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 an international 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 knowledge in the European environment, and deepens the links between participating higher education institutions.

CONCEPT

The Lower Saxony – Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme connects two early career postdoctoral researchers from Lower Saxonian and Scottish higher education institutions, who together form a partnership and work on a joint project.

FUNDING

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

The fellowship of up to 1,400 Euro per month is paid in addition to a regular employment contract between a fellow and a respective Lower Saxonian or Scottish higher education institution. The funds are designated to support each researcher during their stay abroad, which can be planned and separated into shorter individual stays throughout the duration of the whole fellowship (10 months). The grant enables each researcher to spend up to five months at their partner institution. 

During the stay, the tandems can intensify their collaboration by working on the joint project, presenting concrete results and, potentially, preparing an application for third-party funding.

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 (which extends for the length of the fellowship) with a Lower Saxonian or Scottish university, university of applied science or recognized higher education institution. 

ADMISSION

All proposals must be submitted in English, using the application form provided on our website. Each tandem partner must complete and submit a separate application form (including all required documents) via email at: fellowship@ecas-academia.org. There are no restrictions regarding the choice of theme or subject. 

Please bear in mind that your application will be assessed by all members of the Selection Committee, who may or may not have advanced or 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: 

  • CV,
  • PhD/Dr. (med.) certificate/M.D. certificate;
  • List of most important publications;
  • Detailed description of the tandem research project (max. 4 pages; written in Times New Roman (size 12) or Arial (size 11) font with single line spacing in between), incl.:
    – substantiation that the selection criteria are met,
    – timeline and roadmap for planned stays at your partner’s institution (max. five months per fellow),
    – description of the state of research in the relevant field.
  • Confirmation of an employment contract with the Scottish/Lower Saxonian home institution as well as the declaration exemption from work for the entire period of the stay abroad.

Please remember that 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 & Society (20%)
II Excellence, Quality & Academic Output (40%)
III Feasibility (20%)
IV Sustainability (20%)

Please note the percentage distribution of each individual criterion indicated in brackets at the end of all the individual criteria listed above. 

Important: Please refer to all criteria in your application form (section: Project Description) and demonstrate how exactly your project meets and fulfils each individual selection criterion.

DEADLINE and TIMELINE

For the current Open Call, the applications must be submitted via email at: fellowship@ecas-academia.org by 31 January 2023. 

The fellowship extends over a period of ten months – starting on 1 March 2023 and ending on 31 December 2023. Applicants must ensure that they plan their research stay within the stated time frame. 

You will be informed about final decisions on the fellowships in February 2023. 

PARTICIPATING HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Technical University of Braunschweig
  • Technical University of Clausthal
  • University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Göttingen
  • University Medical Center Göttingen
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University Hannover
  • Hannover Medical School
  • Heriot Watt University
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen
  • University of Hildesheim 
  • Jade University of Applied Sciences
  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg 
  • Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
  • University of Osnabrück
  • University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück 
  • University of St Andrews 
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of 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

Each member of the Selection Committee for the Lower Saxony – Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme represents a different field of research and offers a unique insight into their area of expertise. The aim of such an interdisciplinary committee is to fairly evaluate the merits of each applicant and identify the most suitable projects for the programme. 

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

Prof. James Conroy
James Conroy is Professor of Religious and Philosophical Education (Pedagogy, Praxis & Faith) and Vice Principal (Internationalisation) at the University of Glasgow. He also serves as the 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 appointed Dean of Global Engagement for Europe at the University of Glasgow.

Prof. Simone Pika
Simone Pika is Professor for Comparative Cognitive Biology at the University of Osnabrück. 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. Jörg Philipp Terhechte
Jörg Philipp Terhechte is Professor of Public, European and International Law at and Vice President of Leuphana University of Lüneburg as well as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He also holds the position of the Academic Director of ECAS. Since 2021, he is a visiting professor at the University of St Andrews.

Prof. 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 the King’s College London. Subsequently, he transferred to the University of Cambridge where he gained his MPhil in International Relations (1990) and a PhD in International History (1994).

Dr Marcus Beiner
Marcus Beiner is the Deputy Head of Department “Research, Innovation and Europe” of the Lower Saxonian Ministry of Science and Culture. In this role, he leads the Europe and International Affairs Division. Dr Beiner studied philosophy, literature, and history, and dedicated two decades towards working in science management. 

(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 fellowship. 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.
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 both my tandem partner and I have to complete and submit Annex 4 of the application form?
It is sufficient if one of the partners sends a copy of Annex 4 and the other clearly refers to the project description (Annex 4) included in their tandem partner’s application.

The admission criteria state that the dissertation may not date back more than 10 years. From what exact point in time is this date counted?
This is different for each Open Call. In general, the time limit is 10 years from the date of publication of the respective call for proposals. Since the current call was published in November 2022, the respective doctoral thesis must not date back longer than November 2012. 

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.

Who is the academic collaborator we should propose in the application form?
You must propose an academic who will be available to you and your project in an advisory capacity as an academic collaborator. This person must be employed at a participating Scottish institution, although not necessarily at the home institution of the Scottish tandem partner. As the main tasks of the academic collaborator are to support the content of your project and to introduce the tandem to the research network, we recommend that you propose a person from your research environment. 

Please note that an academic collaborator is not your tandem partner. It is a person who will supervise your project in case you need support of this kind. 

(For more information see: 5. “How will I interact with the academic collaborator at the Scottish institution”).

2. SELECTION PROCESS

Can I receive this fellowship as a holder of another funding programme?
No, in principle not. However, there are grants that may be compatible with the Lower Saxony – Scotland Tandem Fellowship Programme. Please send us an email explaining the premise and regulations of other funding in question at: fellowship@ecas-academia.org. We can only provide information about possible compatibility or lack thereof on a case-by-case basis.

Who makes final decisions regarding the acceptance of rejection of submitted applications and how are these selection decisions justified?
ECAS has convened an interdisciplinary Selection Committee with an excellent expertise, which thoroughly reviews each individual application and decides on the awarding of the fellowships. (For more information see: “Selection Committee”).

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.

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 save the date accordingly.

 

3. THE CONCEPT OF THE TANDEM FELLOWSHIP

What does the possibility of dividing the fellowship of up to five months into individual stays mean?
You can divide your stay abroad according to your individual schedule. Example: You are applying for the Tandem Fellowship Programme and intend to pursue a research stay at the University of Glasgow of a total of four months. Since it could be tricky for you to relocate for four consecutive months, you have the possibility to split the intended stay abroad into shorter sections spread over the duration of the whole fellowship (ten months: 1 March 2023 – 31 December 2023). 

What does the option of dividing the fellowship of up to five months into individual stays mean?
You can divide your stay abroad according to your individual schedule.
Example: You are a researcher from the Leuphana University of Lüneburg with a tandem partner at the University of Glasgow. You apply for the Tandem Fellowship Programme with the intention to spend a total of four months researching in Scotland at your partner’s institution. As it might be difficult for you to relocate for four consecutive months, you have the option to divide the planned stay abroad into shorter sections spread over the duration of the entire fellowships (ten months: 1 March 2023 – 31 December 2023), e.g. 1 April – 31 May 2023 and 1 – 31 July 2023 and finally 1 – 30 November 2023. 

How much is the monthly fellowship?
The monthly fellowship amounts to a lump sum of 1,400 Euro per fellow, which compensates for additional expenses for the stay at the other location. It might not be possible for the fellowship to cover the entire cost of living, therefore an existing contract with the home institution is a prerequisite for application, as salaries from this employment are not counted towards the fellowship. At particularly expensive locations, a certain personal contribution may be necessary, since the fellowship 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 also 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 for a stay abroad in Germany or the UK?
Please make sure independently that all documents required for your entry and intended stay have been applied for in advance and are available before you travel. The ECAS Post-Brexit Information Hub may provide answers to some of your questions on this topic: https://ecas-academia.org/post-brexit-information-hub/.

Who organises health, accident and personal liability insurance?
Insurance is not included in the fellowship 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 and your host institution – if informed in due time – will try to provide assistance regarding their 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 at: fellowship@ecas-academia.org or ECAS Academic Coordinator Karolina Michniewicz directly at: michniewicz@ecas-academia.org and we will do our best to find a solution.

What happens if I cannot travel at the submitted and approved time and would like to postpone my stay slightly? What happens if I have to cancel my research play completely?
We know managing schedules with different professional and personal factors can be difficult and challenging. Therefore, we are always available to discuss your options individually. In any case, please inform ECAS immediately at: fellowship@ecas-academia.org or michniewicz@ecas-academia.org and we will do our best to find a solution.

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

If you have any questions about the above or require more general support regarding the programme and application process, please contact Karolina Michniewicz (ECAS Academic Coordinator) at:

E-Mail: michniewicz@ecas-academia.org or fellowship@ecas-academia.org

Phone: +49 152 3897 3666 or +49 4131 677 1913