Call for Pre-Proposals for MIASA Interdisciplinary Fellow Groups (IFGs)


The Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) offers


Interdisciplinary Fellow Groups (IFG)

for 4 months each at the University of Ghana

(for the period 2022-2024)


Application deadline for pre-proposals: May 15, 202124 h GMT

(pre-selected proposals can submit full proposals before: August 1, 2021, 24h GMT)


The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is dedicated to research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, with ‘Sustainable Governance’ as its central topic. Our main thematic corridors are conflict and sustainable peace, democracy and environmental transformation. We are also interested in a wide range of intersectional sub-topics, such as landownership and acquisition, migration and mobility, restitution of cultural objects, African cities, human rights and other related themes. MIASA is committed to reduce global asymmetries in knowledge production, to promote female scholarship and to bridge cultural divides. The institute offers time and space for supporting innovative academic projects of top international quality. MIASA serves as a hub for exchange, networking and collaboration amongst leading researchers from Germany, Ghana, Africa, Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is located on the beautiful campus of the University of Ghana (UG) at Legon (Accra), and has been implemented in collaboration with the University of Freiburg, the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and the German Historical Institute Paris (GHIP). It is largely funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 


The present call is for pre-proposals for Interdisciplinary Fellow Groups (IFGs) for the period from 2022 to 2024. Each year, MIASA hosts two IFGs, one from February 1 to May 31, and the other from September 1 to December 31. IFGs are MIASA’s central instrument fostering original research on ‘Sustainable Governance’ and its connected thematic areas as mentioned above. An IFG brings together a group of four to six fellows, including a convenor and a co-convenor. One of the two convenors is expected to be from the University of Ghana, or another Ghanaian university or institute. The applicant of the pre-proposal can serve as either convenor or co-convenor of the full application.  IFGs are interdisciplinary and international.


The selection on IFG pre-proposals is made by MIASA’s distinguished international Academic Advisory Board who invites pre-selected candidates to submit a full application with a set team. Once a pre-proposal has been successfully selected, the MIASA team offers advice for the full application, including the composition of IFG members. Successful applicants become MIASA fellows with all the corresponding rights and obligations for the funding period (four months).


Application: Pre-proposals


The application for an IFG consists of two phases: (i) a pre-proposal and (ii) a full application. For the pre-selection process, a convenor of an IFG submits a preliminary application (pre-proposal) which offers insights into the topic to be studied, the concept how the group is planned be composed and the possible contribution to MIASA and UG. Eligible for the role of convenor is a senior researcher (more than 6 years after the date of the award of the PhD) or an experienced early career researcher (4-6 years after the date of the award of the PhD). Relevant is the date on the official PhD certificate. At this stage, it is not necessary to indicate the names of the IFG co-convenor and/or the IFG fellows. The proposal is submitted by one applicant. 


Applications will be accepted in English and French. The completed application form together with the information indicated below have to be uploaded on the application webpage ( After submission of the documents, applicants receive an acknowledgement of receipt providing contact details and including a copy of their submission. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


Please respect formal requirements:

o   Formatting: font Arial, 11 pt, line spacing 1.5, all margins 2.5 cm.

o   Page limits may not be exceeded.

o   All required documents should be comprised in one pdf-file.


Along with the online application form, the following information must be uploaded in one pdf-file:


1. Front page with general information on the applicant (1 page):

a.     Title, name (last, first), e-mail address, link to webpage.

b.     Date of doctorate.

c.      Current position/affiliation, institution and business address (Name of institution/city/country).

d.     Research field.

e.     Project title.

f.      Abstract of the IFG research project (max. 150 words).

g.     Preferred period for conducting the IFG at MIASA.


2. Project pre-proposal (max. 2 pages):

a.     Aims, research question, theoretical framework and methodology of the project.

b.     Innovative potential, originality and relevance of the project.

c.     Added value of conducting research within an IFG at MIASA and UG.


3. Concept of how the group is planned to be composed (max. 1 page).


4. Bibliographical references (max. 1 page).


5. CV in tabular form (max. 2 pages).


6. Publication list highlighting the most important publications (max. 2 pages).


Application deadline for pre-proposals: May 15, 2021, 24 h GMT:


Selection of pre-proposals:


The all-important selection criteria are the academic excellence of this application and the fit of the proposed topic with MIASA’s umbrella topic as well as its more specific sub-topics. Applicants of selected pre-proposals will be informed by early June 2021. Candidates for an IFG in 2022 will be invited to submit a full application by August 1, 2021. The decisions about the final selection will be announced in early September 2021.