Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program

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

  • Individual 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 experts and decision makers from Germany and Europe.

Prior to their work placements and seminars, Bosch Fellows receive private tutoring prior to their departure for Germany and participate in 8 weeks of intensive language courses in Berlin. 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 first-hand 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 or follow @BoschFellowship on social media:

What’s Included

  • One or two practical phases (stages) at leading institutions in Germany
  • Seminar series covering issues of German, European and transatlantic concern
  • Private German language instruction before departure; intensive language training in Berlin
  • 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 number of accompanying dependent family members
  • Accommodation and travel for the orientation program
  • Stipend for travel to and from Germany
  • Lifelong membership in the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association

Program Calendar

  • April – June: Private German language tutoring
  • April: Pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, VA
  • 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
  • May: Seminar III; 11-month Fellows depart

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

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How competitive is the program?

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

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.

What is the duration of the program?

The seminar series and professional assignments begin in September. Fellows may choose from two options: 8 months (July – February) or 11 months (July – 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
April: Pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, VA
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.

Where can I view a recent webinar?

Please click here to view our webinar from Fall 2017.

Is it still possible to apply for the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship?

The final Bosch Fellowship program is taking place in 2020-2021, and the program will be discontinued by the Robert Bosch Foundation thereafter.

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