Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs

Are you a young Swiss graduate with excellent command of German aiming at taking responsibility for the world of tomorrow? Do you have a concrete project you would like to work on? Then the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs programme is for you!

Climate change and energy security, economic and financial crisis, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, human rights and freedom of information, not to mention information security, water shortage, etc.: the challenges of our time can only be resolved through close international cooperation.

Mercator Fellowship promotes 20 highly-committed German and 5 Swiss university graduates from all fields who aspire to positions of responsibility in international organisations.


The aim is to enable internationally thinking and acting young professionals to

  • become experts in their chosen topic,
  • help them build up an international professional network, 
  • develop profound intercultural skills.


During the 12-month program, the fellows work in two to three international organisations or globally active NGOs around the world. Fellows select a project topic of global relevance, which then determines their work placements. They also benefit from seminars aimed at developing their leadership skills and core competencies.

This Swiss/German joint programme is run by Mercator Foundation Switzerland and the Swiss Study Foundation as well as Stiftung Mercator and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation – in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Foreign Office in Germany.

Apply now

Become an expert in your chosen topic, build up an international professional network and develop profound intercultural skills.

The application for the Mercator Fellowship 2019/2020 is open. Deadline for application: January 31, 2019.

  • Apply and send you project proposal in thematics such as climate change and energy security, economic and financial crisis, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, human rights and freedom of information, security, water shortage, famine, etc. 
  • The mission starts in October 2019 and ends one year later. Some seminars (introduction, preparation, etc.) take place previously.

Do you meet the criteria?

If so, you may apply for the programme, including a project outline of your own design and possible work placements.

Application requirements
  • Maximum 29 years old
  • Very good final degree from a higher education institution (M.A., state examination, diploma or equivalent). A Bachelor degree is not an adequate qualification. The programme is open to all academic disciplines.
  • Very good knowledge of German and English plus one other modern language
  • International experience: at least 6 months after graduating from school
  • Professional experience: at least one year (including internships)
  • Very good understanding of international realities and of current policy developments; broad-ranging personal interests and social engagement
  • Intercultural skills, ability to work in a team, organisational skills
  • Swiss nationality or residence category C (applicants with German citizenship please apply to the German programme).

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