ESI 10 year anniversary meeting in Istanbul (2009)
ESI 10 year anniversary meeting in Istanbul (2009)

How to become an ESI Junior Fellow

Due to huge interest since we announced our junior fellowship program in summer 2013 – receiving more than one application on average every day – we have revamped our application process.

Our aim: to help any applicant identify even before submitting an application if they would actually enjoy being part of our team; and to help us identify who best fits our organisation. This application process should help us see if you have the kind of skills that would make your fellowship a success.

There are no formal criteria. That said, excellent English writing skills are very important. You can apply to ESI without having a university degree or with two PhDs – we have had excellent analysts who fit both descriptions. What we are looking for is exceptional skills, wide experience, and character.

Rome Moldova Istanbul
ESI in Rome – Moldova - Istanbul

Please send the following to

1. Curriculum Vitae

2. Text analysis (recommended 1-2 pages) – required

Read any one of the following four original documents. Then write a short essay (1-2 pages) on any question you chose. Remember: brevity is the soul of wit. If you feel like it, and if you enjoy it, you can send us more than one text analysis. This is really up to you.

Fellow application texts

Investments in Western Balkans – a new approach
Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
London, UK, 24 February 2014

Read this speech and then tell us: What is new in this new approach?

Evaluating the Evaluators - Media Freedom Indexes and What They Measure
National Endowment for Democracy, 2010

Read this and discuss, referring to this analysis: what does the rank of a country in the Reporters without Borders index actually tell us?

Smart Power – Ways of Enhancing the Council of Europe's Impact
Advisory Report by the Think-Tank Task Force
Strasbourg, January 2014

How would you reform the Council of Europe so that it can stand up to authoritarian member states that persistently violate human rights (such as Azerbaijan, Russia, more recently also Turkey) and that it regains credibility? You can draw inspiration from the advisory report, but also bring in other ideas.

3. Short essay: What I bring to ESI (max 1 page) - required

  • Please refer to at least one ESI output (report, film, paper) as you explain what you would bring to ESI, assuming that we plan to work on similar products in the future.
  • In doing so please indicate precisely your relevant skills and experience - this could be writing/editing experience, any previous work, stays abroad, languages.

4. Short essay: Reading that inspires (1-2 pages) – required

Money Fragile Empire Can Intervention Work?
Recent books by ESI staff and fellows (please do not chose any one of these)

You can only become a better writer by becoming a better reader. ESI is about relevant ideas – new and old ideas - freshly presented and applied to new contexts. It is about excellent writing and constant, extensive reading.

If you are interested in ESI you are likely to be interested in many different issues and to read widely. Once part of our team, your contributions will be valuable if you can share insights you gain from your reading with others in our team.

Please send us a summary (at least one page –no more than two) of a book that you read during the past year and which has inspired you so much that you would strongly recommend to every ESI staff member to read it during their next vacation, and be inspired in turn. It can be on any subject, from the biography of Einstein to that of Dante, from the history of art to the history of statistics.

Your review does not need to express any original thoughts on the subject you cover (but it can). We are looking instead for you to present in an effective and gripping way insights contained in the book. The goal is to inspire and convince others to go and buy it right away.

(We might choose to post your text online in a section – "ESI – a think tank of readers for readers - recommends …"). 

ESI staff meeting (Istanbul)
ESI staff meeting (Istanbul)

If you submit a complete application (CV, essays on what you bring to ESI and reading that inspires, preferably optional text analysis) and we are impressed, we guarantee you an interview on Skype within 3 months of your application or a detailed feedback on your application, irrespective of whether we have a position then open.

Please remember to specify your preference for one of the ESI offices (Berlin or Brussels) and your availability.

If we like you, we will make an effort to find a position for you even if one is not currently available.