Institutes & Centers

Institute for Comparative Federalism - Federal Scholar in Residence Program

Federal Scholar in Residence Program

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The Institute for Comparative Federalism established the yearly Federal Scholar in Residence Program in order to enhance the comparative study of federalism and regionalism by providing an opportunity for exchange among scholars in the field and to thereby inspire and develop new project ideas. The winner of each is granted a research stay of up to three weeks at Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen, South Tyrol, Italy and gets the opportunity to discuss and present their research on issues related to comparative federalism, regionalism and/or intergovernmental relations with international experts in the field.



The Federal Scholar in Residence Program addresses experts who wish to present and discuss questions of federalism and regionalism that are of importance to legislators, civil servants and the international academic community. It promotes comparative research at Eurac Research and aims to interconnect experts and their networks in order to advance comparative federal and regional studies.

The program welcomes applications from scholars and practitioners who study and work in the fields of federalism, regionalism and intergovernmental relations. It was set up in honor of the works of Sergio Ortino, the founder of Federalism Studies in South Tyrol.

In short, the Federal Scholar in Residence Program is:

  • a public acknowledgement of excellence covering the costs of a research stay at the Institute for Comparative Federalism
  • a possibility to present own research findings publicly and engage into face-to-face discussions with a group of international experts in constitutional law and comparative politics at Eurac Research
  • an occasion for academics, post-docs and practitioners to extend and share their knowledge of multilevel government and governance in the South Tyrolean setting, a trilingual Italian autonomous province bordering Switzerland and Austria
  • an opportunity to develop new project ideas while being part of our international research environment.

Please find all information regarding formal requirements and selection procedure below. For further inquiries please contact us via email:



The winner of the Federal Scholar in Residence program is granted a research stay of up to 3 weeks at the Institute for Comparative Federalism. Although the winner can flexibly plan their stay, the month of February would represent a particularly good opportunity to develop new ideas while profiting from the international research environment of the renowned Winter School on Federalism and Governance.

The program comprises:

  • the possibility to present and to publish one's work in our online series Diversity Governance Papers, DiGoP, or one of our book series, if considered appropriate by the president of the jury
  • a work place and free access to the library, including online library services
  • the use of our administrative structures (secretariat and project development service)
  • a return ticket economic fare
  • accommodation in a single room in a standard guesthouse in centrally located areas of Bolzano/Bozen (within walking distance to Eurac Research)

NOTE: The single conditions are subject to prior agreement with the project manager and to Eurac Research’s internal rules and regulations. In any case, neither board nor a family allowance can be provided.


Applicants must hand in an unpublished manuscript and be ready to present their findings in English in seminars both at Eurac Research and at neighboring partner universities.

Applications are to be sent directly to the program manager by 01 July, 15:00 CEST. Please note:

  • the unpublished paper or manuscript can be submitted in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish; in accordance to the program's rules it is compulsory to insert the following declaration as a footnote in the submitted manuscript OR as a separate certification (with your signature): "I hereby confirm that the submitted work ( TITLE ) will not have been published within two months following the deadline for submission."
  • it has to be sent electronically and must not contain information that could identify the author
  • the applicant's knowledge of English must be at working level
  • only full papers are accepted, no research plans (there is, however, no rule concerning the length of the submitted work)
  • a paper or manuscript can only be re-submitted if substantially revised
  • an abstract in English, a short CV and a motivation letter of maximum 2 pages have to be sent as separate documents. Please read the privacy information notice
  • applications must be submitted via email only

The program manager will reserve some days to check the accuracy of the received application and then sent a confirmation email. The program manager also reserves the right to reject applications that present a conflict of interest.

The program manager guarantees anonymity throughout the evaluation period (double-blind peer review process). Please note that it is NOT the program manager's responsibility to strip any information that could identify the author from the manuscript before submitting it to the jury for review. Manuscripts that contain identifying information will simply be rejected. The same goes for incomplete applications.

The motivation letter should contain information on how the applicant intends to use his/her time at Eurac Research. For instance, it can contain a project idea in line with the Institute's research fields. Both biographical information and motivation letter will not be passed on to the jury. They are essential for the preparatory phase of the program and in case of victory, but do not count for the selection process itself.

The winner will be contacted by the mid October at the latest. If the person ranked first is no longer interested in the program, the president of the jury and the program manager reserve the right to decide whether to grant the research stay to the person ranked second or not to award the Federal Scholar in Residence position at all. Motivation letter and biographical information are taken into consideration in such cases. In absence of good applications, the jury's president reserves the right not to award the grant.

All candidates will in any case receive a short notice by end October. Any contact of applicants with the program manager is forbidden during the selection procedure.



The program manager forwards the unpublished manuscripts to both Professor Francesco Palermo, President of the international jury and Director of the Institute for Comparative Federalism, and to the yearly jury members.

Depending on the submitted topic and the language of the paper or manuscript, experts and senior scholars are nominated from a pool of outstanding international experts. Their range of expertise covers the whole of comparative federalism, regionalism and intergovernmental research, from legal, political, social and economic perspective. The members of the jury are asked to evaluate the submitted works against the following criteria:

  • innovation and creativity (significant originality and initiative)
  • content (overall quality, clarity and long term scientific value for comparative federal research)
  • practical usefulness (consequentiality for institutional, political, social and economic reality)
  • strategic value (relevance for efficient multilevel governance and institutional reforms)
  • reliability (referring to the problem framing and, if applicable, to data collection methods)
  • replicability (applying to data and broadly speaking to the entire reasoning process)
  • methodological effectiveness (clear demonstration on how the work is consonant in its source disciplines/methodologies or on how the work effectively advances the understanding and inquiry of the submitted topic by weaving disciplinary perspectives together and developing novel methodological approaches that are balanced)

Please note that the jury's president and its members will receive the candidates' applications anonymously by the program manager. The jury members' work and deliberations are strictly confidential and any contact with the president of the jury is not permitted during the evaluation procedure.

The program manager will contact the winner by mid October at the latest. The winner will also be announced on Eurac Research's web page.

NOTE: During the selection process no emails will be answered by the program manager or the jury’s president. For general inquiries on the program before the deadline of submission, 01 July, please send an email.