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Morphomata Fellowship Program 2017-2018 in Humanities, University of Cologne, Germany

Publish Date: Sep 16, 2016

Deadline: Oct 24, 2016

The Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Cologne is pleased to invite applications for fellowships for the academic year 2017/18. The fellowships are awarded to scholars working within the Humanities (“Geisteswissenschaften”), in the field of portraiture/life imaging and/or biography/life writing. The focus of this year’s call for applications lies on the topic of portraiture. Morphomata especially invites projects from international scholars, with a cross-cultural approach. Fellowships are granted for a period of 6 to 9 months. Fellows must be in residence in Cologne during the fellowship period. The latter must include the months of October through February and/or April through July.

 The Center

Morphomata is a member of the “Käte Hamburger Kollegs,” a collective of Centers for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The Center’s Fellows are part of a community of scholars that explores manifestations of knowledge production in texts and material artifacts in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. Case studies are at the core of the Center’s research.


To be eligible for a Morphomata Fellowship, the candidate must have the status of at least assistant professor (or equivalent) and a strong research record in portraiture and /or biography/life writing. Scholars with particular interest in the theory of the formation, dynamics, and mediality of cultural figurations are also invited to apply. Fellows are required to participate actively in the interdisciplinary and intercultural life of the Center and the University of Cologne. Morphomata Fellows are expected to participate in weekly events at the Center.

Fellows can pursue their individual projects at the Morphomata Center. To ensure this, we offer the following support:


The Fellows receive financial compensation, provided the Fellow will receive no income from his/her home institution while he/she is in Cologne. The maximum amount is capped by the funding organization (the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research). Alternatively, the grant can be used to finance a teaching substitute at the Fellow’s home university. Please note: Currently, there is no guarantee that the grant will be tax free. We suggest that Fellows currently residing outside Germany investigate tax treaties in relation to potential double taxation. Fellows should contact their tax accountant or competent tax office to clarify any tax questions.

Academic Life at the Center

Mondays and Tuesdays are the core days of our weekly schedule. Our meetings, i.e. the Research Group Meetings, Fellow Meetings, and the public Morphomata Lectures Cologne (MLC), take place on those days. The Morphomata Lectures Cologne give our Fellows the opportunity to present their projects to a larger audience. Our public conferences usually take place during the second half of the week. Discussions within the meetings are mostly conducted in English. Nevertheless, it is advantageous to have some knowledge of German. To a limited degree, the Center can arrange for translation of presentations or presentation abstracts.


The Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies is within walking distance of the University of Cologne’s main building, the humanities faculty and the university library. The Center’s premises include offices for Fellows and colleagues, a reading room that doubles as a conference room, and a lounge. The fellowship provides Fellows with office space, a computer, telephone (with international flat rate), and Internet access.

Travel Expenses

The Center covers the costs of the Fellows’ arrival to and departure from the Center. Additionally, individual trips to conferences and research travel can be funded with approval by the assistant directors, as long as they are directly related to the fellowship project. Due to government regulations, the Center can only finance economy-class flights and train tickets. Taxi fares can only be covered in exceptional cases and must be cleared in advance.


The University of Cologne’s Welcome Centre for International Scholars is available for inquiries regarding kindergartens and schools in the area.


Funding for the Fellow’s accommodation is included in the grant. The University of Cologne maintains two guest houses with rental apartments. Irrespective of whether the Fellow decides to rent an apartment on campus or on the open market, the University of Cologne’s Welcome Centre is happy to assist in finding adequate accommodation.


Applicants are required to provide the following documents:

  • a cover letter of one or two pages that indicates the preferred time slot for the fellowship
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a list of publications
  • a title and proposal for a research project (maximum 2000 words) addressing the Center’s research focus on "Portraiture and Biography as Figurations of the Particular" or the theoretical framework of Morphomata
  • a summary of maximum 200 words that clearly indicates to readers from other disciplines where the special significance of the project lies
  • applications in German must be supplemented with an English title and summary

Applications should be submitted to: martin.roussel(at)
The deadline for applications is October 24th 2016.

Selection Process

The criteria for the selection process are based on the academic qualifications of the applicants and the originality of their research aims. The selection will be made by the advisory board during its meeting in January/February 2017.


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