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)
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, UAECES; Professor of French and European Studies, Loughborough University)
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, Queens University)