Mission Statement: Promotion of Young Talent

Our promotion principles

  • We regard the promotion of young talent as a contribution to nurturing democratic culture.
  • Our scholarship policy combines the principle of high achievement with that of equal opportunities. This is expressed particularly in our promotion of previously under-represented target groups.
  • We accord special importance to gender-democratic and intercultural issues as part of our non-material promotion. Attention to and respect for diversity are constitutive elements of our promotion practice.
  • Our forms of promotion are both material (scholarships, book grants, foreign study grants) and non-material (supporting programme, networking, advice).
  • Our promotion is committed to the idea of sustainability. One of the focal points of the supporting programme is education for sustainable development. For our doctoral scholarships, projects in transformation and sustainability research are particularly welcomed.
  • We support young people in their personal development, promote the acquisition of cross-disciplinary skills, and encourage interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogue.
  • We create forums for debate and collaboration between students, newly qualified academics, former scholarship recipients, established researchers and Green politicians. We promote the formation of Green networks on a national, European and international level.
  • We emphasise the spirit of participation and promote our scholarship recipients’ sense of initiative, responsibility, and participation in decision-making. We expect work with our scholarship recipients to be constructive, solution-oriented and goal-oriented, and we encourage a culture of communication that contributes to this objective.

Our target groups

  • We promote undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students who affirm the goals of the Green project, share the fundamental values of the Heinrich Böll Foundation – democracy, ecology, solidarity and non-violence – and take an active sociopolitical role.
  • We promote undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from all subjects and all types of higher educational institutions. In addition to our existing focus on humanities, social sciences and art, we are expanding our promotion of previously under-represented areas such as economics, law, engineering, media studies and natural sciences. We place special emphasis on promoting students from universities of applied sciences.
  • Our scholarship recipients include a particularly high proportion of women.
  • We give special support to women in those subjects where they have previously been under-represented. This applies particularly to the STEM subjects.
  • Our programme also emphasises the promotion of members of ethnic minorities and first-generation students.
  • We promote undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from all the German Länder. We plan to continue increasing the proportion of scholarship recipients from eastern Germany.
  • We support international scholarship holders from all over the world, especially young people from eastern and south-eastern Europe, the EU’s neighbouring states and the CIS, the Arab world/Middle East, and transition countries and conflict regions worldwide.

Our expectations: Promoting young talent to promote personalities

  • We expect our applicants to have performed outstandingly in their university studies and to show social commitment, political interest, and reflection on the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s goals and values.
  • Among the applicants, we look for individuals who are
    - politically committed and concerned, and take an interest in Green ideas;
    - original and independent thinkers;
    - intellectually curious;
    - team players, good communicators, able to deal with conflict, and solution-oriented;
    - goal-oriented and ambitious in their plans for their own future;
    - self-reflexive and self-critical;
    - socially minded, with gender-democratic and intercultural competence;
    - internationally oriented.
  • We offer space for creative thinking and the exchange of political ideas, within a stimulating culture of discussion that is marked by mutual respect and fair-minded interaction.

Our alumni programme

  • We offer our alumni a wide-ranging programme of services and events, help them to make contact with each other, and provide a communication platform for professional networking.
  • When our scholarship holders have completed their studies, we encourage them to work actively for the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s fundamental principles in their capacity as experts and leaders in research, politics, the media, business, and society. We support them in this aim by means of a mentoring programme and other services.
  • We hope that the former scholarship recipients will give us their assistance as material and non-material supporters of the Foundation.


First drafted: November 2004; revised: October 2013.