Fellowships (Junior/Senior) at the University of Ghana from February to May 2020 on “Sustainable Rural Transformation”


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

Fellowships (Junior/Senior) at the University of Ghana from February to May 2020 on “Sustainable Rural Transformation”
Application deadline: May 15, 2019, 24 h CET

The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is dedicated to the topic of ‘Sustainable Governance’. MIASA’s three research fociare: sustainable environmental transformation, sustainable conflict management, and sustainable democracy. In its second call for short-term fellowships MIASA welcomes applications from excellent researchers to join the interdisciplinary fellow group (IFG)“Sustainable Rural Transformation” from February to May 2020.

IFGs bring together a group of up to ten fellows for a duration of four months. The group comprises both senior and junior fellows including researchers from Germany, Africa and the rest of the world. The group centers around a research question which necessitates the input of experts from different academic fields and backgrounds. The group will work on the joint topic by, among other things, holding weekly colloquia and organizing a final workshop or conference. The group will be asked to produce working papers based on their work at MIASA. Members of the group will also be expected to contribute a guest lecture on a relevant postgraduate course.

The focus of the IFG on sustainable rural transformation is as follows: The increasing competition for African resources affects the lives of rural populations and may result in social conflict. The commercialization of agriculture on the continent threatens livelihoods of smallholder farmers and carries environmental risks. Yet, it may also present new opportunities (e.g. via out-grower schemes and wage employment). This IFG will discuss how a sustainable transformation of rural Africa can be achieved. All fellowships will be awarded to individuals of top academic quality with innovative and high quality research projects that fit with the IFG focus, and will be selected through a highly competitive, strictly merit-based selection
process. The fellowships are typically held for four months from February to May 2020.

The successful applicants will become MIASA Fellows with all the corresponding rights and obligations for the requested funding period. The fellows’ salary costs will be met by MIASA on the principle of “no loss, no gain” and paid directly to their home institution. MIASA will provide accommodation and reimburse travel costs. Furthermore, all fellows will receive a monthly allowance of 400 €. In addition, MIASA will provide a research cost contribution that fellows can apply for to support their research undertaken at MIASA (max. 600 €/fellow). The Institute provides its fellows with modern office space and an up-to-date infrastructure. Fellows have full access to all library services. A full-time presence of fellows at MIASA for the four-month period is expected.


Eligible for application are junior and senior researchers from all countries aftercompletion of their PhD in a relevant discipline of the Humanities or the Social Sciences. Applicants must propose a research project that matches the research focus of the IFG on “Sustainable Rural Transformation in Africa”. Note that projects can also be concerned with other world regions, but should reflect on the implications for African rural transformation.


The completed application form together with the required documents has to be uploaded on the application webpage https://frias.wufoo.com/forms/miasa-ifg-sustainable-rural-transformation/ and submitted by May 15, 2019; 24.00h CET.


The all-important selection criteria are the academic excellence of both the applicant and the project proposal. The fit of the proposed project with the IFG and the required experience and capability to conduct the research project will equally be taken into account. An international selection committee will be responsible for the selection of the fellows. Information on the application and selection process (required documents, eligibility criteria, evaluation criteria, timeline and stages of the selection process) and the interdisciplinary fellow group is provided at: www.ug.edu.gh/mias-africa/ It is recommended that researchers interested in this IFG should please contact the convenors of the group through IFG3@ug.edu.gh in advance to preparing an application.