SPEAC Junior Research Fellowship

This activity aims to support and foster future generations of EU-studies scholars in both Europe and Asia. It is focused to enhance research focused on European Studies, and particularly Europe-Asia connectivity. The awarded junior researchers and their papers can be found in the following link.

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SPEAC Junior Research Award

The SPEAC Junior Research Fellowship 2020 selected three RUB Ph.D. candidates as recipients of the award. In 2021 two cadidates followed. The award recognizes the academic work conducted by young researchers who have demonstrated an outstanding research performance and have incorporated a clear European dimension, particularly on the topic of EU-Asia Connectivity, in their research.
For more information, please visit the website of the Jean Monnet EU Centre of Excellence at Korea University.

The RUB Candidates selected are the following:


Daniel Köllner - M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

"Connecting Socio-Economic EU- and ASEAN-Models for Inclusive Interregional Trade-Integration"

Koellner Daniel Köllner is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of International Political Economy of East Asia, elaborating his thesis on “International Trade and Sectoral Income Equality in East Asia: Role Theoretical Comparative Analysis of Regional, Interregional and Global Trade Pattern”. After acquiring a Diploma in Geography at the Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster, he studied Economy and Politics of East Asia at the Ruhr University Bochum and proceeded to the Master in East Asian Studies, focusing primarily on ASEAN. He completed studies abroad in Taiwan (National Taiwan University) and Chile (Universidad La Serena). His research focus is international trade, regional and interregional integration, socio-economic disparities, ASEAN, Taiwan, China, and East Asia-Latin America relations. Mr. Köllner has worked in several European countries as well as in South America and is currently volunteering in the online education program “International Companions for Learning”, organised by the National Taiwan University and the Taiwanese Ministry of Education.

Johanna G.B. Rust - M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

"Asia-Europe Energy Connectivity: The People´s Republic of China´s Influence on the European Union´s Foreign Energy Policy Towards Central Asia"

Johanna Johanna G.B. Rust is a Ph.D. candidate and scholarship holder of the Foundation of German Economy (Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft). In her Master thesis, she investigated control mechanisms in Chinese energy policies using the example of National Oil Companies. Her current research focusses on energy and security in EU-China relations with a special focus on the Central Asian region. Moreover, Ms. Rust is an advisor to the new BMBF project to promote China competence in the German scholarship system. Previously, she studied medicine and subsequently Politics and Economics of East Asia. She gained experiences working for Schattdecor AG in Shanghai, in business development matters for Isolta Oy in Finland, and participated three times at the Youth Innovation Competition on Global Governance. Currently, she is working at the department of International Political Economy of East Asia at Ruhr-University Bochum.


Duong Thi Thuy Mai - M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

"Connectivity, Cooperation and Conflict: The Case of the EU-China Civil Aviation Sector"

Mai Duong Thi Thuy Mai holds a M.A. degree in Ethics-Economics, Law and Politics at the Faculty of Philosophy and Education, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. In her Master Thesis, she investigated the evolution of China’s climate change politics and the EU-China climate security relations since early 2000s. Besides, her thesis examines historical responsibility of key actors (China, the EU, the US, etc.) regarding the issue of climate change. She is now a Ph. D candidate under the Confucius China Studies Program (孔子新汉学计划/CCSP), Joint Research Ph. D. Fellowship at the Faculty of East Asian Studies, Ruhr-University Bochum and the School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA), Fudan University. Her research interests include EU-China climate and energy relations, role theory and global climate governance.

Diana Schnelle - M.A., Research Associate and Ph.D. Candidate

"Connectivity and Marketcraft: EU-Japan Cooperation in Global Energy and Climate Governance"

Diana Diana Schnelle is a research associate and doctoral candidate at the department of International Political Economy of East Asia, Ruhr University Bochum. Her responsibilities include research, undergraduate teaching as well as subject-specific student guidance and counseling. She is also part of the editorial team for ASIEN – The German Journal on Contemporary Asia. Previously, she has been studying Japanese Studies, Chinese and Economics at the University of Bonn and the University of Kagoshima. Her current research focuses on Japan's energy policy and the impact of the global shift towards decarbonization on Japan's international energy relations. In order to gain fresh perspectives she puts to use her multicultural background and high level proficiency in four different languages which provide her with a unique access to different sources off the beaten track.

Julia Schwerbrock - M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

"Connecting Europe and Asia: The Role of Africa"

Julia Julia Schwerbrock (neé Breuer) is a Ph.D. candidate and a scholarship holder within the Doctoral Programme of the Alliance for Research on East Asia Ruhr (AREA Ruhr), Germany. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at the Department for International Political Economy of East Asia of Ruhr University Bochum. Furthermore, she gained practical experience at Asienhaus Foundation in Cologne and at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin. Julia Schwerbrock holds an M.A. degree in East Asian Politics from Ruhr University Bochum as well as a B.A. degree in Chinese Studies and Sociology from the University of Hamburg.