2021 MECAM Fellowships for IFG “Inequality & Mobility” for Early Career Researchers

Deadline: March 15, 2021.

The Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) has recently been established at the Université de Tunis/Tunisia to strengthen cooperation in the Humanities and Social Sciences in and across the Maghreb, the Middle East, and Europe. The overall theme “Imagining Futures: Dealing with Disparity” guides MECAM’s research agenda on questions of Aesthetics & Cultural Practice, Inequality & Mobility, Memory & Justice, Resources & Sustainability, and Identities & Beliefs. 


Applications are welcome from early career researchers, either advanced PhD candidates or postdoctoral researchers, in human geography, urban studies, sociology, anthropology, or a related field;

  • You are interested in discussing your research in the framework of MECAM’s main theme “Imagining futures – Dealing with disparity” with colleagues from the Maghreb, the Middle East and Europe.
  • You are eager to do collaborative work, engage in debate and exchange within an interdisciplinary group of fellows on questions of “Inequality & Mobility”.
  • You are interested in revisiting your research from a different vantage point.
  • You want to become part of a (new) network of interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and transregional exchange and debate on disparity and the competing models for the future that co-exist in the societies of the contemporary Maghreb, Europe, and other parts of the world.


MOBILITY: MECAM’s resident fellowships are awarded to individuals for four months from 1 September to 31 December 2021 on the basis of an innovative and high-quality research proposal that addresses the IFG’s thematic focus. MECAM will host the selected fellows for a three month on-site scientific programme in Tunis between September 15th and December 15th 20211. Only in exceptional cases due to the pandemic, fellowships can be arranged in a hybrid format, where the fellow remains at her/his place of residence for a part of the fellowship. Successful applicants will become ‘MECAM fellows’ with all relevant rights and obligations: Travel and relocation costs will be compensated according to a “no gain/no loss” principle. Furthermore, proven research costs can be reimbursed up to an amount of 500 EUR. A monthly living stipend will be awarded for the duration of the fellowship according to the same “no gain/no loss” principle.

NETWORK: MECAM Fellows will become part of a network, which will be built up by subsequent groups of fellows over the next years, and by the scholars of the institutions that are involved in the institutional framework. In the initial phase, the IFGs include doctoral students, postdocs, as well as advanced researchers from Germany, Tunisia, the Maghreb, the Middle East, Europe, and other regions and countries. There are also networking opportunities via the specific networks of IFG representatives from MECAM’s partner institutions, as well as with scholars that may be invited within the IFG as guests.

EXCHANGE AND DEBATE: The primary aim of all fellowships is to create a high-quality and flexible setting for peer-to-peer exchange and debate between researchers from different countries, disciplines, and in different phases of their academic career: The IFG combines virtual and in-person forms of exchange and debate, and facilitates collaboration and engagement with scholars at MECAM partner institutions, students, and the wider public. An IFG coordinator will support the fellows during their stay at MECAM and will organise the on-site scientific programme; comprising research and writing seminars, public events and events at partner institutions, research excursions and a joint publication workshop

INDEPENDENCE: MECAM offers the freedom to pursue individual research projects, such as a particular component of field research, an academic article, an essay, a policy paper, a book, a report, etc.

SUPPORT: MECAM provides its fellows with office workspaces equipped with digital infrastructure as well as publication facilities for open-access and peer-reviewed formats of publication through the infrastructures of its partners. It offers logistical support with travel, accommodation and field research in Tunisia. Moreover, the exchange between fellows is supported by a secure digital workspace (TrafoHub) and other digital tools.


As part of your application, you will be asked to prepare and upload:

  • Curriculum vitae including publications (2-3 pages),
  • Research proposal: Short abstract of your project (max. 1000 words),
  • Names and contact details of two referees (university faculty members or practitioners in a field relevant to the applicant’s project; no letters of recommendation required),
  • One recent writing sample: journal article (published or forthcoming), book or thesis chapter.

MECAM kindly requests that applications are submitted in English or French. MECAM’s working languages are English, French and Arabic. Applicants should be fluent in at least two of these languages, with a desirable ability to publish and present research in more than one working language.


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