• Proven expertise regarding current issues in an area of culture, politics, economy, media or science (supported by a letter of reference in German and English)
  • Intellectual curiosity, an interest in interdisciplinary approaches, and a willingness to discuss issues outside of the framework of one’s own area of expertise
  • An excellent command of English (spoken and written)
  • Applicants must live and work in Germany or provide proof that they have lived in Germany for an extended period in the past. Applicants do not have to be German citizens.
  • Existing relationships with US-American partners and institutions (desired)



  • Applications for a Thomas Mann Fellowship can be submitted for the subsequent year by filling in the application form and sending the confirmation document by post mail.
  • Applications must be postmarked on or before Febuary 29 for a fellowship during the subsequent year.
  • Students may not apply.
  • Application forms must be filled out in German and English as indicated.
  • Each application requires a letter of reference from a renowned expert who has published extensively in the field in question.
  • Application and letter of reference should corroborate the significance of the proposed project with regards to transatlantic relations and its importance in addressing the most pressing questions of our time. In addition, the application’s qualifications in relation to the fellowship’s mission should be presented and substantiated.
  • After submitting the application form, you will receive a confirmation email. Attached to this email is a confirmation document to be printed, signed and send to Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V., Jägerstraße 23, 10117 Berlin, Germany.
  • Two applicants may submit a joint application for a partner fellowship. In this case, each applicant must complete a separate application form. The letter of reference must address both candidates’ qualifications as well as the joint project.
  • The letter of reference can be uploaded by you or the person who writes it to the link provided to you in your confirmation email.


Selection Process

  • All applications will be checked for completeness. Letters of reference will be reviewed for their significance in relation to the fellowship’s mission.
  • An interdisciplinary advisory committee, appointed by Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V.’s Board of Trustees, will review and evaluate all applications and nominate the Thomas Mann Fellows for the subsequent year.
  • Applicants have no legal right to the Fellowship.
  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V. will award the fellowships based on the availability of the nominated candidates as once they are confirmed by the Board of Trustees.
  • Applicants will be informed of the juries ‘decisions by email or by post. No reasons will be given.
  • If chosen, the applicant will receive a contract. The fellowship will take legal effect only after the contract has been signed.

Focus topics in 2021

Applications for the following topics will be given special consideration for fellowships in 2021:


  • Digital Ethics: Recognition and Apprehension
  • Social Transformation: Stigmatization and Loss of Face

States of Insecurity

  • Welfare State Traditions in Germany and the United States
  • What is the social and cultural glue that holds our societies together?


The deadline for applications for 2021 was February 29, 2020.