The Merian Centres – Maria Sibylla Merian Centres for Advanced Studies – are an initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with the aim of linking German research institutions with host institutions located in different places around the world.
Focused on the development of advanced studies in the humanities and social sciences, the Merian Centres constitute long-term cooperation relations between the participating institutions. Its interdisciplinary and intercultural constitution forms the basis for a work-oriented to reflection and development of solutions to current social problems.
In addition to Mecila, four other Merian Centres are already established, with headquarters in Guadalajara (Mexico), Accra (Ghana), New Delhi (India) and Tunis (Tunisia). Each centre has its own name, identity and research themes.
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was a German naturalist with an extensive production of illustrations about living beings and their transformations, especially plants and insects. It is in her honour that the Merian Centers are named.