The application deadline for Thomas Mann Fellowships in 2022 was February 28, 2021, and the call for Fellowships in 2023 is expected to be issued in October 2021.

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The Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles sees itself as a lively place for transatlantic debate, where outstanding personalities explore fundamental political, social and cultural questions of the present and the future in exchange with each other and with the host country. For the year 2022, fellowships for a stay of 3 to a maximum of 10 months at the Thomas Mann House are again announced.

Applications are open to scholars in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, technology and economics, writers, as well as thought leaders and intellectuals from non-academic fields such as culture, politics, media and business who live or have lived in Germany for an extended period of time. The possession of German citizenship is not required.

Interested applicants should submit a project proposal that addresses the pressing challenges of our time and has transatlantic relevance. Open dialogue with a broad public is a central concern of the Fellowship Program. Therefore, in addition to very good English language skills, intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue, Thomas Mann Fellows are also expected to actively and intensively engage in exchange locally and beyond California and to network with partners and institutions in the United States. Each application should be accompanied by a strong letter of recommendation.

 

Special consideration will be given to applications on the following topics:

Restoring Public Trust
Trust means expecting others to use their freedom competently and responsibly despite uncertainty. The more uncertain the political situation, the greater the social trust must be. The pandemic has further exacerbated the worldwide uncertainty caused by digitalization, climate change and globalization. General mistrust seems to be growing, and with it conspiracy theories and misinformation. What steps are conceivable to restore the public trust on which democratic societies thrive? What are some positive examples of restoring public trust at the neighborhood, city, or state level and in international dialogue?
Imagining Equality in Diversity
Since the French Revolution, liberty, equality, and fraternity have been among the core values of democratic communities. Yet numerous studies show growing inequality in income, wealth, mobility, health care, and participation in education. Equality of opportunity depends on background. It is time to ask the question anew: How can we imagine today, after the loss of the utopian dreams of the 20th century, an equal, just and diverse society on a national and international level - concretely and visionary?

 

Profile

  • Thomas Mann Fellowships are geared toward intellectuals and more specifically eminent personalities whose work addresses fundamental contemporary issues relevant to both shores of the Atlantic.
  • Applications are open to scholars in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, technology and economics, writers, as well as thought leaders and intellectuals from non-academic fields such as culture, politics, media and business who live or have lived in Germany for an extended period of time. The possession of German citizenship is not required.
  • Thomas Mann Fellows are expected to be willing to travel within the United States to meet and enter a dialogue with new partners, particularly outside of the major cities.
  • Thomas Mann Fellows are expected to actively and intensively engage in intellectual exchange with and within the United States based on their own work, and to network with partners and institutions in the United States.
  • Lectures, workshops, readings, colloquia and the participation in other forms of public discussion at universities or cultural institutions in the United States are expressly encouraged, as are contributions to publications, blogs or on social media, and appearances in the media (print, radio, TV, internet).
  • Participation in public events at the Villa Aurora is expected.
  • Cooperation between Fellows staying at the Thomas Mann House at the same time is explicitly encouraged.
  • The residencies are financed by the Berthold Leibinger Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Foundation.

 

General Information

  • Fellowships are awarded for at least three and no more than ten months.
  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V. will determine the length and timing of each individual stay after a careful review and coordination of all fellows’ requests.
  • Staff will assist fellows with the implementation of their projects, corresponding research, networking with partners and institutions in the United States as well as presentations, such as lectures, workshops, and readings.

 

Details

The Thomas Mann Fellowship entails:

  • A round-trip ticket from Germany to Los Angeles in accordance with German Federal Travel Expenses Law
  • A non-repayable monthly basic payment as a contribution to living expenses, as well as additional allowances where applicable
  • Allowances for travel and accommodations associated with networking with partner institutions may be requested in advance from the program director in Los Angeles.
  • Accommodation in living/private quarters consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and work area

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Requirements

  • Proven expertise regarding current issues in an area of culture, politics, economy, media or science (supported by a letter of reference in German and English)
  • Intellectual curiosity, an interest in interdisciplinary approaches, and a willingness to discuss issues outside of the framework of one’s own area of expertise
  • An excellent command of English (spoken and written)
  • Applicants must live and work in Germany or provide proof that they have lived in Germany for an extended period in the past. Applicants do not have to be German citizens.
  • Existing relationships with US-American partners and institutions (desired)

 

Application

  • Applications for a Thomas Mann Fellowship can be submitted for the subsequent year by filling in the application form.
  • Applications must be submitted on or before Febuary 28 for a fellowship during the subsequent year.
  • Students may not apply.
  • Application forms must be filled out in German and English as indicated.
  • Each application requires a letter of reference from a renowned expert who has published extensively in the field in question.
  • Application and letter of reference should corroborate the significance of the proposed project with regards to transatlantic relations and its importance in addressing the most pressing questions of our time. In addition, the application’s qualifications in relation to the fellowship’s mission should be presented and substantiated.
  • After submitting the application form, you will receive a confirmation email.
  • Two applicants may submit a joint application for a partner fellowship. In this case, each applicant must complete a separate application form. The letter of reference must address both candidates’ qualifications as well as the joint project.
  • The letter of reference can be uploaded by you or the person who writes it to the link provided to you in your confirmation email.

 

Selection Process

  • All applications will be checked for completeness. Letters of reference will be reviewed for their significance in relation to the fellowship’s mission.
  • An interdisciplinary advisory committee, appointed by Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V.’s Board of Trustees, will review and evaluate all applications and nominate the Thomas Mann Fellows for the subsequent year.
  • Applicants have no legal right to the Fellowship.
  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V. will award the fellowships based on the availability of the nominated candidates once they are confirmed by the Board of Trustees.
  • Applicants will be informed of the juries' decisions by email or by post. No reasons will be given.
  • If chosen, the applicant will receive a contract. The fellowship will take legal effect only after the contract has been signed.

Deadline

The deadline for applications for 2022 was February 28, 2021.