Fellowship Programme

The International Youth Library's fellowship programme is one of the rare international research initiatives in the field of children's and young adult literature worldwide and has been running for more than 60 years. Every year, around 15 scholars from Europe and beyond visit the International Youth Library to use the library's large collection of international children's and youth literature for their research projects.

The programme is funded by the Waldemar-Bonsels-Foundation as well as by private donations.


  • Status: Graduates, Doctoral candidates, PhD holders
  • Country of origin: Researchers with a non-German citizenship
  • Sufficient fluency in German and/or English


Aim of the programme

The scholarship programme serves to support research in the field of international children's and youth literature and illustration, to promote young academics, academic exchange and international cooperation, and to sustainably strengthen intercultural exchange.


Who is eligible?

Young researchers, graduates, doctoral candidates, PhD students (as well as authors who would like to consult international works for their publication on a specific topic).


What is funded?

The research stay in presence at the International Youth Library for scholars from abroad to work on their research topic during the funding period, for which they have already done some preliminary work.



  • Length: Minimum of 6 weeks to a maximum of 3 months; the funding period is determined by a jury depending on the project and the work schedule.
  • Monthly scholarship instalment of 1,300 euros for living expenses in Munich
  • Workplace in the scientific reading room of the special library for access to the extensive collection of children's, youth and specialist literature (approx. 650,000 books in 260 languages)
  • Support through the expertise of the librarians and children's books specialists
  • Support in finding suitable accommodation for the duration of the research stay
  • Participation in the round table discussions to present the current state of research.

Researchers must arrange their own health insurance. Travel expenses cannot be covered.


Application and selection

The application deadline is 31 August for research stays in the following year.

The following documents are required for the application:

  • Completed online-application form 
  • Cover letter (incl. photo): Introduction as well as a convincing presentation of your research/research project in the field of children's and youth literature elaborating on the importance of your stay at the IYL (1-2 pages).
  • List of your relevant publications, projects, etc. in the field of children's and youth literature
  • List of relevant conferences, seminars, etc. that you have participated in or organised.
  • Detailed description of your research project in which you explain the relevance of the IYL's material for your work

A jury of librarians and children's books specialists of the International Youth Library will decide on the applications.

Please contact the following address in case you have any questions:

  • Director's Assistant / Fellowship Programme

    Rebecca Wilhelm
    +49 (0)89 89 12 11-42