Both democratization attempts and authoritarian developments in the European neighbourhood demonstrate the critical role of the public sphere for political and social change. Expanding communication technologies help to mobilize the public and enable new forms of exchange. These additional capacities to articulate interests and concerns can be harnessed to increase political pressure. Many regimes react with repression and censorship in order to regain power over the newly forged public spaces. How does the public sphere change in times of transformation and conflict? Which divisions and relationships of force are constitutive for this social field? How do public spheres vary cross-nationally?

The scholarship programme “Trajectories of Change” addresses historical and current transformation processes in the European neighbourhood. It offers stipends and fieldwork grants for Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences. For 2017, research applications dealing with the changing public spheres and their impact on transformation are especially welcome.

The programme offers flexible funding schemes for Ph.D. students at various stages of their dissertation research as well as for graduate students in the phase of Ph.D. project development:

  • Ph.D. Scholarships
  • Dissertation Completion Scholarships
  • Pre-Doctoral Research Grants
  • Fieldwork Grants


  • Applicants must be Ph.D. students of social sciences or humanities. Prospective Ph.D. students can apply for Pre-Doctoral Research Grants.
  • Deadline 27 July 2017 for a stipend or grant starting in November/December 2017
  • Please apply online at with Ph.D. proposal and two references.

Further information