Lower Saxony – Scotland
Tandem Fellowship Programme

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

It is an initiative to implement the declared goal of the Landeshochschulkonferenz of Lower Saxony and Universities Scotland to strengthen the cooperation between the higher education institutions in Lower Saxony and Scotland as expressed in their joint Memorandum of Understanding from 2019. This includes the promotion of internationalization and competence building, a contribution to cross-border European cooperation in science and research, the promotion of both regions as generators of excellent research in the European environment, and the deepening of institutional linkages between higher education institutions of both regions.

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 higher education institutions.


The Lower Saxony  Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme will connect two post-doc researchers from a Lower Saxonian and a Scottish higher education institution, who together form a partnership working 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 shortterm stays (up to six months, which can also be split in multiple stays) for each post-doc researcher and are funded with 1.200 Euro per person per month. Either one or both of the partners should have a short stay abroad in the partner country (institution) for the purpose of the joint research project and do so within the timeframe of the project. While such a stay abroad is appreciated and encouraged, it is not a requirement that both tandem partners leave their home institution for a research stay.


Proposals are invited from:

  • Post-doctoral researchers, early career researchers or persons holding a post-doctoral position who have completed their PhD / Dr. (med.) / M.D. within the last 10 years and


  • who have an employment contract with a Scottish or Lower Saxonian university, university of applied science and recognized higher education institution located in Lower Saxony or Scotland, which extends for the length of any potential fellowship.

All proposals must be submitted in English, using the application forms provided above. Each Tandem Partner must complete and submit a separate application form (please submit all documents via fellowship@ecas-academia.org). There is no restriction regarding the choice of theme or subject. Please bear in mind that your application will also be assessed by persons who may have limited knowledge of your particular field of expertise. Proposals should therefore be accessible and where possible, written in terms accessible to the educated nonexpert.

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

Required Documents:

  • CV
  • PhD certificate (/Dr. (med.) certificate / M.D. certificate)
  • List of most important publications 
  • Detailed description of the project the academics wish to conduct during the stay (max. 4pages), including a project description (including the substantiation that the selection criteria are met), a timeline (for the joint project, with a maximum time frame of the stays abroad until the end of October 2022), and a description of the state of research in the relevant field
  • Confirmation of an employment contract with the Scottish or Lower Saxony home institution as well as the declaration exemption from work for the entire period of the stay abroad

Selection Criteria:

The selection is made using the following criteria:

  • Impact on both regions
  • Relevance
  • Feasibility
  • Sustainability

You can meet the criteria in different ways. Please describe in your project description how your project meets the criteria. The selection committee evaluates the fulfilment of the criteria in an overall view of the individual aspects. The Selection Committee comprises 6 senior academics from across Lower Saxony and Scotland.


The application period was open until 31 August 2021. Applicants will be informed about final decisions on the fellowships by the end of September 2021. Information on the next application period will be published here soon.

  • 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
  • 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.


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. Richard P. K. Wells

Professor Wells is Vice Principal of Regional Recovery & Engagement at the University of Aberdeen. Prior to this he was Vice Principal of International Partnerships. He studied Chemistry at the University of Birmingham before completing a PhD at the University of Dundee. Prior to his appointment as lecturer in Aberdeen in 2001 he worked at the Universities of Liverpool and Cardiff. His research interests focus around surface chemistry and catalysis and their application in environmental chemistry.

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)

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.

If you do not have a partner yet, but wish to submit an excellent project idea, ECAS will support you prior to the deadline in identifying suitable partners in Lower Saxony or Scotland. ECAS reserves the right not to consider incomplete applications. The applicants are responsible for the timely submission of the complete documents.

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



Who may apply for the fellowship programme?
The Fellowship Programme is open to all post-docs, early career researchers and persons holding a postdoc position with citizenship of an EU Member State or the UK as well as to everyone with a permanent residence in the EU or the UK. Persons who have a Dr. (med.) / M.D. degree are treated equivalently 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 Saxony higher education institution and – if you would like to receive a scholarship 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 scholarship. 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?
We take 1 May 2021 as the point in time to which we count back.

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 31 August 2021. 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 landscape. The academic collaborator is always from a Scottish institution. It is not necessarily somebody from the host/home – institution. His/her task is to support your project contentwise and to introduce the tandem into the research network. (See also 5. “How will I interact with the academic collaborator at the Scottish institution”)


Can I receive a fellowship as a fellowship holder of another funding programme?
No. Basically 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 a Selection Committee with a balanced composition according to subject and regional aspects, which will review the applications and decide on the awarding of the fellowships.

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 interview should this be necessary. This will normally take place via online conference. The committee will ask you 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 mean that the decisions cannot be explained in detail to the applicants. However, we may provide you with a breakdown of the assessment of your application after the decision has been made, if you wish.


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 apply for an ECAS fellowship for a research stay at the University of Glasgow of a total of four months and would like to do this in 3 sections spread over one year. Please note, however, 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 scholarship to cover the entire cost of living. An existing contract with the home institution is a prerequisite for application. Salaries from this employment are not counted towards the scholarship. Consequently, the scholarship only covers additional requirements. A certain personal contribution may be necessary at particularly expensive locations. Unfortunately, it is not possible to increase the scholarship rate to cover individually justified additional needs (e.g. for families). Applications for individual benefits such as visa fees are not possible. If the period of the stay abroad does not cover 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.


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.


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

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 prerequisite 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 prerequisite 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.

Ramona Tax
+49 4131 677 1913