Thyssen@KWI Fellowship for Postdocs

Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI), Essen

Job Type: Fellowship

Application Deadline: August 7, 2020

Call: Thyssen@KWI Fellowship

Fellowship for the duration of 6 months from 1st of April 2021 until 30th of Sept. 2021

The Thyssen@KWI Fellowship addresses excellent researchers from the humanities, cultural studies, and the social sciences. It is most generously funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation:

International researchers are invited to apply as well as scholars of German nationality if they provide excellent international contacts and work experience. We are inviting research fellows with a completed PhD and several years of post-doctoral research expertise. The fellowship can be offered to applicants in all disciplines represented in the current KWI research agenda. The KWI (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut) in Essen provides fellows with modern infrastructure, office space, technical support, and offers a library service, event and research management as well as support in all administrative and communicative regards.
Thyssen@KWI Fellows will receive a fellowship contract (not a full-employment contract) and a monthly allowance of 4.000 € (pre-tax) meant to cover rent, insurances and living expenses. Travel expenses for arrival at the KWI and for departure after the fellowship can be partially reimbursed.

The KWI:
The Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen is an interdisciplinary research institute for the humanities and social sciences in the tradition of institutes for advanced study. Located in the Ruhr Area, the KWI offers a space for independent and innovative research in the humanities and various opportunities to engage and include the public. Currently, research at the KWI focusses on the following areas: literary and cultural sociology, cultural science studies, science communication and public humanities, as well as a teaching laboratory. Further projects are concerned with cultures of communication and political participation. It is one of the main goals of the KWI to find new ways of linking research questions, concepts, methods and theories of philology, cultural studies and the social sciences. We are dedicated to pursuing our interdisciplinary agenda through international collaboration. An important contribution to our scholarly and political work comes from the Academy in Exile, offering research space to colleagues whose academic freedom is threatened.

• The fellowship should be dedicated to research linked to the programmatic agenda of the KWI. Various project formats are possible: You might devote your time in Essen to finishing a book or a special issue, to finalizing a research proposal or setting up a research group. We also welcome plans to establish or substantiate collaborations with the universities of the Ruhr Alliance.
• We expect the fellow to be present at least 4 days a week.
• The Thyssen@KWI Fellow is expected to actively take part in academic events at the KWI and will have the opportunity to design outstanding discussion formats with prominent researchers.
• The Thyssen@KWI Fellow is not obliged to teach, but always welcome to inspire our teaching laboratory with new ideas or participate in lecture series and seminars at surrounding universities.
• Publications deriving from the time of residence should mention the KWI.
• German is not required, very good proficiency in English is expected.

Academic landscape:
Located at the KWI, fellows will have the opportunity to liaise with researchers in a rich and diversified academic landscape: The University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), the umbrella structure of the KWI, strategically links the universities of Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, and Dortmund. Nearby, the universities of Duesseldorf, Cologne, Muenster and Bielefeld as well as the renowned Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen offer further possibilities for collaboration and exchange. The close proximity of Belgium and the Netherlands to North Rhine-Westphalia has engendered cross-border programmes and initiatives from which fellows might profit. For details on 14 collaborative research centres and 13 graduate training groups within the UA Ruhr see here:

The Rhine-Ruhr Area:
The city of Essen is situated right in the middle of the Ruhr Area, next to the Rhineland and Cologne, where the Thyssen Foundation is headquartered. With more than five million inhabitants and an area of about 4,435 square kilometres, the Ruhr Area is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Germany and the fifth largest in Europe. The region’s cultural appeal and diverse urban landscape were recognised by the European Union in 2010 when Ruhr Metropolitan Area, spearheaded by Essen, was granted the honour of being the “European Capital of Culture”. After the transformation of traditional industries, it was an important concern to make the Ruhr Area greener again. By now, this characteristic region in the West of Germany has developed into a cultural hub with manifold outdoor possibilities. The Rhineland can be easily reached, and the Netherlands and Belgium offer day-trip destinations.

• We kindly ask you to apply in the form of one single PDF-file (max. 20 MB) which must be submitted electronically to with the subject line: “Thyssen@KWI-Fellowship”.
• The application must be formulated in English and must contain a CV, a list of publications and a proposal sketching your project (up to 5.000 characters).
• The program deadline is August 7th, 2020, 24:00 h (CET). Incomplete or late submitted applications can not be considered.
• The fellow will be selected by a committee assembling representatives of the Thyssen Foundation, the KWI governing board and the institute’s director, Prof. Griem.
For further questions, please consider the attached FAQs or contact

How do I submit my application?
The application is to be submitted electronically to with the subject line: “Thyssen@KWI-Fellowship” It must contain a CV, a list of publications and a proposal sketching your KWI project. Incomplete or late submitted applications cannot be considered.
Shall I send my application in one single file?
Yes. Applications must be sent in the form of one single PDF-file (max. 20 MB).
Can I send my application in other file formats?
Please send your application only in PDF-format. Due to data security reasons, word files or other file formats will probably be rejected.
Your advertisement calls for a proposal of up to 5,000 characters. Does this mean 5,000 words?
The project proposal requests 5,000 characters including spaces, not words. Please use the “word count” of your word processor to determine the number of characters (including spaces).
Are Germans eligible to the Thyssen@KWI Fellowship?
The Thyssen@KWI Fellowship addresses international researchers as well as researchers of German nationality if they have excellent international contacts and work experiences.
Is this fellowship open to scholars at all stages of their careers? Or is it limited to recent PhDs?
The Thyssen@KWI Fellowship addresses researchers with a completed PhD and several years of post-doctoral experience.
What are appropriate projects for this fellowship?
The research project should be linked to the programmatic agenda of the KWI. Various project formats as mentioned in the call are possible.
How long will the evaluation process take?
An announcement of the decisions is expected at least 5 months before the fellowship starts.
Do I have to apply for the whole period of six months or can I come only for part of the time?
We expect you to apply for the whole period of time. Fellows are requested to actively take part in lectures, conferences, reading groups and other academic events at the KWI during the whole period of the fellowship. We expect the fellows to be present at least 4 days a week.
Does the fellowship offer a family allowance or cover traveling expenses?
The fellows are free to bring their family, however, travel expenses for arrival and departure from the KWI can be partially reimbursed for the fellow, but not for the fellow’s family or relatives. The KWI offers a separate parent-child office that can be booked by hours or days.
I have missed the deadline. Can my application still be considered?
We are sorry, but we cannot accept applications after the deadline.
Can I resend the application if I find a mistake in the material?
You may send us an updated version of your application during the application period. Once the evaluation process is underway, we do not accept corrections to the application materials.
Can I update my application after the application period has ended?
Application materials will not be updated after the deadline has ended, however, if you wish to inform the committee of significant developments relating to your career progress, you may inform us by email. We will relate that information to the committee.

Posted: July 02, 2020