MECAM Fellowships for IFG “Inequality & Mobility” 2021 for early career researchers.

The Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb

Application Deadline:March 15th 2021, 24.00h CET

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. These constitute the core issues of MECAM’s five thematic research clusters and Interdisciplinary Fellow Groups (IFGs). For its second Interdisciplinary Fellow Group (IFG) “Inequality & Mobility”, MECAM invites applications for six short-term fellowships for early career researchers in the social sciences from September to December 2021. This call for applications is open to researchers from all countries, including Tunisia.

Setting out from these issues, this MECAM Fellowship invites early career researchers investigating questions including, but not limited to:

  • What are the forms of inequality that have historically shaped Tunisia and the Maghreb, and what new dimensions of inequality will determine its future?
  • What are the variegated relationships between inequality and mobility that are crucial to comprehend present-day socio-economic and political challenges in Tunisia and the Maghreb?
  • To what extent and in what ways can different forms of mobility impact inequality, and what decisions /politics/ or policies are needed to allow for mitigating effects?


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


MECAM assigns its partner institution, Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, with the processing of personal application data. Therefore, we kindly ask you to submit your application via the secure online application platform of the Forum Transregionale Studien by March 15th 2021, 24.00h CET:

Applications by email will not be considered. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact MECAM’s coordination team: mecam-office(at)

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.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the MECAM Fellowships for IFG “Inequality & Mobility” 2021


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