TRAIN Programme for Western Balkans Think Tanks

Deadline: 15 February 2015
Open to: researchers from think tanks from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia
23-27 June in Berlin/Late October-early November 2015 in Brussels


The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) is launching a call for applications for the 2015 edition of the TRAIN programme (Think Tanks Providing Research and Advice through Interaction and Networking). The programme seeks to foster a fruitful policy dialogue between think tanks and political actors in the EU candidate countries and potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans.

The TRAIN Programme aims to support think tanks with a clear policy-oriented approach that focus on national, regional and/or international politics. Each participating researcher will be expected to draft a policy paper dealing with a topic which is relevant to the EU integration process of his/her respective country or the region as a whole and closely related to the overarching theme of the 2015 TRAIN Programme, namely the strengthening of democratic institutions in the Western Balkans.

The Programme is divided into four key stages:

  • An introductory regional seminar will offer the occasion to set the research agenda, exchange good practices, and begin networking.
  • A mid-term seminar in Berlin will allow for a review of the draft policy papers and discussion with relevant actors from the German policy scene of the chosen topics.
  • A wrap-up seminar in Brussels will allow the participating researchers to present their findings to EU decision-makers and thus to establish contacts with relevant Brussels actors.
  • The dissemination stage of the programme will take place at the national level and should bring together key decision-makers from the Parliament and relevant ministries.


The programme is open to twelve  researchers  from different think tanks from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. 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 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.

Each policy paper will be awarded a €250 grant. Furthermore, the language editing of the final policy paper can be subsidised with up to €100 and its printing with up to €200 (upon presentation of the receipts).


Interested candidates should send the complete application form and a CV of the prospective programme participant (max.2 pages)  via email to Sarah Wohlfeld: The subject line should read “Application: [name of researcher, name of think tank]”.

The deadline to apply is 15 February 2015.

For further information please read the official call.

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