FragDenStaat Fellowship Guidelines_Status 03.2023

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FragDenStaat Fellowship Guidelines

1. Aim of the Fellowship
The aim of the fellowship is to give people from journalism, civil society and academia
the opportunity to conduct research on the basis of information rights (press law,
requests under freedom of information laws, public register searches). The
FragDenStaat Fellows will thereby expand and deepen their knowledge of access
rights. They will learn how to obtain relevant information and also how to legally fight
for it if necessary. Furthermore, they will be familiarised with alternative digital tools
and methods. For the FragDenStaat Fellowship Programme, eligible individuals or
teams (see Clause 2) can apply with a particular research project (see Clause 3).

2. Eligible Applicants
2.1 People from journalism, civil society and academia can apply for the Fellowship. It is
irrelevant for the fellowship whether the applicant works freelance or is employed (e.g.
by a media company or a university). Furthermore, the applicant should have no or little
experience with information rights so far in their professional journey, although this is a
skill they are keen to develop. Alternatively, the fellowship is also open to people who
have not been able to pursue their research due to time constraints. Finally, the use of
access rights should be the central research tool.

2.2 The planned research project can be worked on in a team. However, the application
should come from a single person in order to simplify supervision and administration in
the further course.

2.3 We particularly want to support people whose perspectives have been
underrepresented in the respective topic area so far. FragDenStaat strives to reflect
the diversity of our society in its fellows. Therefore, applications from people who
experience discrimination are explicitly welcome.

3. Research Project
Particular consideration will be given to research projects that deal with topics that
meet with broad public interest.

4. Formal Requirements
4.1 Admissible are written applications in German or English. Applications must be
submitted in the form of a single PDF document and by e-mail to

4.2 The application documents must contain the following information and documents:
    (1) Name, address, e-mail address, short curriculum vitae and relevant publications
        or works (max. 3) of the applicant.
    (2) A meaningful description of the specific research topic as well as a justification
        of its public relevance including an idea of how the publication of the results

should ideally look like. The description shall be accompanied by a brief
       schedule that provides information about
          1. the start of the research;
          2. by when the research can be expected to be completed;
          3. which milestones have to be reached at which point in time in order to be
              able to complete the research.
   (3) Letter of motivation explaining why the FragDenStaat Fellowship is just right for
       the applicant
   (4) Presentation of the research team, if applicable

5. Application Deadline
5.1 The application deadline will be announced              via   the   relevant   website with four weeks' notice.

5.2 We reserve the right to extend the application deadline if necessary. Applications
already received may then also be revised or amended.

5.3 The application documents must be received in the mailbox of the e-mail address by the application deadline. Applications that are incomplete or
sent late will not be considered.

6. Remuneration
The research project will be remunerated with a one-time payment of € 2,500 plus any
statutory value-added tax. Payment will be made after proper invoicing and in two
installments. In addition, OKF DE will reimburse expenses incurred in connection with
the assertion and enforcement of claims for information or access to information within
the scope of the search project (in particular fees for inquiries, travel expenses to file
inspection or court hearings) up to a total amount of € 1,000 within the term of the
project upon presentation of the relevant receipts.

7. Term
The Fellowship is approved for a period of 12 months. A cost-neutral extension of the
fellowship is possible upon request of the FELLOW and will be granted if corresponding
personnel resources are available at OKF DE for the further counseling and support of
the FELLOW at OKF DE and a realistic perspective for the completion of the research
project is given. For clarification, it is noted that an extension does not imply any
(further or continuing) remuneration.

8. Selection Procedure
8.1 Applicants have no legal entitlement to be selected and accepted for the
FragDenStaat Fellowship Program. The date of the selection decision will be
announced on the relevant website Applicants will be informed
about the selection decision by e-mail.

8.2 The decision on the award of the fellowship takes place in a two-stage procedure.
In the first stage, it is checked whether the application requirements have been met. In
stage 2, a team consisting of FragDenStaat staff members Arne Semsrott, Luisa
Izuzquiza, Monica Nguyen and Vera Deleja-Hotko discusses the applications. Decisive
for the selection decision are then in particular
    ● Public interest in the chosen topic of the research project
    ● Planned use of information rights as part of the project (research method)
    ● Qualification of the applicants

8.3 The funding of the selected applicants (hereinafter referred to as "Fellows") is
subject to the condition precedent of the conclusion of the FragDenStaat Fellowship

9. Central Rights and Obligations
9.1 FOI and other requests in connection with the research project will be made and
processed by Fellows via as far as possible. Fellows are free to
initially set their requests to non-public until their research has been published. With
the publication, the fellows must also set the FOI and other requests and in particular
the documents received from the authorities in connection with the research project to
public on FragDenStaat.

9.2 In publications resulting from the research project, Fellows are obliged to indicate
that the research was conducted with the help of the FragDenStaat Fellowship. In
online publications, the information requests or documents must be linked to

9.3 Fellows are given the opportunity by FragDenStaat to introduce themselves on the
FragDenStaat blog. In addition, Fellows are entitled to call themselves FragDenStaat
Fellows in public.

9.4 Fellows shall inform FragDenStaat of all publications resulting from the research
project immediately after their publication. The Fellows also authorise FragDenStaat to
post these publications on the FragDenStaat website (currently https://www. and make them publicly available.

9.5 FragDenStaat will invite the Fellows to events and meetings. German-speaking
fellows are encouraged to attend the Network Research Annual Conference.
FragDenStaat will cover the participation fee. Participation in other events is voluntary.

Status: March 2023