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Call for applications

The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2019 European China Talent Program (ECTP).

For the fifth year in a row, the ECTP will gather a select group of 15 European early career scholars and professionals in Berlin to discuss topical issues in European China policy with senior decision makers from politics, business and civil society. Besides having a clear China-related research and/or work record, participants are 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 benefit from exchanges with a highly diverse group of participants from various China-related career paths. In addition, they will be able to gain insights into the work of MERICS, which is the largest European research institute on contemporary China.

Throughout the program, participants are expected to work in teams to develop and present concrete policy proposals aiming to advance European priorities vis-à-vis China. MERICS also seeks to publish selected program outputs. For more information on previous editions of the European China Talent Program, please visit the project page.

The next edition of the ECTP will take place on 7-10 May 2019 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.

Applicants need to meet the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  • 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) or advanced postgraduate students with relevant prior work experience;
  • Strong interest in contemporary Chinese politics as well as European policy-making;
  • Willingness to prepare substantive input in advance of the program;
  • European citizen as of February 3 (EU member states, EU accession countries and EFTA countries);
  • Excellent command of the English language;
  • Good Chinese language skills are an asset.


The essay should tackle the following question: What is the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed to promote Europe’s priorities vis-à-vis China more effectively?

  • Taking into consideration European core interests, China’s role as both a partner and a competitor on issues ranging from politics and economics to technology and security, as well as the still close but increasingly difficult relationship with the US, candidates should select one policy area that urgently needs to be tackled.
  • Candidates should then explain why this area is critical for Europe and why European actors need to swiftly act and/or revise their approaches vis-à-vis China in the selected area.
  • Lastly, they should make concrete suggestions as to who should do what to implement their idea.    

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 3, 2019. 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. 

The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is a policy-oriented research institute devoted to the analysis of political, economic, social, technological and ecological developments in China and their global impact. Based in Berlin, MERICS aims to play an active role in informing and shaping German and European public debates on China and to provide German and European decision-makers with China-related insights critical to their portfolios. With about 30 research staff, MERICS is currently one of the largest international think tanks on contemporary China.


Program Coordinator