Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program

The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program is a distinguished transatlantic initiative that offers 15 accomplished Americans the opportunity to complete a comprehensive professional development program in Germany that is comprised of three main components:

  • Customized professional assignments
  • Professional seminars
  • German language training.

Bosch Fellows act as consultants in their field of expertise at leading public or private institutions in Germany. In addition, they participate in professional seminars, where they travel to meet and exchange ideas with key figures across Germany and Europe.

Prior to their work placements and seminars, Bosch Fellows participate in up to five months of language training with both private tutors in the United States and group classes in Germany. Fellows are from the fields of public policy and administration, foreign and security policy, urban and regional planning, business, journalism and communications, law, or cultural and arts management (ex. museum, theater, orchestra).

The program is fully funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, one of the largest foundations in Germany, with the goal of fostering a community of American leaders who have firsthand experience in the political, economic and cultural environment of Germany and the European Union.

Cultural Vistas acts as the U.S. representative of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program and has administered the program since its inception in 1984.

For more information, please contact bosch@culturalvistas.org.

 

 

What’s Included

  • One or two high-level practical phases (stages) at leading institutions in Germany
  • Traveling seminar series covering issues of German, European and transatlantic concern
  • Up to five months of German language training
  • Monthly stipend within the range of EUR 3,200 to 3,700 starting in October; monthly summer stipend of EUR 1.500 + free accommodations during July, August and September; exact amount of stipend dependent upon marital status
  • Accommodation and travel to Washington, D.C. for the orientation program
  • Flights to and from Germany
  • Lifelong membership in the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Age 40 or younger at time of application
  • Minimum five years of full-time work experience in target field (excluding internships)
  • Evidence of outstanding professional performance
  • Graduate degree preferred
  • Willingness and commitment to learn German and to furthering the transtlantic relationship

Program Calendar

  • Application deadline: November 1, 2016
  • Interviews in Washington, D.C.: February 2017
  • Orientation in Washington, D.C.: May 2017
  • Departure for Berlin: June/August 2017
  • Language training in Berlin July/August 2017
  • Seminar I September 2017
  • Work placement I October 2017-February 2018
  • Seminar II; 6-month fellows depart End of February 2018
  • Work placement II February-May 2018
  • Seminar III; 9-month fellows depart End of May 2018

Inside the Fellowship Experience


Program History

In September 1984, the first group of Robert Bosch Foundation Fellows arrived in Germany for a professional development program. Every year since, a group of highly accomplished Americans, some of them accompanied by their spouses and families, have been afforded this unique opportunity to become personally acquainted with Germany’s political, economic and social situation. Bosch Fellows have gained an insider’s perspective on the German working world, made a wide variety of contacts with key figures, and achieved a better understanding of the German and European views of global problems and conflicting interests. Seminars within Germany and throughout Europe have provided an introduction to the complexities of the European Union.

Through this fellowship program, the Robert Bosch Stiftung aims to contribute to the long-term stabilization and growth of German-American relations. The Americans selected to participate in this program foster a personal commitment to a common goal of greater transatlantic understanding.

Alumni

The Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association (RBFAA) was founded in 1985 by the first group of Bosch alumni, and currently has over 500 members. Over the program’s history, many Bosch alumni have gone on to become leaders in their professional fields and have dedicated their careers to the long-term stabilization and growth of transatlantic relations.

Through their participation in the various activities organized by the RBFAA, Bosch alumni form a strong professional network and keep abreast of political and economic developments in Germany and throughout Europe.

Learn more

About the Robert Bosch Stiftung

Established in 1964, the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company. It represents the philanthropic and social endeavors of founder Robert Bosch (1861-1942) and fulfills his legacy by taking on challenges of modern day society, developing forward-looking concepts, and putting them into practice.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung works predominantly in the fields of international relations, health, and education. The Robert Bosch Stiftung, the objectives of which are exclusively non-profit, holds 92% of the capital stock of Robert Bosch GmbH. Since 1964, the foundation has provided over one billion Euros in funding.

Learn more

How to Apply

Instructions

Please review these instructions before completing and submitting your application:

  • The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program application must be submitted online no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1, and any supporting documents not submitted online or via email must arrive in hard copy by the same date.
  • You may log into, edit and log out of your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. Once an application has been submitted, it is considered final. Please make sure to click “Save” in each section you edit before exiting your application to ensure that all data is saved.
  • Prior to submitting your application, please be sure to review the information you provided very carefully by clicking on the “Review and Submit” tab. On the last page of this section you will be able to view a print version of your application, which you can save and keep for your records.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you will not be permitted to view or make any changes to the information you provided.
  • We recommend saving your résumé and answers to the short essay questions as PDF files in order to avoid formatting issues.

Documents

The following documents are required as part of your Robert Bosch Fellowship Program application:

To be uploaded by the applicant in the “Documents” section:

  1. Current résumé/CV
  2. Answers to the short essay questions: (Please keep the word limits in mind.)
    1. In one sentence, why are you applying for the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program?
    2. Describe your short and long-term career plans. How does an extended stay in Germany with the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program fit into your career trajectory? (max. 200 words)
    3. Describe your experience and interest in transatlantic relations. As a guideline for the professional assignments and seminar presentations, Fellows are required to identify a transatlantic topic related to their field and expertise. Please describe the topic you would like to explore while you are in Germany. (max. 300 words)
    4. Name a specific institution (up to two), including department, where you would like to undertake a professional assignment in line with your transatlantic topic interests. How would this practical experience contribute to your professional development? (max. 300 words)

To be submitted either in hard copy or electronically:

  • Official graduate transcript(s)
    These may either be uploaded to your online application, emailed to bosch@culturalvistas.org, or mailed directly to the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program in a sealed envelope.Please note: if your degree is from a European university that does not issue official transcripts, a high-quality color scan will suffice. If possible, please request a scan to be emailed to bosch@culturalvistas.orgby your university registrar. If that is not possible, you can email it to us directly yourself.Please do not submit copies or scans of your diploma verifying your degree. Instead, we require a transcript that contains a list of courses you completed and grades you received.
  • Two letters of recommendation
    At least one from someone who knows you in a professional capacity, ideally a current or former supervisor either submitted by the recommender via the online system or mailed in a sealed envelope to the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program. Please note: regardless of the method of submission, letters of recommendation must be on letterhead and be hand-signed by the recommender.Additionally, please note that all letters of recommendation must be in English and should be addressed to the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program Selection Committee.

The following documents are optional and can be uploaded online by the applicant in the “Documents” section:

  1. Undergraduate transcripts
    If you feel it would be in your favor for the Selection Committee to review your undergraduate transcript, please upload it. Please note: If you do not have a graduate degree completed or in progress, you must submit an official undergraduate transcript following the instructions for graduate transcripts that are outlined above.
  2. Photo
    If you choose to upload a photo, please be sure that it is a professional-looking image that depicts you alone.

Please mail any hard copy materials to the following address:

Cultural Vistas
Attn: Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program
440 Park Avenue South, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
U.S.A.

Please do not submit any documents other than those outlined above. Please note that we are unable to return application materials.

Request an Application

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your citizenship requirements?

Only U.S. citizens are eligible. If you are a dual citizen of the US and Germany, you are welcome to apply. Permanent residents of the US may not apply.

What are the age requirements for the program?

Applicants must be 40 years of age or younger at the application deadline.

What kind of candidates are you looking for?

Ideal candidates have a minimum of five years of relevant, full-time professional experience in one of the application fields listed below (excluding internships), a graduate degree, outstanding academic records, a genuine commitment to transatlantic relations, and active involvement in community affairs and/or public affairs.

What fields are candidates chosen from?

Candidates are chosen from the fields of public policy and administration, foreign and security policy, urban and regional planning, business, journalism and communications, law, or cultural and arts management (ex. museum, theater, orchestra).

How competitive is the program?

The program is competitive; we typically receive over 200 applications for 15 fellowship spots.

What do I need to send to Cultural Vistas to apply?

A complete application includes the online application form, short essay questions, a resume, university transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. All documents should be uploaded online. If necessary, transcripts and recommendation letters can be mailed to the following address:

Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program
Cultural Vistas
440 Park Avenue South, 2nd Fl
New York, NY 10016

All materials must arrive in the New York office by November 1.

What are the short essay questions?

  1. In one sentence, why are you applying for the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program?
  2. Describe your short and long-term career plans. How does an extended stay in Germany with the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship fit into your career trajectory? (max. 200 words)
  3. Describe your experience and interest in transatlantic relations. As a guideline for the professional assignments and seminar presentations, Fellows are required to identify a transatlantic topic related to their field and expertise. Please describe the topic you would like to explore while you are in Germany.  (max. 300 words)
  4. Name a specific institution (up to two), including department, where you would like to undertake a professional assignment in line with your transatlantic topic interests. How would this practical experience contribute to your professional development? (max. 300 words)

Who should write the letters of recommendation?

Recommenders can be recent supervisors, professional mentors, or professors. Recommenders should know the applicant well and have a strong professional relationship with them. The Selection Committee would prefer to have a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s current supervisor, if possible. If the applicant has been nominated for the program, he/she is strongly encouraged to request a letter of recommendation from the nominator.

To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed?

Letters of recommendation should be addressed to the “Members of the Selection Committee”.

May I request that more than two letters of recommendation be sent?

Please only request two letters of recommendation. Additional letters of recommendation will not be read.

Who is involved in the review of applications and determination of interview status?

The pre-selection committee is composed of a confidential committee of experts.

When are interviews held?

Interviews are expected to take place in late February.

How many candidates are invited to interview?

Around thirty candidates will be invited.

Must the interview be attended in-person?

Yes.  Virtual (ex. Skype) or telephone interviews are not possible.

Who are the Selection Committee members?

The Selection Committee is composed of American and German leaders in the fields covered by the Bosch Fellowship.  Please note that the decision of whom to grant the fellowship is made solely at the discretion of the Selection Committee members.

Can the program be deferred to a later year?

No.

What is the duration of the program?

The seminar series and professional assignments begin in September.  Fellows may choose from two options: 6 months (September – February) or 9 months (September – May).  Prior to the seminar series and work placements, Fellows are required to participate in German language training, depending on their German language proficiency level.  Language training begins in the United States in March with private tutoring for up to 4 hours/week until departure for Germany.  Fellows will participate in full-time group language training in Germany starting in July or August, depending on how their German language proficiency has progressed.

What is the program timeline in Germany?

April – June: Private German language tutoring in the United States
May: Pre-departure orientation in Washington, DC
July – September: Full-time German language training in Berlin, introductory workshops with the Bosch Stiftung
September – October: Seminar I
October: First professional assignment begins
January/February: Seminar II; 8-month Fellows depart
February: Second professional assignment begins
End of May: Seminar III; 11-month Fellows depart

What are some examples of past host institutions for the practical placements (stages)?

Below are examples of institutions that have hosted Bosch Fellows in the past. Fellows are not limited to this selection:

Sample Federal Ministries 

  • Auswärtiges Amt (Federal Foreign Office)
  • Deutscher Bundestag (German Parliament)
  • Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (Federal Ministry of Defense) Bundesministerium der Finanzen (Federal Ministry of Finance Bundesministerium der Justiz (Federal Ministry of Justice)
  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety)
  • Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (Federal for Economic Affairs and Energy)
  • Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung (Federal Press and Information Office)
  • Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development
  • Supreme Court
  • German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Sample Private Firms / NGOs

  • Bertelsmann AG
  • BMW AG
  • Daimler-Chrysler
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Ecologic
  • Google
  • International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
  • International Organization for Migration
  • KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft
  • Porsche
  • Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Quadriga Capital Management GmbH
  • SAP Urban Matters
  • Schering AG
  • Siemens AG
  • Volkswagen AG

Sample Media Outlets

  • Agence France-Presse
  • Berlin Stories for NPR
  • Deutsche Welle
  • Deutschland Radio
  • Der Spiegel
  • Der Tagespiegel
  • Die Zeit
  • n-tv
  • Reuters
  • ZDF

Who arranges the professional assignments (stages)?

In general, the Bosch Stiftung supports Fellows in securing positions that are related to their professional goals and interests. Each individual professional assignment has a maximum duration of 3 months. Fellows should use close personal contacts at their desired institutions, internet research and contact with program alumni to determine appropriate stages for the program year; fellows may contact institutions directly after first consulting with the Bosch Foundation. (Applicants should not contact potential host institutions to set up work phases during the application process.)

May I work a second job in Germany while on the fellowship?

A second occupation is generally not permitted. Any exceptions require the approval of the Robert Bosch Foundation.

What is the transatlantic topic?

Fellows are required to identify a specific transatlantic-themed project for the program year to the Stiftung. The Fellow should use this topic to frame his/her experience and pursue the project throughout his/her stages. Fellows are required to hold a presentation on this topic at the seminar sessions in February or May. Furthermore, the Fellow must submit a written report on this specific topic at the conclusion of the program.

May I bring my spouse? Can he or she work in Germany while I am there?

Yes, a spouse may accompany the Fellow and will be provided a residency permit (not a work visa) for the duration of the program. The exact amount of the Fellow’s stipend is dependent upon his/her marital status. The spouse may accept an offer of employment in Germany, but the Fellow must notify the Foundation about such changes immediately.  The Bosch Foundation does not assist in obtaining work visas for accompanying family members.

May I bring my children?

Yes, children may accompany the Fellow. The exact amount of the Fellow’s stipend is dependent upon his/her marital status.

Does the program cover health insurance?

Yes, Fellows on the program will have health insurance.