The Atlantische Initiative has launched the “Atlantic Expedition”, a fellowship designed to bring together the leaders of tomorrow and to revive interest in the transatlantic partnership, by better harnessing the diversity of backgrounds, and therefore perspectives, that exists across the Atlantic today.

The first Atlantic Expedition took place in February and March 2017 and we are now seeking applications for the second expedition to Chicago and Houston in October 2017. The deadline for applications was June 18, 2017.

30 Fellows have the chance to attend workshops staffed by leading experts from a wide range of fields, and work collaboratively, first in a series of online workshops, then face-to-face, to devise concrete political recommendations for how to bring European-American relations into the future. The fellowship will culminate with the most distinguished participants being given the opportunity to present their conclusions in Berlin.

Benefits of Participation

  • Successful candidates can look forward to a weeklong trip to Chicago and Houston, full of activities for further exploration of the cities' unique identities. Accommodation, eating and travel expenses contained within the trip itinerary (Chicago-Houston and transport within the cities) are covered.
    Travel from the fellow's current home to Chicago and travel from Houston back home will be reimbursed up to 900,- EUR for Germans living in Germany and up to 380,- EUR for Americans/Germans living in the United States. Further information on travel is available on our FAQ page.
  • Several weeks of online teamwork and passionate debate with other fellows, from a wide variety of cultures, occupational backgrounds, nationalities, and academic disciplines. Together, you will publish a policy memo aimed at modernizing transatlantic relations, before meeting in the US to present your work, and receive feedback from an assortment of experts.
  • The opportunity to meet and collaborate with tomorrow’s opinion leaders and decision makers, to hear their perspectives, and to influence their opinions, in turn.
  • Construct an extensive professional network spanning a diverse range of working environments on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Discover new ways of thinking and problem solving, and improve your understanding of complex geopolitical issues. Challenge your preconceptions, and benefit from the wealth of knowledge offered by other fellows.
  • Whether you are selected for the fellowship or not, we will publish all well-argued articles, submitted as part of your application giving your ideas wide exposure.
  • Enjoy an interdisciplinary approach, made possible by the diversity of backgrounds of the fellowship’s participants. It is regarded, by management experts and psychologists alike, as a highly effective way of working, both in terms of end results, and in terms of the benefits for individuals within the team.


Atlantische Initiative welcomes applications from any German or US citizen aged between 20-35. However, it should be understood that this fellowship is primarily aimed at including and empowering groups not traditionally included in transatlantic debates. We have 10 fellowship positions for Americans living in the US, 10 positions for Germans living in the US and 10 positions for Germans living in Germany.

The success of this fellowship relies on original, carefully considered and thought-provoking arguments and perspectives. If you believe you fit the bill, then your application will be welcome.

We wish to stress that you absolutely do not have to be an expert in transatlantic matters in order to apply. We hope to receive articles from people who may not have previously given much thought to transatlantic relations in their traditional form, but who see potential for their own areas of interest to take on a transatlantic dimension.

For more information on which groups we particularly have in mind for the fellowship, please click here.

How to Apply

First Expedition

The expedition has been very successful. Reports, memos and photos from the trip here.

Second Expedition

If you wish to take part in the expedition to Houston and Chicago, taking place in October 2017, please:

  1. Subscribe to the expedition newsletter to receive relevant updates about the fellowship
  2. Send an email, by June 18, 2017 to atlantic-expedition(at), including:
    • A 1-page CV, in English or German
    • An article, in English (more information below)
    • A headshot photo, to feature alongside your article on our website. The photo must be in a high-resolution and in 221x300 px. See our Fellows page.
  3. Fill out this form by June 18, 2017
  4. Be prepared to contribute to the multi-staged online debate from June 18 to October 1, 2017 (full timeline here)

Atlantic Basecamp

Applicants wishing to take part in the Atlantic Basecamp in Berlin in March/April 2018 must:

  1. Have taken part in either the first expedition to Germany or the second expedition to the US
  2. Be amongthe best 15 participants from the expedition you took part in

The Article

The goal of the second Atlantic Expedition is the development of an Atlantic Action Plan, based on the results from the first Atlantic Expedition. Please explain in up to 1000 words how to convince decision-makers to implement the proposed modernization of the transatlantic partnership and win the respective public support.

You have the chance to find your recommendations included in the Atlantic Action Plan’s chapter “Strategy & Communication“. We are interested in your ideas for a new narrative, your suggestions for communication and agenda-setting or any other project to win political and public support for a revitalized German-American relationship.

We are specifically interested in your fresh ideas and creative approaches dealing with the following questions in two categories:

Strategy/ Narrative:

  • How can we modernize the transatlantic narrative (key elements)?
  • What is the overall strategic hook for change?
  • Which issues should be prioritized (digitalization, security etc)?
  • What are the key messages (both overall and on our issues)?
  • What kind of speech could a parliamentarian give to convince her/his colleagues and constituents to support transatlantic cooperation?
  • What are the target groups in DC, Berlin and beyond? Who would need to be convinced to modernize transatlantic institutions, policies and other forms of cooperation?
  • .... (Room to develop and answer your own question in the category)

Communication/ Agenda Setting:

  • How can target groups be approached and mobilized to engage in the modernization of transatlantic relations?
  • How do we win new actors and allies?
  • How can we increase public support for a common transatlantic agenda?
  • How can we foster a more political transatlantic civil society?
  • How can we involve the younger generation in particular and include their aspirations?
  • Which innovative communication hooks and tools should decision-makers use?
  • What is important in terms of campaign timing and milestones?
  • ... (Room to develop and answer your own question in the category)

Please write an essay, op-ed, memo, or speech in the category “Strategy/ Narrative” orCommunication/ Agenda Setting”. Within your chosen category you can focus on one or more of the above-mentioned questions. Feel free to add additional questions. You could also submit a vocal performance (e.g. slam-poetry, rap, speech, etc), produce a (storytelling) video, create an infographic or animation. We appreciate pragmatic and creative approaches that can make a real difference in modernizing transatlantic relations.

We encourage original points of view, informed by unconventional areas of expertise. A bolstering of the foundations of transatlantic relations requires fresh perspectives, which in turn require that the debate more accurately reflect the diversity of today’s society. Participants in the program will be selected on the basis of their articles’ pertinence, structure, and originality, not their personal opinions.

The article should be written in English, saved as a WORD file, and should take the following structure:

  • A short, interesting, journalistic headline
  • The article body
  • An author byline (1-2 sentences about yourself for the reader’s benefit)

No PDFs please.

No footnotes, instead create hyperlinks for your sources.

We have compiled an elementary list of factsheets and articles which you may find useful when writing your article.

About Us

Atlantische Initiative, founded in Berlin in 2004, aims to foster transatlantic solidarity and encourage constructive foreign policy debate. It is our belief that only by tackling the problems of the 21st century together can Europe and America continue to thrive and prosper. To this end, we run a variety of projects, including this fellowship.

For more information on Atlantische Initiative, please click here.

For more information on Atlantic Community, the think tank arm of Atlantische Initiative, please click here.

Supporters & Partners

The program is supported by the Transatlantic Program of the German Federal Government, with funding from the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as the Haniel Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Friede Springer Foundation, and Microsoft.



If you have any questions, check out our FAQ page, or contact us.