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Policy Leader Fellowship

The School of Transnational Governance (STG) at the European University Institute (EUI) is offering fellowships to early- and mid- career policy professionals for the academic year 2021-2022. The STG Policy Leader Fellowship is a global programme at the vibrant campus of an international institution.

The School

The EUI is a unique world-class centre for research and post-graduate teaching in the social sciences, situated in Florence, Italy. The STG delivers teaching, research and high-level training in the methods, knowledge, skills and practice of governance beyond the state. The STG, founded in 2017, brings the worlds of academia and policy-making together in an effort to navigate a context, both inside and outside Europe, where policy-making increasingly transcends national borders and governmental activity.

The Fellowship

The STG’s Policy Leader Fellowship is a global programme providing a unique opportunity for policy professionals from around the world to further develop their policy work and professional skills whilst participating in workshops, training and skills development sessions, conferences and other events, in addition to interacting with the other fellows, policy makers and the academic community at the EUI.

During the fellowship

The main role of the Policy Leader Fellows is to enhance their policy work and leadership potential; to present their work and communicate effectively and intelligently with a wide range of different audiences locally and globally; and to make a lasting effect in their respective fields.

Policy Leader Fellows are expected to be self-driven and able to define their own targets, networks and alliances.

The fellowships last for five (fixed term in the first or second semester) or ten months (fixed term from September to the end of June). Fellows who come to Florence for five months give a presentation of their work in progress to the STG community and later to a broader policy audience; produce at least one article/blog post and/or policy brief/paper; may contribute to STG training, and engage in seminars and workshops at the EUI and with other stakeholders. We expect the Fellows will be publishing and appear at events and in the media during the fellowship period. Fellows who join STG for ten months are expected to do all of the above while also working on major transnational projects with the potential of breakthrough, having a substantial ‘multiplier’ effect in the given policy field, often in collaboration with other institutions, civil society organisations, media and donors.

The fellowship is fully-funded with a grant of € 2,500 per month. A family allowance is available where appropriate.

The language of the programme is English.

Applicant specification

STG is looking for individuals who work on and are engaged in advancing public policies, promoting policy change and policy innovation.

Policy Leader Fellows (PLFs) are

  • early- to mid-career professionals (e.g. in civil service, media and non-governmental organisations, business, public management, advocacy coalitions);
  • able to demonstrate both professional experience and potential for future excellence in the policy process;
  • genuinely engaged individuals involved in policy issues, especially those related to transnational governance;
  • self-motivated, able to present a clear work plan for the use of the fellowship;
  • curious and engaged contributors. Fellows are expected to be part of the EUI community on a daily basis and to participate in peer discussions on topics which may be beyond their expertise;
  • fluent in written and spoken English.

The fellows may have academic affiliations, but it is neither essential nor desirable. They must have an MA/MSc degree, which is the minimum level of education required. However, in exceptional circumstances applications without a master’s degree will also be considered.

The fellowship is open to applications from anywhere in the world, regardless of nationality. EU citizenship is not required. There is no maximum or minimum age limit. 


The fellowships are for a duration of five or ten months between September 2021 and June 2022. Candidates should indicate their choices from the following options:

  • Five months:
    • September 2021 – January 2022
    • February 2022 – June 2022
  • Ten months:
    • September 2021 – June 2022


Fellows must reside in the area of Florence for the duration of their Fellowship so that they can take an active part in the activities of the EUI/STG and the fellowship programme (with the possibility of short visits outside Florence and Italy).


The basic grant is € 2,500 per month.

Successful applicants who receive other grants or salaries must disclose this to the EUI. The amount of the Fellowship will be fixed at a lower rate depending on the amount of the additional income (upon production of relevant supporting documents).

If applicable, family allowances will be added to the basic grant.

Family allowance

A household allowance of up to € 300 per month is paid to a Fellow with a partner if the partner lives with him /her in Florence and on the condition that the partner’s income is less than € 2,000 per month. The sum of income and allowance cannot exceed € 2,000 per month (i.e. if the income is more than € 1,700, the allowance will be paid only to top up to € 2,000).

An allowance of € 200 per month is paid for each dependent child.

Fellows are entitled to these allowances if they can declare that they are not receiving any similar allowance from another source, and upon submission of relevant supporting documents (i.e. marriage or partner certificate, or proof of cohabitation in Florence; birth certificates).

For dependent children in full-time education and over the age of 18, a school or university certificate is required. No allowance is paid for dependent children over the age of 26.


The fellowship is not taxed by the EUI. Fellows are, however, required to comply with any other tax provisions which may be applicable to them.

Medical insurance

Fellows must have adequate medical insurance coverage during their stay at the Institute. They can either provide proof of their own insurance scheme, or subscribe to the EUI’s private sickness and health insurance scheme at their own expense. See the Cigna Insurance Scheme for conditions.

Travel expenses

Fellows (but not their families) receive reimbursement for the incoming trip from their place of origin to Florence, and for the outgoing trip to their destination at the end of their fellowship.

  • First-class rail (travel by car is also reimbursed on this basis)
  • Economy class air fare

The maximum amount for travel reimbursement amounts to €1,200 including both incoming and outgoing trip. Taxi expenses are not reimbursed.

Removal/installation expenses

There is no provision for removal or installation expenses.

Applications have to be submitted through the Online Application Form. There are no paper forms to complete or to mail – hard copy or e-mail applications will not be accepted.

There are two distinct phases in the application process:

1. Register your application

2. Submit your application by 22 February 2021 (17:00 CET)

Once you have registered your application you may continue to work on the application details and attachments until the deadline. Submit the application only when you have filled in all the information correctly and have successfully uploaded the final version of the attachments.

After submission, it will not be possible to update or modify your application.

Requested Documents

    • Prepare your CV in PDF. Additionally, a short biography is requested in the application form. The bio serves the purpose of the selection process and will also be used for communications purposes if the applicant is accepted for the fellowship. It should be written in third person singular and be around 100-120 words (around 800 characters with spaces).
    • Prepare a letter of motivation (max 1000 words) in PDF, describing your interests and/or links with transnational policy issues, your future professional ambitions and the reasons to apply for the fellowship (a short summary of this document of max. 1000 characters is requested in the application form).
    • Prepare a work-plan with title of (max. 1500 words) in PDF, describing what you hope to achieve during the fellowship, and the detailed plan of the steps necessary to achieve that goal (a short summary of this document of max. 1000 characters is requested in the application form). The work-plan should include a portfolio of activities that will mark the progress during the fellowship, in particular: milestones of the work to be carried out, potential partners, foreseeable funding partnerships, the type of contributions to be made to the STG and EUI community, the outputs, the communications and dissemination of the results (media and social).
      Applicants may also wish to detail how the work plan will extend beyond the fellowship; how this work will have a ‘multiplier’ effect after the fellowship and plans to contribute to and commitment to their policy topic or sector beyond the duration of the fellowship.
      As all plans are different, there is no template we can provide. The plan must be clear and structured, with well-defined and realistic goals that can be achieved within the duration of the fellowship.
    • A copy of the highest educational certificate, in PDF.
    • Work sample
      Candidates should submit 1-3 sample/s of their work (e.g. a policy paper/report/brief, an article, an op-ed, a weblink, interview, social media piece, blogpost etc.) to help demonstrate the interest and ambition of the candidate.Please use standard international fonts, do not use macros, special characters, password-protection, electronic signatures or logos. Documents should be submitted in English.

Letters of References

  • Applicants should provide the name of one referee, preferably a person who has worked with the applicant. Preference should be given to non-academic referees. Applicants must ensure that the reference is submitted online directly by the referee, by the deadline 22 FebruaryReferences will not be accepted after the deadline. 
  • In addition to this, applicants are requested to provide the name and contact details of one other referee whom the EUI may contact.
  • References from current full-time or part-time EUI professors or staff members will not be accepted.

The referee whom you have nominated as the one submitting the letter by the deadline will be contacted and will be allowed to submit the reference only after you have completed and registered the first step of the online application form including the name and contact details of the referee. In order to receive the reference in time by the deadline, you should register the referee details as soon as possible. This is possible any time and you will not be asked to submit the final version of your application at that time.

When you register your referee’s contact details in the online application form, an email requesting a reference on your behalf is automatically sent to the referee you have nominated. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to contact the referee directly to inform her/him of your request, to verify that s/he has received the email request and to ensure that s/he submits the reference by the deadline. Please note that the reference letter can be submitted by the registered referee (before the deadline) even after you have submitted your application. Registered referees may also submit the reference letter by email, contacting: [email protected]

Note for Referees

Once the candidate has registered the details of his/her referee, the referee will receive an e-mail with access details for submitting the reference letter online. 

  • References should be submitted as a PDF file. Please use standard international fonts, do not use macros, special characters, password-protection, electronic signatures or logos. 
  • Do not send a hard copy.
  • You may write in a language other than English, but English will guarantee the widest possible reading.
  • References from current full-time or part-time EUI professors or staff members will not be accepted.
  • If in doubt or if you prefer to submit your reference letter by email, please contact: [email protected]

The deadline for submitting references is 22 February 2021. Kindly note that the EUI encourages candidates to apply and register their referees as early as possible.

English Knowledge

The expected level of English proficiency is level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

An English certificate is not requested as part of the application, but successful candidates may be invited for an interview in English and requested to provide a certificate/supporting document on registration. This can be one of the international certificates listed below, or another supporting document showing that the candidate’s level of English is sufficient for using it as a working language (for example, a certificate of attendance of English language schools, a degree in English as a foreign language, a proof of work in an English-speaking environment). Native English speakers are exempt of proof.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Cambridge English Examinations (CAE)
  • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
  • Business English Certificate (BEC)

*including special TOEFL Home Edition Test, for candidates who are unable to take the test at a test centre due to public health concerns.

Selection Procedure

Selection Procedure

In the 2021/2022 academic year, STG plans to allocate around a total of thirty fellowships. The programme can usually select around four to five percent of those who apply in any given year.

All the applications are reviewed as long as they are submitted on time using the online platform. In the first step of the selection procedure, all applications are reviewed based on how well they match the application criteria. The applications are all discussed by designated STG personnel to highlight some especially promising applications (normally three to four times the number eventually chosen).

In the second step of the selection procedure, the selection committee members, comprised of STG faculty and the Director of STG, provide a list of recommended applicants for the fellowship. They can review all applications or can decide to use the highlighted recommendations of step one. The committee discusses the merit of the individual applications and also takes into account the match between the perceived needs of the given candidate and the opportunities the programme offers. At this point the committee also considers the synergies and diversity among the potential Fellows as a cohort of fellows. The result is a mutually agreed short list and a reserve list to be presented to the EUI Executive Committee for its consideration. Their decision is final and no appeal is possible.

STG is not in the position to give advice on individual applications or to give feedback about the applications. Applicants cannot contact the decision makers in this process.

The application deadline for the 2020/2021 fellowship is 22 February 2021 (17:00 CET).  No extensions will be granted and late applications will not be accepted. The final decision is communicated to the applicants within four months of the application deadline by the Academic Service of the EUI.

Selection Criteria

  • Accomplishments and potential
    Professional excellence is assessed on the basis of the candidate’s contributions to the given policy field as outlined in the CV, and in the sample policy-related work (based on the social media links, website links, attachment of samples of articles, policy papers or other related output of the applicant), and additional supporting evidence (i.e. letter of reference) of the application. The themes of the application are to be determined by the applicant, STG has no thematic preference and is open to any field of policy work.
  • Plans for the fellowship time
    Applicants are assessed on the professional substance of their workplan as well as its feasibility. Preference is given to applicants who can both contribute to and benefit from the fellowship programme and stay at STG EUI.
  • Diversity
    The PLF strives for thematic and geographic diversity and gender balance amongst its fellows.

Data protection policy

By registering/submitting application, you give your consent for processing the data as specified in the Privacy Statement for Application and Selection Procedures for EUI Post-Doctoral Programmes/Fellowships and in accordance with the EUI’s Data Protection Policy outlined in the EUI Data Protection Policy (Decision of the President No. 10 of 18 February 2019).


Academic Service
European University Institute
via dei Roccettini 9
I-50014 San Domenico di Fiesole

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