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April 24 to 27, 2018, Berlin

The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2018 European China Talent Program (ECTP). Every year, the ECTP gathers a select group of 15 China-savvy young professionals and post-graduate students in Berlin to provide them with an opportunity to discuss topical issues in European China policy with senior decision makers from politics, business and civil society. 

MERICS is looking forward to assembling the fourth cohort of young Europeans eager to deepen their understanding of China and its impact on Europe, to provide fresh ideas on European China policy and to become part of a unique network of future China experts. Selected candidates will also gain valuable insights into the work of MERICS, which is the largest European research institute on contemporary China. In addition, they will benefit from exchanges with a highly diverse group of participants from various China-related career paths.

Participants of the European China Talent Program 2017

At various stages throughout the program, participants are expected to work in teams to develop and present concrete policy proposals concerned with advancing European China policy. MERICS also supports follow-up publications on issues discussed during the program (e.g. contributions to the MERICS Blog). 

The three-day workshop will take place from April 24 to 27, 2018 at MERICS in Berlin. 

Applications should consist of a one-page CV highlighting candidates’ China-related experience and an essay of one page (max. 4000 characters). 

Candidates should also indicate their nationality, place of residence and institutional affiliation. No other documents or references should be included. 

The essay should tackle the following question: 

As China expands its global footprint – politically, economically and militarily – what is the biggest challenge or greatest opportunity for European China policy and what should the policy response of the EU and its member states be? 

  • Taking into consideration Europe’s ever more extensive interactions with China in a growing number of regions and domains, candidates should address one policy area where they think that Europe should either respond to a challenge stemming from relations with an increasingly global China or seek cooperation with Beijing.   
  • Candidates should explain why this is currently the most critical issue for European China policy and why Europe urgently needs to develop a policy response or a plan for deeper cooperation. 
  • Candidates should also make one concrete policy proposal to advance a cohesive European China policy in this area, suggesting concrete steps regarding who should do what to implement their idea. 
Participants of the European China Talent Program 2017

Application requirements:

  • Young professional or recent Master’s or PhD graduate with a strong China background (Sinology/Chinese studies is not a requirement, China-related experience from any field is welcome); advanced postgraduate students with relevant prior work experience are also eligible
  • Strong interest in contemporary Chinese politics as well as European policy-making 
  • Willingness to prepare substantive input in advance of the program 
  • European citizen (EU member states, EU accession countries or EFTA countries) 
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Good Chinese language skills are an asset 

Successful applicants will receive a travel allowance, board and lodging for the duration of the workshop.  

Candidates should send their application as one single PDF file to Lucrezia Poggetti (

by February 6, 2018

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in a Skype interview in mid-February. 

We look forward to receiving your application and to learning more about your perspective on Europe-China relations. 

For more information about the MERICS European China Talent Program click here.