The deadline for applications is Thursday 31 October 2019 at midnight CET.

The application should be submitted in two parts:

  1. Interested applicants should send their CV to Tessa de Geus (
  2. Submit the short online application form, via the Google Forms survey

The Energy-SHIFTS Policy Fellowship is designed to provide policymakers and civil society actors working on energy policy with direct access to researchers from across the social sciences and humanities (SSH). From January 2020, the scheme will connect 20 selected policy workers to cutting-edge research that will allow them to better tackle the strategic questions they are facing in their day-to-day work.

The call is open to elected officials, civil servants, European Commission staff and civil society actors (NGOs, think tanks, trade associations and advocacy organisations) working on the energy transition and based in the EU or Horizon 2020-eligible countries.

A number of fellowship places are being filled via invitation with the rest available through an open call.

Programme information

The scheme connects policymakers and civil society actors working on energy policy at local, national and international level with relevant researchers in the social sciences and humanities for in-depth dialogue.

The aim is to facilitate face-to-face (and virtual) meetings between policyworkers and researchers on strategic policy areas, tailored to the policy fellow’s needs and interests. Prospective applicants should identify key energy policy issues they wish to focus on and a key question they hope to explore, e.g. around energy poverty, adoption of smart meters, changing modes of transportation.

The programme team (led by DRIFT) will then match successful applicants with leading researchers with relevant expertise, who will, in turn, provide the most up to date research and insights in response to the questions posed by the fellow. These researchers will be drawn from the Energy-SHIFTS’ extensive academic networks including through the SHAPE ENERGY database.

This exchange will occur through each fellow meeting with at least four researchers, in the period February to May 2020. We are aiming for at least two of these meetings to be face to face meetings but will adapt depending on availability. Each fellowship comes with an associated budget to fund selected researchers to travel to the policy fellow. We will also facilitate online meetings with researchers. The programme team will check in regularly to guarantee that everything is on track.

Led by Europe’s Innovation Forum for the energy-related Social Sciences & Humanities (Energy-SHIFTS), the scheme draws on an advisory board including experts who have experience running highly successful fellowship programmes such as the CSAP Policy Fellowship.

Over the long-term, policy fellows will continue to benefit from support and involvement with the broader Energy-SHIFTS network’s activities.

Benefits of the Policy Fellowship

  • Access to in-depth expertise of direct relevance to current energy challenges you are working on
  • A tailored programme of meetings with relevant experts, offering the opportunity to build a unique personal network of relevant contacts in
    the social sciences and humanities
  • Able to better evaluate or demonstrate the social impact of energy policy work
  • Connection to a prestigious peer-group of fellows with shared interests in improved policy making in the field of energy policy;
  • Access to Energy-SHIFTS events, masterclass-es, conferences and citizen debates.

Who should apply

We are looking for highly-motivated energy-focused ‘policy workers’, i.e. individuals who are active in making, applying, influencing or understanding energy policy. This can include elected officials and individuals on their teams, civil servants, European Commission staff and civil society actors (think tanks, NGOs, trade associations and advocacy organisations). The open call is intended for a range of levels from senior to early-career policy professionals.

Applicants must be based in the EU or a Horizon 2020-eligible country.

The fellowship requires that policy fellows are available to engage with researchers through at least two face-to-face meetings and two virtual meetings. We will aim to be as flexible as possible to cater to the needs and timetables of the successful applicants.

How to apply

Interested applicants should send their CV to  Tessa de Geus ( and fill out this form, which asks for the following information:

  • Your reasons for applying to the policy fellowship, including an indication of how the knowledge you gain from taking part may be applied to influence public policy;
  • The energy-related themes and question you want to explore through the fellowship;
  • Early indications of your timetable, including upcoming events that are relevant to your question, and availability for meeting researchers;
  • A short biography.


  • Deadline for applications to the open call 31st October 2019
  • Announcement of successful policy fellows in early December 2019
  • The fellowship will run from January to October 2020 with meetings taking place between February and May

Application assessment criteria

We will take into account gender balance, geographical spread and stakeholder diversity. Applications will also be assessed against four key criteria:

  1. Connection: Extent to which the question proposed by the applicant is a question that falls within the expertise of Energy-SHIFTS’ networks.
  2. Scale: Extent to which the applicant is in a position to apply the expertise gained in the fellowship to public interest and create public value.
  3. Innovation: Extent to which the policy question is part of the forefront of policy-making and pushes alternative/non-mainstream policy applications of SSH.
  4. Longevity: Extent to which the applicant has relevant experience, capabilities, enough time to take advantage of this opportunity, and aims to stay connected to academia.


General queries should be sent to Tessa de Geus (

Further details on the project’s aims and other activities can be found at, or please contact and