The application for 2024-25 Berlin Prize Fellowships is now closed. All candidates will receive notification by late March 2024. We will announce the application cycle for 2025-26 Berlin Prize Fellowships by early summer 2024.
Each year, the American Academy in Berlin welcomes roughly two dozen fellows engaged in projects of the highest scholarly merit. Their work at the Academy advances our mission to enrich transatlantic dialogue in the arts, humanities, and public policy. Past recipients have included anthropologists, art historians, literary scholars, philosophers, historians, musicologists, journalists, writers, filmmakers, sociologists, legal scholars, diplomats, economists, and public policy experts, among others.
For all projects, the Academy asks that candidates explain the relevance of a stay in Berlin to the development of their work.
Please note that artists, composers, and poets are selected through invitation-only competitions.
Following a peer-reviewed evaluation process, an independent selection committee reviews finalist applications.
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Academy has continued to host almost all of our fellows at the Hans Arnhold Center, while a few opted for a remote fellowship. We have developed and implemented a variety of safety measures for both fellows and staff. We also moved our fellows’ events to online formats, and continued to observe social distancing and masking measures in the Hans Arnhold Center. For the upcoming 2023/24 academic year, we plan to move forward in ways both safe and appropriate, as determined by Berlin public health authorities. We are hopeful that in-person programming will again be possible and safe.
The American Academy in Berlin is a private, independent, nonprofit institute for advanced study located in Berlin, Germany. Its fellowship program promotes advanced research in a variety of disciplines.
Each year the Academy welcomes about twenty fellows to the Hans Arnhold Center, on Lake Wannsee. The Academy also invites a small number of Distinguished Visitors for shorter stays of one to four weeks. The Academy’s diverse public program includes lectures, readings, and presentations by resident fellows, Distinguished Visitors, and guest speakers. You can find the complete roster of past fellows and Distinguished Visitors in the alumni section of our website.
In addition to placing a high priority on the independent work of fellows, the Academy is in a unique position to aid them in establishing professional networks in Berlin and beyond. The Academy’s public atmosphere, which actively encourages fellows to introduce their work to wider audiences, serves its mission of fostering transatlantic ties through cultural exchange.
Fellowship benefits include round-trip airfare, housing at the Hans Arnhold Center, partial board, and a stipend of $5,000 per month. Fellows are expected to be in residence at the Academy during the entire term of the award, generally one academic semester, and to offer two public events about their work. The Academy supports the projects of Berlin Prize Fellows in a variety of ways, including active community building, professional networking, media outreach, and full library services.
Fellows may receive their stipend directly or through their home institution. The Academy does not withhold taxes, but stipends are taxable income. Please note that overhead/indirect costs are not built into the stipend amounts awarded to the fellows. The Berlin Prize fellowship does not allow for institutional overhead.
Academy fellows are established and emerging scholars, writers, and professionals who wish to engage in independent study. Emerging scholars should have a strong record of peer-reviewed work beyond the dissertation. Projects that have not significantly advanced beyond the dissertation project will not be considered. Independent scholars are welcome to apply if they meet the general eligibility requirements.
Applicants working in most other fields—such as journalism, filmmaking, or public policy—must have a significant record of publication or production. Writers of fiction and nonfiction must have published at least one book with a reputable press at the time of application.
Berlin Prizes have been awarded to historians, economists, filmmakers, art historians, journalists, legal scholars, musicologists, public-policy experts, former government officials, NGO leaders, and writers, among others.
Candidates should explain how their projects will benefit from a residency in Berlin, but they need not be working on German topics.
Fellowships are restricted to candidates based permanently in the United States. Limited periods spent outside the US, such as sabbaticals or foreign assignments, must be explained on the application. US citizenship is not required. American expatriates are not eligible.
The Academy also accepts applications based on collaborative projects. Candidates must submit separate applications. External reviews will consider the merits of the project as well as the individual candidates.
Candidates from previous years are eligible to reapply but are strongly encouraged to revise their project proposals substantially and update their application materials. A number of Academy fellows have applied one or more times before their selection.
While the American Academy does host composers, artists, and poets, candidates in these areas are chosen by nomination only.
Private furnished apartments, equipped with small kitchens, are provided at or near the Hans Arnhold Center, a historic villa on the shores of Lake Wannsee. The Wannsee commuter rail station is less than a ten-minute walk away. Trains reach downtown Berlin in ten to twenty minutes.
Berlin Prize winners are typically in residence for a full academic semester. The fall semester begins in mid-August and ends in mid-December; the spring semester runs from late January through late May. Fellowships are occasionally awarded for an entire academic year. You will be asked to indicate your preferred semester on the application.
Most of the Academy’s accommodations are suitable for couples. We also offer accommodations for a limited number of families with children at the Hans Arnhold Center and at apartments nearby.
Please note that pets are not permitted at the Hans Arnhold Center.
The application deadline was Friday, September 29, 2023, at 12 p.m. EST.
Fellowship candidates will be asked to complete the online application form and upload the following documents (as PDFs):
- project proposal of 1500 to 1750 words, plus a short bibliography (circa one page), combined in one document
- curriculum vitae (up to 10 pages)
- two writing samples, with a combined total not to exceed 60 pages (in English)
Applicants will also be asked to provide names and contact information for three references (see below).
We use SlideRoom for our online application. SlideRoom provides resources for applicants here. SlideRoom notes that the Google Chrome web-browser provides the best viewing of the application. When the online application system opens, candidates will first need to create a login and password. Once you are logged into the system, the online application consists of three sections: forms, attachments, and references. It is possible to log out of your application and log back in later; your information will be saved for your next session. Required fields in the various forms are marked with an asterisk. Once you have gathered the necessary information and prepared your supporting materials, the application should take about 20 minutes to complete.
If you wish to send your application as a hard copy, please write to Thomas Castañeda, at email@example.com and explain why you cannot use the online portal. We do not accept applications by fax or as email attachments.
We require three letters of reference. Please contact your references in advance about your intention to apply for a Berlin Prize. Using the online application system, you will enter the contact information of your references and send them official requests to submit letters. They will then receive an email from SlideRoom with instructions for uploading their letters to the portal, which are due by Friday, October 6, 2023 (one week after the application deadline). Please also follow up with your references to make sure they have received the SlideRoom email.
Applicants may use reference letters from a dossier service (such as Interfolio) to apply for a Berlin Prize. You will fill out the recommender invitation as requested, but in place of the recommender’s email address, please enter the Interfolio (or other dossier service) assigned email that corresponds to each reference letter.
Individuals writing on your behalf should be familiar with your work, particularly your proposal, and be able to comment on your abilities and career as well as your suitability for a residential fellowship. Please have your references provide letters in English, so that the peer reviewers and selection committee members can read your complete application materials. Make sure to secure permission from each person you list as a reference before sending your request to them via the online application system.
References are due by Friday, October 6, 2023. The Academy will not contact candidates if they are missing letters of reference. Candidates should make sure that their references receive the link sent from SlideRoom and submit their letters of reference on time.
All candidates will be notified in late March 2024.
There is no need to indicate your interest in a specially designated fellowship in the online application, as the entire applicant pool will be considered. Projects that address migration, social integration, race, exile and return, and major global issues are also generally welcome.