Lower Saxony – Scotland
Tandem Fellowship Programme

The Lower Saxony – Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme is an excellent opportunity for early career researchers to conduct research in a cross-national exchange at the most recognised higher education institutions in Lower Saxony and Scotland. 

The promotion of internationalisation and competence building is a central component of the programme. It leads to cross-border European cooperation in science and research, strengthens both regions as producers of excellent research in the European environment, and deepens the institutional links between participating higher education institutions. 

The programme is funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (MWK) and is supported by accompanying functions, including logistical and technical assistance as well as providing an academic collaborator at participating Scottish universities.

TANDEM CONCEPT

The Lower Saxony – Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme, connects tandems consisting of two early career researchers from a Lower Saxonian and a Scottish higher education institution, who together form a partnership and work on a joint project. The researchers will be already involved in or intend to collaborate in joint projects between Lower Saxonian and Scottish higher education institutions. 

Funds will support short-term stays (from at least one up to six months; due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is exceptionally possible to split the stay into several trips) for each early career researcher and are funded with 1,200 Euro per person per month.

Ideally, both partners should have a short stay abroad at the host institution (home institution of the tandem partner) for the purpose of the joint research project within the timeframe of the project.

ELIGIBILITY

Proposals are invited from early career researchers, postdoctoral researchers or persons holding a postdoctoral position who have completed their PhD within the last ten years and have an employment contract with a Scottish or Lower Saxonian university, university of applied science or recognized higher education institution located in Lower Saxony or Scotland, which extends for the length of any potential fellowship. 

ADMISSION

All proposals must be submitted in English, using the application form which will be made available on our website at the time of the next application phase. Each tandem partner must complete and submit a separate form (please submit all documents via fellowship@ecas-academia.org). There are no restrictions regarding the choice of theme or subject. Please bear in mind that your application will also be assessed by people who may have limited knowledge in your particular field of expertise. Proposals should therefore be comprehensible and, if possible, written in terms accessible to the educated non-expert.

Required documents:
In order for your application to be processed, all following documents must be submitted:

  • CV;
  • PhD / Dr. (med.) certificate / M.D. certificate;
  • List of most important publications;
  • Confirmation of an employment contract with the Scottish or Lower Saxonian home institution as well as the declaration exemption from work for the entire period of the stay abroad;
  • Detailed project description of max. 4 pages (must include substantiation that the projects meets the selection criteria; timeline with a maximum time frame of the stays abroad until the end of September 2023 for the joint project; description of the state of research in the relevant field).

Important: The application must be signed by the Dean / Head of School / Head of Faculty / the applicants’ line manager of home and host institution.

SELECTION CRITERIA
The selection is made according to the following criteria:

I   Impact on Lower Saxony, Scotland and Society,
II  Excellence, Quality and Academic Output,
III  Feasibility &
IV  Sustainability.

You can meet the criteria in many different ways – please describe in your project description how your project fulfils the criteria. The Selection Committee consisting of six senior academics from across Lower Saxony and Scotland, will evaluate the attainment of the criteria in an overall view of the individual aspects.

Important: Criterion II counts twice as much (40 %) as the other criteria (20 % each).

DEADLINE

The application period for the last Open Call ended on 15 May 2022. The next Open Call is expected to be announced in Autumn 2022.

PARTICIPATING HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
  • University of Aberdeen
  • TU Braunschweig
  • TU Clausthal
  • Hochschule Emden/Leer
  • Heriot Watt University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • University of Glasgow
  • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Universitätsmedizin Göttingen
  • Hochschule Hannover
  • Leibniz Universität Hannover
  • Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
  • HAWK Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften und Kunst Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen
  • Stiftung Universität Hildesheim
  • Jade Hochschule Wilhelmshaven/Oldenburg/Elsfleth
  • Leuphana Universtität Lüneburg
  • Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
  • Universität Osnabrück
  • Hochschule Osnabrück
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Universität Vechta
  • University of the West of Scotland

(this list is constantly being expanded)

For further information, please check the Academic Matching Tool here.

SELECTION COMMITTEE

Prof. Dr. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne

Hiltraud Casper-Hehne is Professor of Intercultural German Studies/Linguistics at Göttingen University. She was Vice-President for Research and International Affairs since April 2009 and Vice-President for International Affairs at Göttingen University since April 2011. Since April 2021 she is University Representative for International Affairs at Göttingen University. She gained her PhD from the Institute of German Linguistics. In 2003 the scientist completed her habilitation on intercultural everyday communication.

Prof. Dr. James Conroy

James Conroy is Professor of Religious and Philosophical Education (Pedagogy, Praxis & Faith) and Vice Principal (Internationalisation) at the University of Glasgow. He is also Academic Director of ECAS. Prior to his appointment as Vice Principal, Prof. Conroy was Dean of the School of Education. From 2013 to 2021 he was Dean of Global Engagement for Europe at the University of Glasgow.

Prof. Dr. Simone Pika

Simone Pika is Professor for Comparative Cognitive Biology at Osnabrück University. She earned her PhD from the Westphalian Wilhelms-University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. This was followed by positions as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta in Canada, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and Assistant Professor at the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester in England. In 2010, Prof. Pika was awarded with a Sofja-Kovalevskaja award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and in 2017 with an ERC-Consolidator Grant of the EU.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Philipp Terhechte

Jörg Philipp Terhechte is Professor of Public, European and International Law at and Vice President of Leuphana University Lüneburg as well as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He is also Academic Director of ECAS. In 2021 he is a visiting professor at the University of St. Andrews.

Prof. Dr. Neville Wylie

Neville Wylie is Deputy Principal (Internationalisation) and Professor of International History at the University of Stirling. He graduated in Medieval and Modern History from Kings College London. He then moved to the University of Cambridge where he gained an MPhil in International Relations (1990) and a PhD in International History (1994).

Dr. Marcus Beiner

Dr. Marcus Beiner is the Deputy Head of Department “Research, Innovation and Europe” of the Lower Saxonian Ministry of Science and Culture and heads the Europe and International Affairs Division. He studied philosophy, literature, and history. He has worked in science management for two decades.

(In an advisory capacity)

DATA PROTECTION

The application documents remain with ECAS and become its property. The applicants’ data will be stored in accordance with the German Federal Data Protection Act and the EU Data Protection Regulation, insofar as they are necessary for processing the application or the scholarship. The documents of unsuccessful applicants will be deleted and destroyed after a reasonable period of time.

MISCELLANEOUS

If you do not yet have a partner, but wish to submit an excellent project idea, ECAS will support you prior to the deadline in identifying suitable partner institutions in Lower Saxony or Scotland. 

ECAS reserves the right not to consider incomplete applications. The applicants are responsible for the timely submission of complete documentation.

For additional support, please contact the ECAS team at fellowship@ecas-academia.org.

FAQ

1. APPLICATION

Who may apply for the fellowship programme?
The Fellowship Programme is open to all early career and postdoctoral researchers as well as to persons holding a postdoc position, who are citizens of an EU Member State or the United Kingdom, as well as to all permanent residents of the EU or the United Kingdom. Persons with Dr. (med.) / M.D. degrees are treated equally to those holding a PhD.

Can we (as a Tandem) apply with any subject area?
Yes, the programme is open to all subjects and explicitly promotes interdisciplinary research approaches.

How do I proceed, if I am lacking a tandem partner?
ECAS will be happy to help you find a suitable tandem partner. Please contact us in due time before the application deadline.

Do I need a language certificate?
A language certificate is not compulsory for your application. However, English language skills will be indispensable for this programme. Therefore, the Selection Committee will assess your language skills based on the quality of your application.

Do I have to be a citizen of Germany or the United Kingdom in order to apply for the programme?
No, but the prerequisite is that you have an employment contract with a Scottish or Lower Saxonian higher education institution and – if you would like to stay abroad and receive a fellowship yourself – obtain a residence permit for the research stay in the other region.

What happens to my application documents after I have submitted them?
The application documents remain with ECAS and become its property. The applicants’ data will be stored in accordance with the German Federal Data Protection Act and the EU Data Protection Regulation, insofar as they are necessary for processing the application or the fellowship. The documents of unsuccessful applicants will be deleted or destroyed after an appropriate period of time.

Do I have to submit my certificates as originals or certified copies?
No, please submit only copies (scans) of your certificates.

Parts of my application documents are in German. Can I submit the application partly in German language?
No, if you do not have a translation, please translate the documents yourself and then submit the document in both language versions.

Do we need to fill out both – me and my tandem partner – the Annex 4?
It is sufficient if one of the partners sends a copy of Annex 4 or clearly refers to the project description of her/his tandem partner.

The eligibility criteria state that the doctoral thesis must not date back more than 10 years. From when is this point in time counted?
This is different for each Open Call. In general, a period of 10 years from the date of publication of the respective call for proposals applies.

I have not yet received my doctoral certificate; can I still apply?
Yes, you can apply. However, you must have submitted and successfully defended your dissertation by the deadline of the respective call. If this is the case, please state this in your application and submit additionally a confirmation from your institution that you will be awarded your doctorate. Please submit your certificate as soon as you receive it.

What is the academic collaborator we should propose in the application form?
We advise you to propose an academic collaborator from your research environment. The academic collaborator must always be from a Scottish institution, although not necessarily from the host/home – institution. His/her task is to support your project in terms of content and to introduce the tandem to the research network. (See also: 5. “How will I interact with the academic collaborator at the Scottish institution”)

2. SELECTION PROCESS

Can I receive a fellowship as a fellowship holder of another funding programme?
No, in principle not. However, there are grants that may be compatible with the Fellowship Programme. Please send us a request by email explaining the other funding: fellowship@ecas-academia.org. We can only provide information on this on a case-by-case basis.

Who decides on our application?
ECAS has convened an interdisciplinary Selection Committee with an excellent expertise, which will thoroughly review the applications and decide on the awarding of the fellowships. See: “Selection Committee”.

Who is invited to the personal interview? What does a personal presentation to the Selection Committee look like?
The Selection Committee is free to invite applicants for interviews, should this be necessary. An interview usually takes place as an online video conference, and its main premise is to give the committee the opportunity to ask questions about your application. The invitation will be sent out in good time so that you can keep the date free.

How is the selection decision justified?
The variety of selection criteria, their weighting among each other and the guarantee of confidentiality of the decision-making process in the Selection Committee means that the decisions cannot be explained in detail to the applicants. However, we may provide you with a written breakdown of the assessment of your application after the decision has been made.

3. THE CONCEPT OF THE TANDEM FELLOWSHIP

What does the possibility of dividing the scholarship of up to six months into individual stays mean?
You can divide up your stay abroad according to your individual schedule. Example: You are applying for an ECAS fellowship for a research stay at the University of Glasgow of a total of four months and would like to carry it out in 3 sections spread over one year. However, please note the maximum time extension of the stays abroad according to the call for applications.

How much is the monthly fellowship?
The monthly fellowship amounts to a lump sum of EUR 1,200.00, which compensates for additional expenses for the stay at the other location. It is not possible for the fellowship to cover the entire cost of living. An existing contract with the home institution is a prerequisite for application, and  salaries from this employment are not counted towards the scholarship. At particularly expensive locations, a certain personal contribution may be necessary, since the scholarship only covers additional requirements. Unfortunately, it is not possible to increase the fellowship rate to cover individually justified additional needs (e.g. for families). It is not possible to apply for individual benefits such as visa fees. If the period of the stay abroad does not extend over exactly one or more months (due to a short stay or the split up of the stay abroad) the fellowship will be granted on a pro-rata basis for the incomplete month.

4. BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Do I need a visa to stay abroad in Germany/the United Kingdom?
Please ensure independently that all documents required for entry and the planned stay have been applied for in good time and are available before the start of the journey. ECAS’ Post-Brexit Information Hub might help you: https://ecas-academia.org/post-brexit-information-hub/.

Who organises health, accident and personal liability insurance?
Insurance is not included in the scholarship benefits. Please take out insurance at your own expense. Please provide us with proof that all necessary insurance policies are in place before you start your stay abroad.

Can I be accompanied by my family during the research stay?
Of course, your family can travel with you. The host institution will try to provide assistance regarding the stay abroad. However, please contact the relevant offices yourself well in advance of your trip in order to plan your family’s stay in the host region.

5. DURING YOUR FELLOWSHIP

What happens in case I get sick before or during my fellowship stay and am not able to go to the host institution or work on the project?
Please inform ECAS immediately and we will try to find a solution: fellowship@ecas-academia.org.

What happens if I cannot travel or can only travel with difficulty due to the Covid-19 pandemic and would like to postpone my stay slightly?
We know that travel is currently being made difficult. In any case, please contact us in time to find a solution: fellowship@ecas-academia.org

How can I extend my research stay at a German or Scottish university?
The extension of the fellowship is considered like a new application in reduced form. We will publish more information on this soon.

What happens, if my tandem partner is withdrawing from the programme?
It depends on when your tandem partner withdraws his or her participation. Please contact ECAS immediately to discuss the situation and find a solution: fellowship@ecas-academia.org

What happens, if my partner and I fail to set up a research project as a result of the fellowship?
The implementation of the research project is a precondition for the granting of the fellowship. Please consider the agreements of the fellowship contract.

What happens to my teaching obligation during my research stay?
You can continue to fulfil your teaching obligations. Please talk about the details with your home institution and agree here individually how any obligations will or will not continue to be fulfilled. However, the essential requirement is that these obligations do not jeopardise the research project supported by the fellowship in any way. Please consider the agreements of the fellowship contract.

How will I interact with the academic collaborator at the Scottish institution?
The academic collaborator will support your tandem throughout the whole duration of the fellowship including the preparation as well as follow-up phase and by providing access to the existing research infrastructure.

I would like to get a part-time job abroad and earn some extra money. Is this possible and will the salary count towards the scholarship?
Please indicate any additional jobs in the host region to ECAS. The prerequisite is that the secondary employment does not jeopardise the research project supported by the fellowship in any way.

CONTACT

Karolina Michniewicz
fellowship@ecas-academia.org
+49 4131 677 1913