but soon will - Can I still apply?

For the 2016/18 announcement applicants who have not yet fulfilled all requirements for receiving a PhD (e.g. have not yet passed the dissertation defense with at most minor revisions) should be certain they can do so by 1 July 2016. Such applicants should make sure that their application includes a statement from their supervisor, department or university confirming their expectation that they will have fulfilled all requirements in time.

My last degree was more than ten years ago - Can I still apply?

The fellowships announced are meant for individuals early in their career. While there is no age limit, applicants must not have received their (last) PhD more than ten years before the date of appointment (i.e. not before 15 September 2006 for the 2016/18 fellowships).

Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions, as it would not be fair towards those who are held off from applying due to this rule.

Is it possible to apply for shorter fellowships?

As an ongoing common discussion is an important element of the fellowship programme, the announcement is primarily aimed at applicants interested in a fellowship for two academic years. However, we also accept applications for shorter fellowships, which we may offer in exceptional cases or when places open up during the two-year project.

We are a team - can we apply together?

The ICI Berlin welcomes collaborative work and does not exclude people applying together. However, given the limited number of fellowships offered on a competitive basis, a team with one collaborative project would have to share their stipend and the office space may have to be shared as well. Furthermore, members of the team would have to be individually eligible for a fellowship. Each should send a complete application and state clearly on the application form with whom they are applying.

Several stipends can only be given if the individuals in the team also have individual projects. In this case, both the individual and joint projects will be factored in when evaluating the applications. If you have a joint and individual project, please indicate on the application form whether you are interested in the fellowship also if your partner(s) were not selected and/or you had to share the stipend.

The requirements in the announcement and guidelines differ - how come?

The ICI Fellowship Guidelines identify the general parameters of the ICI fellowship programme and are intended to remain quite constant and to be adapted only gradually over the years.

The Announcements, by contrast, are formulated every other year to reflect the emphasis that the Selection  Committee seeks to set for the upcoming selection process. In addition to specifying the research focus, they may also indicate further selection criteria.


What is included in the character count (abstract, proposal, samples)?

The character count includes spaces and footnotes.

Additional information such as a bibliography may be added separately, if you don't consider it to be essential for the application. That is: only what is within the indicated character limit is certain to be read and considered for the evaluation.

In what language(s) may I apply?

The abstract and proposal of your application must be in English or German.

For the reference letters and work samples, French, Italian, and Spanish are also acceptable due to the current composition of the selection board. A short abstract or summary in English or German would however be appreciated for the work samples.

Can I send documents by regular mail?

As the selection comittee is distributed over several countries and we do not have the resources to duplicate and forward non-electronic documents, there is no point in sending us documents by regular mail.
If you cannot upload your documents through the application portal application.ici-berlin.org, please make them available through a dropbox or on a website.
In any case, please note that we cannot return any material that you mail to us.

Do you need official copies of transcripts, certificates etc.?

Transcripts and Certificates are no longer needed at the time of application, but please note that if you are selected and accept the fellowship, you will be asked to provide evidence of your degree as well as to sign your application and certify its correctness before beginning the fellowship at the ICI Berlin.

Can I use a dossier service for the reference letters?

Of course, you can also use a dossier service to have letters of recommendations sent to us. It would be preferable if they could upload the dossier at application.ici-berlin.org/letter, but they are also welcome to mail it to application2016(at)ici-berlin.org.

What is the deadline for the letters of recommendation?

The deadline for the letters of recommendation is the same as for the application itself. However, as we understand that the timely submission of the letters is not entirely in the applicant's control, we will not disqualify applications with late letters. Please make sure that the letters arrive within a week of the deadline as the selection process will have started by then and missing letters of recommendation may have an unfavourable impact on your application.

I have checked "Application Complete" and clicked "Save Changes", but did not receive any confirmation

This is alright. Upon registering, you receive your "private application link" by e-mail; thereafter you will receive no further message to confirm the submission of your application. You can be assured that we receive everything that you have entered in the form and uploaded, and that we will begin reviewing it after the deadline has passed. (Before the end of the deadline you can double-check what we receive: by opening a new browser window with your private application link. You'll be shown what has been stored in the system. And of course, we'll also have access to the pdfs uploaded.)

Further Questions

How precisely is the stipend level determined?

The range indicated in the fellowship announcement translates into two stipend levels, depending on whether a PhD is held for less than six years or more. When a fellow's status changes the stipend level is adapted in the subsequent month. 

Can I come by the ICI Berlin to discuss some details of the application?

We hope for your understanding that for reasons of both fairness and limited resources the ICI staff cannot meet prospective fellows to discuss their applications.

You should find most questions addressed in these (continuously updated) FAQs or the application instructions and the documents indicated there.

Where these documents do not specify an exact requirement for the application material, please use your own judgment to determine what material would be most helpful for the selection committee to evaluate your application.

If, after carefully reading these materials, you still have a question regarding your application, please contact us at info(at)ici-berlin.org.

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