ERSTE Foundation Fellowship for Social Research

Among the most significant challenges for the future of social cohesion and intergenerational solidarity are the demographic changes, which affect the social and economic transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe. This has prompted us to look into the causes, implications and necessary actions of this phenomenon by commissioning different scientific studies.

“Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations.” Mikhail Bakunin


There are two basic reasons for our interest to research societal transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe. Firstly, results provide a well-founded, practical and realistic basis for the decision-making and planning processes, not only of the Foundation, but also that of policy-makers, civil society and businesses. The second, equally important motivation is our commitment to support the scientific work and research activities in social and political sciences of institutions (e.g. universities), research communities and individual researchers based in Central and Eastern Europe.


We publish the biennial research results at the end of each cycle on our website, and we promote the researchers’ specific recommendations in the region together with our project partners.
We, furthermore, ensure the exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas through linking the results to other researchers in related fields, such as, for example, journalists.

During each fellowship, several international meetings take place, encouraging researchers to discuss their projects with each other and with invited experts. For instance, the selection process for the 2011–2012 cycle was made during the International Migration Conference in The Hague. The kick off meeting took place in Vienna, while the final event, the Summer School, was held in Florence, hosted by the European University Institute, and covering the topic ‘International Migration, challenges and opportunities for the EU and its neighborhood.


The fellowship programme started in 2008 with the first generation of fellows 2009-2010 covering the topic of ‘Ensuring Income Security and Welfare in Old Age’. Then, the focus lay on the demographic changes in the CEE region, so the topic of the 2011-2012 fellowship was ‘Migration and Its Effects on Demographic and Economic Development in Central Eastern Europe’. The topic of the 2013-2014 fellowship was ‘Labour Markets and Employment in CEE’.
We closely cooperate with the World Demographic & Ageing Forum at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.


Project Manager

Alina Șerban
T: +43 (0)50100 - 15416

Diaspora, nation states and mainstream societies in Central and Eastern Europe

The topic of the 2014-2016 is based on the observation that most CEE countries have diasporas related to neighbouring countries living on their territories. And most CEE countries have a considerable number of co-ethnics or citizens living abroad. Therefore this region offers an ideal case for studying diasporas, their impact and the ways in which modern European nation states are dealing with the issue.

ERSTE FOUNDATION Fellowship for Social Research 2013-2014:

26 research projects to be developed by academics and professionals from 9 CEE countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

Small impressions from Valentina Hlebec, fellow from Slovenia:

I applied for the fellowship together with my colleague Dr. Maša Filipovič Hrast.  more

Small impressions from Valentina Hlebec, fellow from Slovenia:

I applied for the fellowship together with my colleague Dr. Maša Filipovič Hrast.  We deeply appreciate the opportunity to work without the stress of formal administration. Furthermore, we could actually do the research we wanted to, with financial support of ERSTE Foundation. The opportunities provided by the Foundation, such as participating in meetings, discussing the ideas with others and presenting our findings at the World Ageing Forum conference, were most awarding. We found the reviews of our paper very helpful and informative for our further research work.