CAT (Constructive Advanced Thinking) Programme 2021

(travel and accommodation costs)

The aim of the CAT initiative is to foster networks of excellent early-career researchers dedicated to devise new ideas to understand and to tackle current or emerging societal challenges. Although the programme has a strong focus on the societal relevance of the projects, it is entirely blue-sky, bottom-up and non-thematic. CAT encourages a collaboration with stakeholders outside academia (industry, policymakers, NGOs…) who are willing to support or engage in innovative research initiatives. In order to engage in fruitful discussions and mature their ideas, the groups will be given the opportunity to meet for short stays in different participating institutes, and to be put in contact with their fellows and local research communities. With few guidelines and a very light application process, CAT is designed to maximize the creativity of research groups. This call has been incubated in the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NETIAS) and also involves institutes beyond the network. Participating Institutes in the 2021 call:

- Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies, Aarhus
- CEU Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest 
- Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem
-Madrid Institute for Advanced Study, Madrid
- Montpellier Advanced Knowledge Institute on Transitions, Montpellier
- Paris Institute for Advanced Study, Paris
- Scienza Nuova, Torino
- Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala
- Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung, Bielefeld
- Zukunftskolleg, Konstanz

The collaboration between different institutes in different countries aims at giving these groups access to a great variety of high-level thinkers and researchers in order to go beyond the current frontiers of knowledge and to develop highly innovative ideas on how to address very complex societal issues.

Your responsibilities

  • At mid-term, the continuation of the team’s work will be subject to approval after evaluation of a short progress report.
  • At the end of their project, in addition to the organization of one or more final meeting(s) presenting the results, the CAT teams will be expected to produce a final report in the form of a text, video, website or other media, that will be made public.
  • In keeping with the policies of the participating institutes, the researchers retain the intellectual property rights to their work.

Your Competencies

  • Your project must address emergent societal issues.
  • The Principal Investigator must have a stable research position in a European higher education and/or research institution for the entire duration of the project. S/he should have obtained a PhD between January 2012 and December 2020. 
  • Doctoral researchers may also participate. However, no team member should have obtained her/his PhD before January 2012.
  • There is no specific requirement for representatives of stakeholder organizations.
  • Each team should include participants from at least two different countries (current workplace, including non-European countries; any nationality).
  • The team of 3 to 5 persons (stakeholders included) must be fully constituted, with CVs of all members.

We Offer

  • CAT will provide teams of early-career researchers time and space for thought and discussion in the best research environments Europe has to offer.
  • During a period of up to three years, teams will benefit from a series of short stays (i.e. between one and two weeks, two to three times a year, for a maximum of six stays) in participating institutes.
  • CAT will cover travel and accommodation expenses for the team meetings/short work stays in the participating institutes. CAT will not fund salaries or stipends.
  • During their stay, CAT teams will benefit from the institutes’ amenities and conviviality for work and exchanges.
  • Discussions at the institutes will provide a unique sounding board for innovative ideas and will give valuable feedback.

Please submit your application documents in English via our online application portal. Applications should include:

(1) a 300-word abstract;
(2) a 3000-word max text (including references) OR a video of 15 min max (please include the web link in the abstract), describing the team’s research question and how it plans to address it;
(3) a brief work plan for meetings and activities with an indicative calendar and duration.
(4) a short description of the team
(5) a PDF file with CVs for each participant and an indication of where they will travel from to the meetings;
(6) letters of support: at least two from academic researchers; additional letters from extra-academic stakeholders outside academia are encouraged.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Andrey Demidov via e-mail: We look forward to receiving your complete until 1 September 2021, 15:00 CET. Successful applications will be notified in December 2021. Invitations will be sent in early January 2022. More information  is available online

Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply. They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact + 49 7531 88–4016). The University of Konstanz is committed to ensuring an environment that provides equal opportunities and promotes diversity as well as a good balance between university and family life. As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to increase the number of women working in research and teaching. We also support working couples through our dual career programme (



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