Exploring the Ruhr in Germany

A fellowship program of the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet for young academics from abroad in the field of regional development, transport and planning


The Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet

The Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet is an initiative of large German corporations committed to promote structural change in the Ruhr, to modernize an old industrial region and to communicate a new image of the region.


The Region

The Ruhr is one of the largest industrial regions in Europe, originally based on coal and steel production, now benefiting from its industrial mix of energy production and environmental technologies, heavy engineering, motor car production and a wide array of modern service industries. During the past decades considerable efforts have been undertaken to modernize and diversify the economic base of the region. In the beginning of the new millennium, the Ruhr is on the way to become a modern technology region where traditional technical competence is paired with innovative products and technologies.


The Project

In the year 2000/2001 the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet will grant 10 fellowships to post-graduate students from abroad, from North America, Australia, Asia and Europe, who have an interest to study the region and its revitalization efforts. The project aims particularly at students, who are in a process of selecting a theme for a master degree or PhD dissertation.The successful applicants are expected to come to the Ruhr from September 2000 to May 2001 and do research in one of three thematic fields

- Regional Restructuring and Local Economic Development

- Public Transport and Traffic Management

- Sustainable Development and Quality of Life

The nine months in the Ruhr will be divided into a six months study period at a location of the fellow's choice and a three-month internship in one of the member corporations of the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet.

The project is a follow-up initiative to a previous project, which in 1998/99 supported 30 German students to travel abroad and study successful efforts of regional restructuring elsewhere in Europe and North America.

All participants will be called "Fellows of the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet"

The research language and the language of the report is English. Applicants, however, should keep in mind, that only very few English language documents are available in the region. Hence some knowledge of German is helpful.



Academic Guidance

The academic tutor of the Initiative will be Professor Dr. Klaus R. Kunzmann, Jean Monnet Professor of European Spatial Planning at the University of Dortmund Germany. He will be the regional contact for the fellows together with other academic advisors from the region's renowned universities to be identified by the candidate or the tutor. A introductory seminar will take place in the Ruhr in Mid September 2000.


The Fellowships

The successful fellows will receive a grant of $12.500 each, covering costs for living expenses, accommodation and travelling to and from Germany, during the nine months stay in the region.


The International Congress

In May 2001 an International Congress will take place in the Ruhr, where the participants will have to present their individual findings to a jury as well as to regional public and media. Subsequently, the studies of the ten participants will be published in a joint report. The best three studies will receive a price of $2.500, or $1,500 and $1.000 respectively.The three prize winners will be re-invited to Essen to receive the prize on 21 September 2001.



Applications should contain:

- A CV giving the academic background of the applicant

- A cover letter stating the candidate's interest in Germany and in the Ruhr

as well as her /his language capability.

- A maximum four-page description of the proposed research project and of

the methodological approach

- Two references of academic supervisors from the candidate's home university.

The deadline for applications to the project is May, 31, 2000. The successful applicants will be notified by 30 June latest.

Applications have to be sent by mail, fax or e-mail to the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet Verwaltungs-GmbH, Schinkelstraße 30-32 in D-45138 Essen, Germany

or by e-mail to stoklossa@i-r.de

This tender and further Information on the Initiativkreis Ruhrgebiet and its activities can be obtained from www.i-r.de