Fellowship in Urban Narratives of Conviviality-Inequality 2025

1 Fellowship for Postdoctoral Artist/Activist Researchers

Mecila (Maria Sibylla Merian International Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America) is a joint project of the following German and Latin American research institutions: Freie Universität Berlin (coordination); Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin); Universität zu Köln (Cologne); Universidade de São Paulo and Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (São Paulo); Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (Universidad Nacional de La Plata/Conicet, La Plata); and El Colegio de México (Mexico City).

Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
(BMBF) and established in São Paulo in April 2017, Mecila cordially invites postdoctoral researchers who work on Narratives of Urban Conviviality-Inequality at the intersection to the arts and/or activism to apply for a Fellowship with a special interest in knowledge dialogue and transfer. Successful applicants are expected to contribute to the understanding of the narrative dimension of particularly urban conviviality-inequality, a research dimension that is particularly prominent in one of Mecila’s Research Areas – [Hi]Stories of Conviviality. They are expected to conclude their fellowship with a transfer workshop with relevant actors from the arts and/or activism, which they prepare during their fellowship. Beyond this, they participate in an international research network that focuses on the co-constitution of conviviality and inequality from an interdisciplinary perspective. Accordingly, the Centre addresses the processes of negotiation, legitimation, transformation, and representation of existing hierarchies as they take place in everyday interactions and within institutions. A general outline of the Centre’s research programme is available on our website.

Mecila will award 1 Urban Narratives Fellowship to an excellent early-career scholar who has obtained their doctoral degree in the humanities or social sciences. They have to show a solid foundation in collaborative research. The duration of each Fellowship is 3-5 months (to be taken up between 1 March to 30 November) at the seat of Mecila in São Paulo. Fellows are expected to commit full-time to their proposed research activities at the Centre and obtain a relevant, purpose bound budget to lead in organizing a two- to three-day transfer workshop within the Research Area [Hi]Stories to which they can invite two or three of their collaboration partners. Free-lance collaborators will be remunerated for their active contributions to the workshop and travel expenses will be paid by the Centre. The workshop can be held in São Paulo or Cologne and involve the interested, relevant public. For the duration of the Fellowship, fellows will normally receive a monthly allowance, depending on individual circumstances and taking other forms of income before and during the fellowship into account. Alternatively, a temporary replacement at their home institution can be financed (buy-out).


  • A PhD degree in the humanities or social sciences obtained within the last 5 years from the date of application
  • A track record of training, research, and /or publications in Mecila’s subject areas
  • A clear dedication to, and prior experience of working at the intersection of research and the arts or activism
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Ability to and interest in actively participating in an international, interdisciplinary, and collective research environment
  • An ambitious and innovative project at the intersection of research and art/activism that will enhance the applicant’s career prospects and the transfer into wider society


  • Develop independent research project of relevance to the Narratives of Urban Convivialtiy-Inequality within the Research Area [Hi]Stories of Mecila
  • Lead in the preparation and organization of a transfer activity in São Paulo, Brazil, or Cologne, Germany, together with members of the Research Area [Hi]Stories and two or three of their collaboration partners in the arts and/or activism.
  • Participate actively in the Centre’s activities (including the weekly colloquia) and engage in interdisciplinary exchange


Applicants must fill in the Application Form linked below and send the following documents in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, using the link provided on the Form, in a single pdf-attachment no later than15 February 2024:

  • Motivation letter (max. 500 words)
  • Outline of Research Project and Transfer Workshop, describing current research and envisioned contribution to the Centre (max. 1.500 words)
  • Abstract (max. 150 words)
  • Keywords (max. 5)
  • Work plan detailing how the project will be realised during the stay at the Centre in São Paulo, including a list of relevant potential participants in the arts/activism
  • Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications
  • Two recent samples of their work at the intersection of research and arts/activism


To access the Application Form, please use the following link:

Selection criteria

Applications from prospective Fellows will be submitted to a peer-review process. The primary selection criterion is the applicant’s potential to yield original and excellent research and transfer activities through a Mecila Urban Narratives Fellowship. In a committee of researchers and in consultation with an artist/activist, the merit of the project will be assessed in terms of its originality, the importance of the scientific and societal questions addressed, and its relevance to Mecila and wider society. An appropriate concept and a feasible timeframe will also be part of the assessment. Final decisions will be taken by Mecila’s Executive Board, in close consultation with its Advisory Board, aiming at disciplinary and gender balance as well as intersectional equity and an adequate regional representation. We aim to inform the applicants of the selection results by 30 June 2024.

For further inquiries regarding the Fellowship or the application process, please refer to our FAQ available at Mecila’s website. In case of further questions please contact Mecila’s Coordination Team in Cologne via e-mail (

By applying to this Fellowship, you consent that we use the information you provide for the Fellowship process.