"With Global Colleagues we are trying to encourage early career scholars from the Global South as well as to make poverty issues more inclusive, more global, and more multidisciplinary," says Robert Lepenies, the founder and director of the project. He adds, "I hope that this project will contribute to developing international poverty research networks, as that is a prerequisite for versatile and differentiated policy consulting and thus for political improvements." The partnerships are usually for one year and can be extended by one year. In 2015 about 68 scientists from 31 countries came together through Global Colleagues. For 2016 Robert Lepenies has set a goal to solicit financial support and to find institutional partners, which would enable him to expand the program.
The Mulert Award on Mutual Understanding was created in 2010 in memory of Dr. Juergen Mulert, a scientist, poet, inventor, and Acting Director General of the German-American Fullbright Program. The prize is awarded annually to an individual whose work advances the peace discourse through mutual understanding.
Robert Lepenies studied philosophy, political science, and economics at the University of Oxford and international economic policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was in the graduate program Berlin School of Transnational Studies (BTS) within Dahlem Research School and earned his doctorate in political science from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. From 2012 to 2013 Lepenies conducted research as a Fulbright Schuman Fellow at Yale University. From 2013 to 2015 he was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute. He will soon be doing research as a A.SK Postdoctoral Award Fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), and during the summer semester he will be teaching at the Institute of Practical Philosophy at Freie Universität.