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Ideas for Russia Labs

Call for Applications: Mentor Positions at Ideas for Russia Labs (Part-Time, Remote)

Ideas for Russia is currently accepting applications for mentor positions to lead teams of student interns in its Ideas for Russia Labs program. 

Ideas for Russia is an initiative co-founded by the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University, and the Prague-based Institute for International Relations. The goal of Ideas for Russia is to establish academic networks that generate empirical scholarly insights into current and future trends in Russian society.

Ideas for Russia Labs is an internship program designed to engage students in mentor-guided research projects, offering a platform for in-depth exploration of critical topics concerning contemporary Russia. The program will facilitate collaborative projects between reputable researchers and students interested in studying Russia. The program builds upon the previous experience of Ideas for Russia research projects and other collaborative initiatives supported by the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, such as the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum, Fedor Stepun Fellowship, and Russia: Known Unknowns fellowship. The program also draws on the experience of cooperation with Charles University and Ruhr University Bochum.

Role Description

The core objective of the Ideas for Russia Labs is to engage students in international collaborations, providing them an opportunity for early hands-on research experience and thus enhancing their employment prospects.

The responsibilities of the mentors include: 

  • proposing a research project design and formulating an open call to recruit interns;
  • selecting suitable candidates to assemble a team of up to three student interns;
  • guiding the implementation of the proposed project; 
  • facilitating the publication of research findings. 

The expected research output from interns will be determined by the mentor. It can range from blog posts and policy papers to full-fledged research articles. 

Mentors will also provide academic and professional guidance to their team members. This will include helping them enhance their research skills and professional networks, as well as introducing them to the wider academic community and professional development opportunities.

All team activities and interactions can be conducted remotely. 

Mentors are expected to maintain regular contact with their mentees, with a minimum of two interactions per month. However, the overall schedule and frequency of meetings can be determined according to the needs and preferences of both mentors and mentees.

The program duration is set for six months, starting in July 2024. Some publications may be planned for release after the completion of the main term of the project.

At the organizers’ invitation, mentors and mentees are encouraged to participate in various public events, such as workshops and conferences. At the end of 2024, all teams will be invited to present their findings at a hybrid workshop held at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany). 

The languages of the program are English and Russian. 


All contributors to the program will receive a one-time scholarship. For mentors, the scholarship amount will be 4,000 USD. The intern scholarships will be 1,000 USD.

Eligibility Criteria

For the mentor positions, candidates should hold a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree, as well as have a strong research background in the relevant areas.

Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. However, we will not consider applications submitted by researchers affiliated with Russian universities headed by the rectors who signed the letter supporting the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Application Requirements

Applicants are required to submit:

  • A CV in English detailing their academic and professional background, including a comprehensive list of publications.
  • A 1-page project proposal in English describing the research question, methodological design of the project, and the role of mentees in the project. The proposal should also explain how the project aligns with the mentor’s past and current research endeavors. 

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that fall under one of the following themes:

  • Russia at War: Dysfunctions and Discontents in the (De-)Mobilized Country
  • Antiwar Resistance of Ethnic Minority Groups in Russia
  • To the Right from Putin: Illiberal Dissent in Wartime Russia
  • Russia’s Information Manipulation Abroad: Actors, Strategies, and Technologies

Selection Process

Organizers of the call will appoint a selection committee. The committee will include social scientists specializing in Russian and East-European affairs as well as other experts. 

Following the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed, and candidates will be shortlisted based on their qualifications and the strength of their project proposals.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews to further discuss their proposed projects and suitability for the role.

Preference will be given to projects that build upon the mentor’s existing research background and allow interns to actively participate in the mentor’s ongoing research efforts.

All the applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process no later than 20 April 2024.

For further information or inquiries, please contact us at: [email protected]

How to Apply

Applicants agree to the processing of the application and all supporting documents by the organizers and experts involved in the selection process.

The application deadline is 1 April 2024.

To submit your application, please use the button below.

The IFR Labs internship is not considered a “Praktikum” as defined by German law (MiLoG § 22 ).