COFUND Fellowship Programme of Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, the University of Erfurt for Experienced Researchers

Publish Date: Sep 14, 2016

Deadline: Oct 01, 2016

The Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies (Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt) at the University of Erfurt is a highly ranked international research centre. It is unique in its organizational structure by combining the functions of an institute for advanced study and a graduate school. Its ‘Weberian’ research programme combines historical, comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives with an interest in normative issues in the social sciences. It has a focus on contemporary social challenges, especially those arising in connection with (religious) plurality, cultural diversity and social processes of acceleration and growth. The core disciplines at the Max Weber Kolleg are sociology, economics, religious studies, law, philosophy, history and theology. Within its fellowship programme “MWK-FELLOWS" the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt offers (up to) 10 Fellowships for Experienced Researchers.


The fellowships will be awarded to experienced researchers who are conducting advanced interdisciplinary research in cultural and social studies. The current call invites applications for fellowships for the academic year 2017/18. The fellowships will be awarded for 12 months (01 September 2017 – 31 August 2018) with the possibility of extension for another year. All experienced researchers regardless of seniority are invited to apply. This call is also open for researchers who are currently working outside academia but are interrested in re-entering an academic environment of work.


Successful applicants will be given the opportunity of spending 12 months working on their own, freely chosen research project at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies of the University of Erfurt. Research options offered within the MWK-FELLOWS programme will comprise, next to the involvement into a high quality and intellectually vibrant interdisciplinary research community, participation in the advanced study programme (e.g. colloquia, guest lectures), targeted personal training, research stays at cooperating academic institutions or secondments to partner institutions from the non-academic sector.


Research Experience: Applicants must have a doctoral degree or at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience at the application deadline. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in Germany, irrespective of whether a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.

EU Mobility Rule: They can be of any nationality, but at the time of application researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the application deadline. Compulsory national service and short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

Support: Applicants must propose a research project that can be particularly well supported at the Max-Weber-Kolleg. It must be closely related to one of the disciplines and research areas in which the Max-Weber-Kolleg is internationally competitive:

  • Theories of action in the social sciences and humanities and their bearing on normative questions and social criticism;
  • Interactions between cultures, social orders, structures of temporality and mentalities in the context of change;
  • Religion, sciences and law as sources of social organisation, innovation and meaning.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that for the project to be supported you must identify at least one relevant researcher at the Max-Weber-Kolleg who has specific expertise in the field of your project and with whom you would work with during a fellowship. Include your explanation in the motivation letter.

Ethical Issues: The research project must propose research that is not excluded from EU funding due to ethical issues.


Applicants are strictly required to submit all necessary documents in German or English via the online application portal:

  • Completed online application form (available on the original website- click "Further Official Information")
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications (Please make sure that for all periods in which you were employed, received a stipend, fellowship or grant, or stayed abroad you mention the exact dates on which the period started and ended)
  • Copy of the degree certificate and transcript of the most recently completed university degree (Degree certificates which are not originally issued in German or English have to be translated. The translation has to be officially certified. You must submit both the scan of the original degree certificate and the scan of the officially certified translation)
  • Electronic copies of either three reviewed journal publications or one individually authored book, or a copy of the doctoral thesis
  • Motivation letter which explains the reasons for the application for the programme, particularly why the proposed research project can be excellently supported at the Max-Weber-Kolleg
  • Names and contact details of three proposed independent external referees
  • Outline of the research proposal (up to 3000 words). The proposals must include a working programme and an overview of the most important project-specific publications
  • Completed and signed Ethical Issue Form (for more info visit the orginal link below the announcement)
  • Proof of research experience: in case applicants do not hold a PhD-degree, a minimum of 4 years full-time equivalent research experience at the call deadline has to be documented

Deadline for applications: 1 October 2016; 11:59 p.m. CEST (The online application portal opens on 1 September 2016.)


MWK-FELLOWS will be appointed on the basis of a regular employment contract with the University of Erfurt according to the German Civil Service Collective Agreement (TV-L, pay grade E 13). Alternatively, fellows have the opportunity to stay in a current employment contract with their home universities under the precondition of an accepted leave of absence. The University of Erfurt will compensate the home universities for their costs of replacement as well as the fellows for their additional costs up to a defined sum.

MWK-FELLOWS will receive an individual research and a training budget. They will be provided with a fully equipped workplace and have full access to the academic infrastructure (e.g. library loan, web space).

Further Information about the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt and the MWK-FELLOWS fellowship programme can be found at "Further Official Information" below.

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