AI and Robotics are the Future & Work Skills are Changing

Everyone seems to have noticed the changes. The ‘4th Industrial Revolution’, as it is called, aside from all the excitement, is also challenging us to redefine work skills.

“To take full advantage of these opportunities, we need to spend time reflecting on how we can adapt our skill-sets to meet the changing skills mix required of our future selves. The World Economic Forum’s set of reports on future skills suggest that the STEM workforce of 2030 will not only require technical skills, but also strong so-called ‘soft skills’, including emotional intelligence, negotiation, building relationships, and complex problem-solving.
In other words, in a more automated world, we can ‘future-proof’ ourselves by focusing on those skills that make us uniquely human.”

The WISE Conference in May 2019 has the theme “Our Skills, Our Future”. WISE asked professionals what is changing in terms of STEM skills and the future of STEM in general.

You can find their comments here:


Study shows Germany’s need for immigrants

A study has found that migrant labor from within the European Union will fall short of the economy’s needs. To plug the gap, Germany will need 146,000 workers per year from non-EU countries.

Germany needs at least 260,000 new migrant workers per year until 2060 in order to meet labor shortages caused by demographic decline, according to a study published on Tuesday.

Of that number, 146,000 people each year would need to immigrate from non-EU member states, the research published by the Bertelsmann Foundation said.

Read more: Germany’s migrants: Wooed and discriminated against

Due to an aging population, the labor force in Germany is estimated to shrink by a third, or around 16 million people, by 2060 without immigration. Absent immigration, the labor shortage could have a devastating impact on world’s fourth largest economy.

Under the calculated scenarios, the researchers assume that the birth rate is rising, more women are working and that the pension age is increased to 70.

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The Phillip Schwartz Initiative: Providing Universities with the Means to Host Threatened Researchers

The Phillip Schwartz Initiative focuses on providing universitites and research institutions in Germany with the ability to support international researchers who are threatened in their immediate residency situation by external circumstances. The initiative offers a fully funded research fellowship for the duration of 24 months with the possibility of an extension. Funded by the Federal Foreign Office and supported by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Stifterverband and the Stiftung Mercator, the Phillip Schwartz Initiative is a prominent support program foruniversities to host international researchers whose success is threatened by their circumstances.

Applications can be submitted until 8 March 2019. Applications forms are available here. Results will be published at the beginning of June 2019.

Who can apply?

Research-performing institutions in Germany in the following categories may apply:

  • public and state-recognised universities, including universities of applied sciences (“Fachhochschulen”)
  • Max Planck Institutes, Helmholtz Institutes, Leibniz Institutes, Fraunhofer Institutes
  • Federal and State Research Institutes
  • other research-performing institutions that can convincingly demonstrate their research focus and infrastructures

Successful applicants will be able to grant a Philipp Schwartz Fellowship to a threatened researcher. In detail:

  • institutions that were successful in previous calls for applications (no submission of support concepts in the current call; only nomination of researcher)
  • institutions that applied but were not successful in previous calls for applications
  • institutions that have not applied for Philipp Schwartz funding before

Please note that researchers cannot apply on an individual basis. We recommend that researchers interested in this programme contact potential host institutions in Germany, which may be in a position to submit an application.

Who is eligible for a Philipp Schwartz fellowship?

Threatened researchers from any academic field and any country of origin who

  • have completed their doctorate or a comparable academic degree (PhD, CSc or equivalent)
  • do not reside or have not been resident outside their own country for more than three years; researchers who hold German university entrance qualifications (“Bildungsinländer”) are not eligible
  • possess the language skills required to successfully conduct their research projects
  • possess academic qualifications (e.g. publications)
  • possess potential to be integrated into the (research-related) job market
  • who have not yet been funded in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
  • persons that have access to residence in safe countries due to multiple citizenship and German citizens are not eligible for nomination
  • multiple nominations of one person by several institutions are not permitted

The Humboldt Foundation imposes no restrictions with regard to country of origin or current location if the threat can be confirmed in accordance with the programme guidelines.

If an institution is interested in hosting a threatened researcher, but not aware of a specific person, they are invited to contact the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) and the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA). Both organisations are experienced in placing threatened researchers and are able to make suggestions accordingly.

What does the funding include?

Host institutions will receive funding from the Humboldt Foundation and act as fellowship-granting agencies, awarding a Philipp Schwartz fellowship to the threatened researcher. The funding consists of two components:

  • fellowship funds including subsidies of 3,500 EUR/month for up to 24 months (an extension of up to 12 months on the context of a co-financing model may be granted upon application in the course of the initial funding period)
  • auxiliary funds for the host institution of 20,000 EUR per each fellow hosted

What are the elements of an application?

  • concept for a sustainable support infrastructure for threatened researchers (this does not apply to institutions successful in a previous call for applications)
  • application for a Philipp Schwartz fellowship including confirmation that the researcher is threatened
  • financing plan

How can a threat to a researcher be confirmed in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative?

In the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, a pertinent threat can be confirmed in two ways:

  • by way of a residence status in the context of an asylum-granting procedure within the EU that confirms a recognised threat
  • by way of a credible threat assessment issued no more than 12 months ago by a third party, such as the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) or the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)

Candidates with a residence status in the EU resulting from an asylum-granting procedure that confirms a recognised threat do not need to contact our partners for a threat assessment. Please note that CARA can only accept such requests from universities and other institutions, while SAR will accept requests for threat assessments both from institutions and from individual at-risk researchers. Please do not approach more than one partner organisation for an assessment.

In order to ensure that assessments can be completed in time, all relevant documentation must be submitted to our partners SAR or CARA by 15th February 2019.

Further information

In each individual case, the host institution is responsible for ensuring that, in terms of residence legislation, the status of the person to be sponsored does allow him/her to stay at the respective host institution in the context of the Philipp Schwartz fellowship. Double funding is not permitted.


The Study in Europe Project

The European Commission and EU Delegration offices organize the Study in Europe Project and European Higher Education Fairs on a global scale.

“At all fairs, you can meet European universities and higher education representatives face-to-face, for personal advice about:

  • Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral studies
  • Funding and scholarships
  • Living and studying in Europe

Anyone who is interested in learning more about studying in Europe can attend… and it is free-of-charge for visitors. The latest details can be found on the Study in Europe fairs website.”

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Call for Applications: International PhD-Position in the Field of “Heart Failure”

The International Research Training Group 1816 funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) offers a structured international 3?year doctoral programme jointly educating natural scientists and physicians/medical students in the field of “Heart failure”. The programme is organized by the Heart Center, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen together with the BHF Centre of Research Excellence, King`s College London.

The Training Group offers an excellent research environment, a comprehensive

curriculum and a broad supervision and mentoring network. Students will conduct part of their projects in one of the partnering laboratories in London.

The International Research Training Group 1816 (Director in Göttingen: Prof. Dr. Dörthe M. Katschinski, Prof. Dr. Susanne Lutz, Director in London: Prof. Dr. Ajay Shah, Prof. Dr. Manuel Mayr) is planning to award up to


                 12 PhD positions (PhD track; Dr. rer. nat.)


                                               Project start: April 1st, 2019


Eligibility criteria PhD track (PhD or Dr. rer. nat.):

M.Sc. in basic sciences or equivalent or Graduation (Dr. med.) from Medical school


Further eligibility criteria for all applicants:

Proof of English proficiency as English is the graduate school`s official language (e.g. TOEFL or similar test, not for native speakers).

The PhD positions will be paid according to the regulations of the civil service collective wage agreement (TV?L 65% of level E13)..


Have a look for the Project 2019 here and name your three favorite projects in your application form.

Please use the necessary application and reference forms below. Incomplete applications without the necessary forms, documents or references will not be considered!


Electronic applications including

  •       Application form
  •       Certificates (B.Sc. & M.Sc.) in english or german
  •       Proof of English proficiency (not older than 2 years)
  •       2 Reference letters (directly sent to
    by the referees)

should be sent as one single pdf-file to before December 15th 2018!

Call for Applications: PhD Research Associate in Neuroscience

At TU Dresden, Faculty of Psychology, Institute of General Psychology, Biopsychology and Methods of Psychology, Chair of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (CCN, Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein) invites, subject to resources being available, applications for a Research Associate.

(Subject to personal qualification employees are remunerated according to salary group E 13 TV-L)
The position is available at the next possible date and entails 50 % of the fulltime weekly hours. The position is initially limited until 31.12.2020. A contract extension for a fourth year is possible. The period of employment is governed by the Fixed Term Research Contracts Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG). The position offers the chance to obtain further academic qualification.

The position is part of the ERC-consolidator grant SENSOCOM. The aim of the SENSOCOM project is to investigate the role of auditory and visual subcortical sensory structures in analysing human communication signals and to specify how their dysfunction contributes to human communication disorders such as developmental dyslexia. For examples of our work on these topics see von Kriegstein et al., 2008 Current Biology, Diaz et al., 2012 PNAS; Müller-Axt et al., 2017 Current Biology. The projects include experiments using cognitive neuroscience methods to understand the basic mechanisms of cortico-subcortical interactions as well as development of training programmes that are aimed at creating intervention programmes for communication deficits (for a brief description see

Research is performed at the Neuroimaging Centre at the TU Dresden ( The centre offers cutting-edge infrastructure with 3-Tesla MRI, MRI compatible headphones and eye-tracking, several EEG systems, a neurostimulation unit including neuronavigation, TMS and tDCS devices. Besides an excellent infrastructure, the centre offers an international and friendly environment with researchers from diverse backgrounds. All experimental facilities are supported by experienced staff. For analyses with high computational demands, there is access to high-performance computing clusters.

The successful applicant has to develop, perform, and analyse cognitive neuroscience experiments within the SENSOCOM project and to publish the results in peer-reviewed publications.
PhD students will have the opportunity to participate in the TU Dresden graduate academy ( TU Dresden is one of eleven German Universities of Excellence and offers an interdisciplinary scientific environment.

Contact for informal enquiries regarding the post: Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein (

Applications from women are particularly welcome. The same applies to people with disabilities.

To apply, please include all documents in one PDF-file in the following order: CV, contact information of two references, a brief statement describing your personal qualifications and future research interests, academic transcripts. Applications with the subject heading “ERC 02/18” should be sent until 01.11.2018 (stamped arrival date of the university central mail service applies) preferably via the TU Dresden SecureMail Portal by sending it as a single pdf document to or via post to TU Dresden, Fakultät Psychologie, Institut für Allgemeine Psychologie, Biopsychologie und Methoden der Psychologie, Professur für Kognitive und Klinische Neurowissenschaft, Frau Prof. Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein, Helmholtzstr. 10, 01069 Dresden. Please submit copies only, as your application will not be returned to you. Expenses incurred in attending interviews cannot be reimbursed.

The candidate must have a university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in neuroscience, psychology or a related field, a strong interest in perceptual aspects of human communication, particularly auditory speech perception, prior experience with at least one method of cognitive neuroscience, such as (auditory) psychophysics, functional or structural MRI, TMS, diffusion-weighted imaging, brainstem recordings or EEG/MEG. Experience with clinical populations (e.g. developmental dyslexia) and/or computational modelling would be an asset but is not essential.

Working Language:

Language of Dissertation:

Required Documents:
Reports, certificates
Letter of Motivation
Others : contact information of two references


Study Shows Students Feel There is a Lack of Internationalization in European Universities

A recent survey of “more than 2,360 students from six universities in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Germany” shows that many students at European universities feel that universities are showing a lack of internationalization.

Additionally, the study shows a difference in opinion regarding the importance of internationalization of higher education between domestic and international students with international students seeing a higher level of importance than domestic students. However, as noted by Helen Spencer-Oatey, professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warwick, “in all cases experience is not meeting expectations”.

Even though viewpoints differed, the general result of the study was that most did not feel they were experiencing internationalization which has caused speculations about how European universitites can create better strategies not only to promote internationalization but also to better inform students. For example, Professor Spencer-Oatley said: “Just putting on events to help students mix together is not going to be of any use if people aren’t interested in that in the first place.”

More information here:







Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellowship

Target Group
The TUM-IAS Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellowship is designed for outstanding researchers from industry who would like to expand their connection to a TUM research group.

It is the Fellowship’s purpose to enhance collaboration and knowledge-sharing between research units at TUM and company research laboratories. To increase international collaboration, TUM-IAS especially welcomes applications from companies from outside Germany.

The Fellowship is named after Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913), who was a TUM student with Prof. Carl von Linde. In 1897, Diesel invented the combustion principle that is named after him.

Duration/Nature of the Fellowship
The Fellowship lasts three years, during which the Fellow continues to be employed by his company. It is based on a joint proposal by the applicant and the TUM Host professor. Throughout the affiliation period, the Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellows may offer special courses and lectures in their field of expertise to enhance the connection between the university and industry. Fellows are expected to develop an intensive collaboration with their hosting Focus Group, to participate in TUM-IAS programs and events, and to organize activities such as a workshop, public talks, or speakers’ series in order to contribute to the intellectual life of the Institute and the university.
In order to guarantee an active exchange of ideas and to intensify the collaboration, TUM-IAS encourages the company to contribute funding for a doctoral candidate to the project, which would then be jointly mentored and advised by the TUM Host professor and the Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellow. The funding could be administered either by TUM-IAS or the chair of the host.

The Fellow receives a research fund for travel, accommodation and research related costs (e.g. organizing a workshop) depending on the length of his/her actual stay at TUM. Fellows will be given a maximum degree of freedom as to how they utilize these funds (within bounds set by funding agencies; the funds are administered by the TUM-IAS).

Family support
For Fellows with family responsibilities, the TUM-IAS offers flexible funding (for example for childcare/school fees), additional administrative support, and various other kinds of provisions. For more information, please see here.
Tandem nomination

It is possible to nominate a Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellowship candidate as part of a “tandem package” together with a Hans Fischer (Senior) Fellowship candidate. However, this is not mandatory – it is also possible to only nominate one candidate for a Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellowship.

How to apply
The Deans of TUM Faculties, all further members of the “Erweitertes Hochschulpräsidium (EHP)” and members of the TUM-IAS Board of Trustees can directly nominate candidates for TUM IAS Fellowships (any member of the university community can propose, but the nomination must be channeled through the Dean of the hosting Faculty or the Director of the hosting Institute).

Please submit the following application documents:

  • a nomination letter including a description of the facilities provided for the Fellow by the TUM Host institute,
  • a CV (no more than 5 pages) and a list of publications,
  • a statement of purpose jointly signed by the candidate and the hosting professor, describing the content of the joint research, its innovative potential and the concrete implementation plans. This statement should also include
  • a budget plan,
  • a time plan regarding the candidate’s projected periods of stay at TUM,
  • an identification of possible additional (interdisciplinary) collaboration partners both within TUM-IAS and
  • within TUM as well as a short explanation as to why this collaboration would be beneficial,
  • an outline for an international, ideally interdisciplinary workshop/colloquium, to be organized during the active Fellowship period,
  • a list of 4-6 international peer-reviewers without any conflict of interest (definition: please see page 15) – if applicable, also a list of persons that should be excluded from reviewing the proposal,
  • a letter of nomination from the Dean of the hosting faculty or another member of the EHP or Board of Trustees

The TUM-IAS may ask its Rudolf Diesel Industry Fellows to provide proof of employment with their company for the duration of their Fellowship.

This year’s call for proposals is now open with a deadline on October 24, 2018. Please send nominations directly to the TUM-IAS office. Decisions will be mailed within six months.

further information:

Call for Applications: The Young Scientists’ Scholarship

Next application deadline for a young scientists’ scholarship at the Research Library for the History of Education (BBF) ends on Sunday, September 30th, 2018.

One of the major interests of the BBF lies in the promotion of young scientists in history of education. Therefore, the BBF offers scholarships for a research visit to Berlin of up to three month to young scientists who wish to work with, respectively need to do so for their research project, the archival and/or library materials of the BBF.
The application deadline for a scholarship between January and June 2019 ends on September 30th, 2018.

Details about the Scholarship Programme

The Research Library for the History of Education (BBF) at the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) is dedicated to research in the field of history of education in Germany and its international context. Particular focus is placed on social and cultural historical aspects concerning the history of school and other educational institutions in the 19th and 20th century, and the history of pedagogical and educational scientific discourse and its epistemological conditions. One of our major concerns lies in the promotion of young scientists in history of education, showing an interest in the archival and librarian materials of the BBF. Therefore, the BBF is offering scholarships for a research visit to Berlin.
The BBF holds major library and archival collections, thus providing a comprehensive scientific infrastructure for research projects in the history of education. We consider our services in terms of a forum for discussions in an international scientific perspective, particularly aiming to offer young researchers opportunities for exchange and networking.

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New Visa Beneficial for International Students and UK Employers

Universities UK, the representative organisation for the UK’s universities founded in 1918 sees its mission as being the voice for UK higher education. Recently, they have called for a new visa which makes it possible for international students to “gain work experience in the UK for up to two years after graduation”.

“It comes as university leaders gather for the start of Universities UK’s annual conference, taking place this year in Sheffield (4-5 September).

In 2012, the UK government scrapped the post-study work visa which had allowed international (non-EU) students to stay in the UK and work for up to two years after graduation. This tightening of the eligibility rules for post-study work opportunities in the UK may have had a significant impact on prospective applicants from certain countries, including India.

The new visa would allow a wider range of employers – in all parts of the UK – to benefit from access to talented graduates from around the world, including small and medium employers who do not have Tier 2 sponsorship licences, usually due to the high costs and bureaucracy involved.

It would also make the UK a more attractive destination for international students and graduates, enabling it to compete with other popular destinations such as the United States, Australia and Canada, who have more welcoming student visa policies.

Since 2011, countries such as Australia, Canada, and the US have seen high growth in international demand for study, while the total number of enrolled international students in the UK has stayed flat, leading to lost market share.

The US and Canada offer international graduates the opportunity to stay and work for up to three years after graduation, and Australia for up to four years. New Zealand has recently announced reforms to its student visa policies and will now allow all international graduates to stay and work for up to three years, without the need for employer sponsorship.

The call comes as a new poll from ComRes reveals increased support for international students and graduates in the UK. Nearly three quarters (72%) of British adults polled think that international students should be able to stay in the UK post-graduation for one year or more to gain work experience.”

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