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Final Report Summary - TAPIR-2012 (TAPIR-2012)

Name, title and organization of the scientific representative of the project's coordinator:

Heike Perscheid, External Funding and Reporting
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) / German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Transatlantic Post-Doc Fellowship for International Relations and Security (TAPIR) Ludwigkirchplatz 3-4
10719 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 88007-137
Fax: +49 (0)30 88007-100
E-mail: /
Project website address:

1. Final Publishable Summary Report

Founded in 2006, the Transatlantic Post-Doc Fellowship for International Relations and Security (TAPIR) is a two-year program for young academics with a background in international relations and security. The program aims at enabling outstanding researchers to gain working experiences and training on the job in internationally well-known think tanks and research institutes on both sides of the Atlantic. The fellows spend a total of 24 months in three different institutes in the United States and Europe in order to build skills in policy-oriented research and to create and expand their own networks. The choice of institutes depends on the research interests of the selected fellows and the research and projects of the respective institutes. Fellows are working with a supervising researcher at the hosting institute and are integrated into relevant research units. The hosting institutes finance part of the fellowship, provide office space, and cover overhead costs arising during the fellows’ period of research.
The freedom of the scientific research is completely guaranteed as the implementation of the fellows’ research projects as well as the final outcome is not restricted by any guidelines of TAPIR. Ethical issues of the fellows’ research projects are checked in advance, are under regular surveillance during the project implementation, and are reviewed after the fellowship before the fellows are leaving the program. The fellows’ research is published by the respective hosting institutes and in adequate academic journals.
The TAPIR program promotes a transatlantic exchange and a dialogue between institutes and researchers. It supports the mobility of young researchers.
The circle of participating institutes is composed of currently ten high profile research institutes and think tanks on both sides of the Atlantic: Center for Security Studies (CSS), Zurich; Chatham House, London; Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), Helsinki; German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), Washington, D.C. Berlin, Paris; Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI), Paris; Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), Oslo; RAND Corporation (RAND), Washington, D.C.; SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations (SAIS), Washington, D.C.; United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington, D.C.; and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs/Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Berlin, Brussels.
At the start of the reporting period in 2013, the circle of participating institutes had been composed of thirteen research institutes and think tanks: the German Marshall Fund (GMF) joined TAPIR during the reporting period, the Stimson Centre, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the Center for International Relations (CIR) the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) retired from the program as those institutes went through structural changes and in one case had to close one of their main offices.
The fellows are able to experience different policy consulting approaches on the job and to forge contacts within the transatlantic policy community. The exchange character and the transatlantic element of TAPIR serve as an incentive to rethink customary thinking patterns and to take a different look at research topics and policy strategies. This experience allows the fellows for excellent perspectives on the job market after TAPIR. All former fellows are now holding excellent and reputable positions: More than half of the ex-fellows are now working in the branch of policy-oriented research as well as in academia whereas only a few fellows are working as diplomats or project or program manager.
Hosting institutes also benefit from the interchange of researchers and the enormous diversity of research approaches. As TAPIR is a continuous program, it generates a scientific network for fellows and alumni, think tanks and research institutes that goes beyond the 24 months of each fellowship. The European Union largely benefits from a constant and lively transatlantic dialogue, from this special network, and from the output of highly skilled, critically thinking, and well connected policy advisors and researchers.

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In the EU co-founded period from 2013 until 2018, eleven fellowships have been realized within the Transatlantic Post-Doc Fellowship for International Relations and Security (TAPIR). During the two-year program each fellow spent eight month each in three different high profile research institutes and think tanks in the United States and Europe. As a result, all fellows developed skills in policy-oriented research and created and expanded their own networks. For some of the fellows with a more academic background, TAPIR offered the unique chance to gain first experiences in the field of policy advisory. For others, TAPIR enabled them during the fellowship to get first experiences in the US or European working settings.

TAPIR is a perfect example for the diversity of research and topics, showing off a broad range of policy issues and highly topical fields of research. During their fellowship, each fellow conducted research on a beforehand specified topic of international relations; the enclosed chart shows the fellows and their research focus (see attachment 1, table 1: Fellows’ Research Projects)

Supervised by senior researchers, the fellows published in in-house journals of the hosting institutes, in various international peer-reviewed journals, in some cases book chapters and numerous newspaper articles. In addition, all fellows regularly gave interviews, presented at conferences and advised politicians and diplomats concerning their specific field of research. Moreover, six fellows got direct job offers during the fellowship.
Altogether, TAPIR enabled eleven outstanding researchers to gain working experiences and training on the job in internationally renowned think tanks on both sides of the Atlantic. In turn, the fellows contributed to knowledge transfer from Europe to the US and back.