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.
- 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 January; monthly fall stipend of EUR 1.500 + free accommodations during October, November and December; 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
- August – September: Private German language tutoring
- August: Pre-departure orientation
- October – December: Full-time German language training in Berlin; Introductory workshops with the Bosch Stiftung
- December: Seminar I
- January – March: First professional assignment
- March: Seminar II
- April – June: Second professional assignment; Option to extend first professional assignment
- June: Seminar III; Fellows depart
Inside the Fellowship Experience
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.
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.
About the Robert Bosch Stiftung
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the duration of the program?
In the 2020-2021 program year, all Fellows participate in a 9-month format (October – June). The seminar series and professional assignments begin in December – January. 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 August 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 October, depending on how their German language proficiency has progressed.
What is the program timeline in Germany?
August – September: Private German language tutoring in the United States
August: Pre-departure orientation
October – December: Full-time German language training in Berlin, introductory workshops with the Bosch Stiftung
December: Seminar I
January – March: First professional assignment
March: Seminar II
April – June: Second professional assignment; Option to extend first professional assignment
June: Seminar III; 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
- Deutsche Bank AG
- Deutsche Telekom AG
- International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
- International Organization for Migration
- KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft
- 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
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.)
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.
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.