Rule of Law Grants for Think Tanks in Western Balkans

Deadline: 20 February 2014
Open to: Think tanks from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia
Grant: travel and accommodation expenses, plus 250 EUR for a policy paper


The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) is launching its call for applications for the 2014 edition of the TRAIN programme (Think Tanks Providing Research and Advice through Interaction and Networking).

Providing think tanks from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia with training and networking opportunities, the TRAIN programme seeks to foster a fruitful policy dialogue between think tanks and political actors in the Western Balkans. During a series of seminars, participants will receive training on the conduct and efficient communication of policy research and will have the opportunity to exchange their research findings with decision makers in Brussels as well as at the national level.

Each participating researcher is expected to draft a policy paper relevant to the EU integration process of his/her respective country or the region as a whole. The general theme of the TRAIN programme 2014 is the rule of law in the candidate countries and potential candidate countries of South Eastern Europe.

The TRAIN programme is funded by the Federal Foreign Office (Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe) and run by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

In addition to participation in the TRAIN programme, two researchers will also be granted a one-month research fellowship at DGAP as part of the fellowship programme of the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB). More details could be found HERE.

The TRAIN Programme is divided into four key stages: introductory regional seminar, mid-term seminar in Berlin, wrap-up seminar in Brussels, dissemination stage, taking place at national level.


The TRAIN Programme aims to support think tanks with a clear policy-oriented approach that focus on national, regional and/or international politics. Key aspects for the selection of participating institutes will be:

  • Centrality of EU integration and related issues to the work of the think tank;
  • Research capacity and professionalism as demonstrated through regular publications containing specific policy recommendations to decision makers;
  • Experience in communicating results of their research to relevant actors such as national parliaments, national media and political parties.

The TRAIN Programme 2014 is open to twelve researchers from different think tanks across the Western Balkans region (with the participation of one or maximum two researchers per think-tank. Participating researchers should be full employees of their respective think tank and should commit to the programme for its entire duration.  Preference will be given to young researchers with two to four years of work experience in a think tank who have already (co-) published at least one policy paper.


All travel and accommodation expenses related to the participation in the programme will be borne or reimbursed by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). While no direct payments towards salaries can be made, each policy paper will be awarded a 250 EUR grant. Furthermore, the editing, layout and printing of the final policy paper can be subsidized with up to 250 EUR (upon presentation of the printing receipt).


Applications should include:

1. A completed application form, indicating the following:

  • General information and contact details concerning the applicant;
  • A description of the envisaged policy paper topic explaining its relevance with regard to the EU integration process of your country and rule of law-related reforms in the national/regional political context;
  • A concrete dissemination strategy detailing how the obtained results will be communicated to national policy makers (parliamentarians, government representatives etc.) and media;
  • A brief description of the think tank history, structures and existing publication formats;
  • A statement of support by a senior researcher of your organization to mentor your work throughout the programme.

2. A CV of the prospective programme participant (max. two pages, including information on the applicant’s education, relevant work experience and publications).

To apply, please send all required documents by 20 February 2014 at the latest via email to Theresia Toeglhofer ( The subject line should read “Application: [name of researcher, name of think tank]”.

For more information please check the official call.

99 thoughts on “Rule of Law Grants for Think Tanks in Western Balkans

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