The Robert Schuman Centre is a high-level research centre. I found that lectures, seminars, and conferences rank among the best, both from the conceptual and theoretical point of view and from the empirical point of view. The Centre benefits from its ability to attract distinguished scholars from all over Europe and the world. They contribute to placing the Centre at the forefront of scientific innovation for all Europe-related topics in political science, demography, sociology, economics, but also for the history of European Integration. The Centre includes few historians, but I have nevertheless enjoyed this opportunity to confirm my research methods in dialogue with scholars from other disciplines. In addition, the resources of the Department of History, the Library, and the Historical Archives of the EU at the EUI remain open for historians who visit the RSC. I can only recommend a research stay there to my fellow historians of European Integration.
Emmanuel Comte, Max Weber Fellow, 2015-2016
(Lecturer in European History, University of California, Berkeley)
Fascinating scholars, great seminars and a fantastic library: the Robert Schuman Centre at the European University Institute provides a wonderful environment for research, writing and developing ideas. The Jean Monnet Fellowship is a unique opportunity to pursue an independent research agenda while also having excellent opportunities to engage with scholars from many disciplines and other parts of the world. The Schuman Centre is very supportive of fellows both logistically and intellectually.
Heather Grabbe, Jean Monnet Fellow 2015-2016
(Executive Director, Open Society European Policy Institute)
There is simply no better place to conduct your research than the Robert Schuman Centre! To begin with, you will have the freedom to pursue your own research agenda. At the same time, you will never feel isolated or bored because the Schuman is an unusually vibrant place: seminars, workshops and conferences are organised on a weekly basis; if you co-organise events, you will be able to rely on the support of the extremely helpful and friendly administrative staff of the Centre. You will have plenty of opportunities to present and discuss your work as well as interact with other fellows, distinguished scholars and professors, but also doctoral researchers from the four EUI departments. Moreover, the Schuman engages with basic and policy research, which facilitates dialogue between academic and practitioners. So, along with people analysing policy, at the Schuman you will also be able to have coffee with those who make policy! In this regard, the Schuman offers a uniquely interdisciplinary environment, which will encourage you to reflect on how your work links to other fields and will enable you to approach your project through many different angles. Besides your spirit, your body and soul will also greatly benefit from living in one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany: you will enjoy wandering, tasting excellent local wines and culinary specialties, as well as the art and culture of Florence. In sum, the only negative aspect of the Jean Monnet fellowship is that it has an expiry date.
Zoe Lefkofridi, Joint Jean Monnet-Max Weber Fellow 2014-2015
(Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Salzburg, Austria)
I arrived at the Robert Schuman Centre in mid-April 2015 for a two-month stay as visiting fellow. Before I even left the UK, communication with the Centre had been timely and easy. When I arrived, the welcome was impeccable. Everything I needed had been set up for me: a computer, email account, parking permit, and a desk in the 'greenhouse' in the Centre's beautiful gardens. Such a perfect start went a long way to making my stay productive in every respect. Life at the Robert Schuman Centre was intellectually stimulating, and nourishing for the soul. Just as invaluable for my research were the Historical Archives of the European Union, housed in the EUI's Villa Salviati, and very revealing on many aspects of the UK's EU membership. From 2017, 50 years' worth of UACES papers (University Association for Contemporary European Studies) will be added to the Archives, a direct result of the contacts and dialogues that I had the liberty to pursue during my stay. These opportunities, alongside further lectures, seminars, informal connections (and a weekly yoga class - in Italian), added up to a perfect academic interlude, for which I will be forever grateful.
Helen Drake, Visiting Fellow, 2014-2015
(Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Chair, UACES; Professor of French and European Studies, Loughborough University)
My six-month stay in 2015-2016 as Robert Schuman Fellow has been an extraordinary academic experience. I already knew the EUI and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, attending seminars and workshops in previous years, but this longer stay exceeded all my expectations. As a visiting scholar, you are fully involved in the dynamic academic life and the inspiring intellectual ambiance of one of the leading academic institutions in Europe. The Schuman Centre has given me the best conditions in many years for pushing forward my research about Latin American regionalism and regional integration and it opened new avenues for my academic inquiry. The European University Institute also offers a well-organised schedule of seminars and workshops and many informal spaces for stimulating intellectual conversation and for academic exchanges with other colleagues. Let me add that the beauty and historical significance of the European University Institute premises and the support and care of the staff are other key ingredients of this fruitful fellowship. At the end of the stay, I have the real feeling of being a proud member of a broad international community of the European University Institute’s former visiting scholars.
José Antonio Sanahuja, Robert Schuman Fellow 2015-2016
(Full professor of International Relations, Complutense University of Madrid)
In 2014 I had the good fortune to spend four months at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies as a Schuman Fellow – an excellent opportunity to pursue my research interests in the area of EU-China relations. The Global Governance Programme brings together a large number of scholars from across the world, be it as fellows or as visiting speakers, facilitating a unique kind of intellectual exchange. Being part of this community, drawing on the ‘Villa La Fonte spirit’, has been extremely useful: not only in terms of the valuable feedback I received on my work in progress and the inspiration I gathered for future research, but also through new connections and collaborations that will last much longer than the fellowship itself, and in this way will have a positive impact on my work for years to come.
Thomas Christiansen, Robert Schuman Fellow 2014-2015
(Chair in European Institutional Politics, Maastricht University)
The Robert Schuman Centre has been an ideal setting to pursue my collaborative research on solidarity in diverse societies. The interdisciplinary and international nature of the Centre provides a continual stimulus to new thought, and the Centre’s well-developed tradition of linking academia and policy-making has proven immensely useful in testing and improving the relevance of our work. The Centre offers a warm and comfortable social environment alongside a rigorous and challenging intellectual environment – the ideal combination in my experience.
Will Kymlicka, Robert Schuman Fellow 2014-2015
(Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy, Queen’s University)
Take one of the most beautiful places in the world: the landscape, the villas and the monasteries of Fiesole, near one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Add one of the richest and best organised libraries of Europe, with advanced technology and experienced professionals, a place where you can breathe everlasting culture and knowledge. Add the vibrancy and cultural diversity of a genuinely international community, passionate for science and culture, always keen to discuss and challenge any preconceived thoughts. Add the effectiveness, dedication and availability of the staff, who makes it easy to feel part of the community upon your arrival. Not to mention the excellent services and the unsurpassed quality of Tuscan food. Last but not least, add the most motivating "mission" for someone like me who works in the European institutions to promote research and knowledge for a better Europe. All these, and many others, are the ingredients that have made my fellowship at the Robert Schuman Center a highly stimulating and beautiful time of my professional life. For sure, there are many qualified universities in the world where I could have proficiently developed my research and my reflections on EU and global economic governance. However, nowhere I could have benefitted from such a combination of intellectual inspiration, beauty, and quality of life as I found here.
Antonia Carparelli, EU Fellow 2013-2014
(Economic Advisor, European Commission Representation in Italy)
I have spent six months as an EU Fellow from the European Parliament at the European University Institute’s Robert Schuman Centre, which is located in a beautiful surrounding in the middle of the Tuscan hills. My work as an independent researcher far away from the Brussels stress and rush gave me much intellectual pleasure and satisfaction to carry out research on parliamentary diplomacy and oversight with focus on the EP’s post-Lisbon role in EU foreign policy. I simply enjoyed it here very much: in my office, which used to be the cell of a former Dominican monk in a still functioning 14 th century monastery, in the Library, which has outstanding resources and information services and primarily in discussions/consultations over lunch or macchiato, in working groups and seminars, with university professors and research fellows. Everybody was extremely helpful and supportive and I have not only gained an insight into university life but could also greatly deepen the knowledge and expertise on my subject. This has been a unique experience and I feel very lucky having had the opportunity to stay at this prestigious institute for a half a year.
Péter Bajtay, EU Fellow 2013-2014
I had the opportunity to be a Jean Monnet fellow in 2013-2014 and would highly recommend the experience. It is rare in academia to be given the opportunity to pursue your research interests in an environment like the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. At the Schuman Centre, I was surrounded by top class faculty and peers, without having to worry about the teaching and administrative commitments usually associated with our profession. This allowed me to fully dedicate myself to research and led to a number of publications in leading academic journal in my field. I furthermore had time and space to develop a number of research ideas for which I am now in the process of applying for funding. Again, the freedom provided by the Jean Monnet fellowship to elaborate these ideas from initial thoughts to fully grown funding applications was key in getting to the point where I am now submitting them to funding agencies. Finally, when the time came to move on (as inevitably it did), having the association with the Schuman Centre and the networks I built there certainly helped in landing the next academic post. All things considered, the Jean Monnet programme is a great opportunity to develop as a scholar and provides an excellent stepping stone to future academic endeavours.
James P Cross, Jean Monnet Fellow 2013-2014
(Lecturer in European Public Policy UCD School of Politics and International Relations)
As a Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies I was able to develop my historical research on the modern Middle East in a stimulating inter-disciplinary environment. Collaboration with scholars working on policy issues allowed me to contribute historical insights about the past origins of contemporary problems, as part of an intellectual community that is engaged but never simply presentist.
Simon Jackson, Jean Monnet Fellow 2013-2014
(Assistant Professor in the History of the Modern Middle East, University of Birmingham, UK)
My research is at the intersection of International Law and International Relations, and what I valued most about my Jean Monnet Fellowship was how it gave me both the professional freedom and tangible resources to pursue interdisciplinary research in the emerging field of ‘global law.’ Ranging from the world-class EUI library, frequent cross-disciplinary workshops to support for my own research conference, the Robert Schuman Centre provided remarkable conditions for developing my ideas and promoting my growth as a junior scholar. What is more, the immersion in Italian society and culture has been a great experience for my young family, and we are richer persons for all the friends, memories and flavours we have encountered in the warmth of Tuscany e la Bella Italia. This is one of the finest programs and settings available for any scholar seeking to advance his or her research and writing.
Nikolas M. Rajkovic, Jean Monnet Fellow 2012-2013
(Lecturer in International Law, University of Kent Law School)
The Jean Monnet Fellowship provides an incredible opportunity to do independent and multi-disciplinary research in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. During my stay here, I benefited greatly from my interactions with the Migration Policy Centre, the departments of History and Economics and even developed my football skills playing with the world-famous “Schumaniacs”! The crèche facilities are outstanding – a very important point for researchers with families. Apply to this fellowship for your own personal Renaissance!
Chinmay Tumbe, Jean Monnet Fellow 2012-2013
(Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Governance, TISS Hyderabad)
I feel very fortunate to have been a Jean Monnet Fellow. For me, as someone whose primary interest is research, this fellowship afforded ample opportunities to pursue my own research projects and also provided me with a wonderful set of colleagues who gave valuable feedback and intellectual stimulation. I enjoyed the interaction and collaboration with the other fellows and faculty in the Robert Schuman Centre and also with the SPS department. The experience prepared me for further endeavors in academia and offered me the opportunity to enjoy beautiful Tuscan living.
Autumn Lockwood Payton, Jean Monnet Fellow 2010-2011
(Research Fellow, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung)
Don't apply for a Jean Monnet Fellowship! It’s a trap set up by the European University Institute! They’ll invite you to spend a year in warm and sunny Florence, surrounded by inspiring people in a gorgeous location with amazing food and the best work conditions that the academic world is able to offer. Only, they forget to tell you that once your year is up and you need to leave, you don’t wanna go.
Jacob Weisdorf, Jean Monnet Fellow 2010-2011
(Associate Professor of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
The Jean Monnet Fellowship at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies was one of the most enriching professional and personal experiences in my life. It gave me the possibility to develop my own research agenda and to engage with international scholarly communities. It not only enabled me to significantly upgrade my methodological and academic know how, but it also gave me the opportunity to interact with wonderful people (co-fellows and researchers) with whom I hope to maintain lifelong friendships. This experience will be indelibly ingrained in my memory.
Tamirace Fakhoury, Jean Monnet Fellow 2010-2011
(Assistant Professor, Lebanese American University)
Being Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute has been a great experience. For me, as an economist, working there provided great opportunities to meet many academics as well as practitioners through the different workshops and seminars. Moreover, the interdisciplinarity of the Jean Monnet program offers a unique chance to exchange ideas and discuss with researchers with different backgrounds. Finally, the institute is located in a beautiful setting which gives me great inspiration to undertake my projects.
Joeffrey Drouard, Jean Monnet Fellow 2010-2011
(Assistant Professor, University of Rennes 1)
The Jean Monnet Fellowship contributed in most different ways to my academic life. First of all, it offered me very precious time for my own research and, thus, a unique opportunity to substantially advance in my academic work. With an excellent mixture of time for focused reflection on my research and time for creative distraction through conferences, workshops and seminars it, furthermore, provided an ideal frame for most interesting and inspiring exchange with colleagues from various disciplines and from all around the world. By doing so, it contributed to a further widening of academic perspective beyond my field of specialisation and to an awareness-raising to new thematic horizons, understandings and interlinkages. As a result, a plethora of new ideas emerged from a year full of new insights and inspirations to enrich my further academic work.
Gaby Umbach, Jean Monnet Fellow 2010-2011
(Research Fellow, European University Institute)
It is difficult to summarize a deep and enlightening experience such as the Jean Monnet Fellowship. To me, three aspects are mostly distinctive. First, pursuing your own research in a place such as the European University Institute gives you the possibility of everyday interaction with faculty from world-class departments (as I experienced with the SPS department) in a friendly and easy-going environment. Secondly, the Jean Monnet programme is special in that – being hosted at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies – it is explicitly aimed at strong multidisciplinarity: as a political scientist, I regularly interacted with historians, sociologists, economists, lawyers, anthropologists. Something that is incredibly helpful in learning how to put the technicalities apart and extract the very core of your ideas and results. Thirdly, one year at the EUI gives the sensation of sitting at a world-level crossroads of social science research, providing incredible networking opportunities. Due to an impressive array of conferences, workshops and debates, scholars from the whole world come and go every week at the European University Institute: from senior professors to young, brilliant postdoctoral researchers, not to mention the determined and skilled graduate students from the European University Institute graduate programme. Spacecrafts often use a manoeuvre known as a “gravity assist”: once accurately sent to orbit for a few times around a large planet, they are then able to escape away with their speed multiplied several times. I would say that a Jean Monnet Fellowship would definitely act as such assist for the career of any postdoctoral researcher. And all this, in what is maybe one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Lorenzo De Sio, Jean Monnet Fellow 2010-2011
(Assistant Professor, LUISS Guido Carli, Roma)