Four Thematic Fellowships on Relationalities

2 senior scholars and 2 junior scholars

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 (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, the Centre constitutes and coordinates an international research network that focuses on the co-constitution of conviviality and inequality from an interdisciplinary perspective. Research at 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.

The Centre cordially invites two Senior and two Junior Fellows to apply for a Thematic Fellowship on Mecila’s Annual Theme 2025 Relationalities to work at the Centre in São Paulo for the duration of six months (during the period from 01 March 2025 – 30 November 2025). Fellows are expected to commit fulltime to their proposed research activities at the Centre and engage in dialogue and exchange with the other Thematic Fellowship holders. 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, the fellowship can be used to finance a temporary replacement (buy-out).


To promote international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational exchange, the Thematic Junior Fellows should hold a PhD degree in the humanities or social sciences obtained within the last 5 years from the date of application. Their ambitious and innovative research project should clearly enhance the applicant’s career prospects.

The Thematic Senior Fellows should hold a senior position at a university or research institution, or comparable qualifications and experience. Scholars must be internationally recognised for having a significant impact on their field of research.


All Thematic Fellows should have

  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Ability to and interest in actively engaging in an international and interdisciplinary research environment
  • Ability and interest to make an intellectual contribution to Mecila’s subject areas. A track record of research and publications on Mecila’s Annual Theme 2025 Relationalities  and the overall research profile of the project


  • The Thematic Fellows conduct six months (between 01 March 2025 – 30 November 2025) of research to study the impacts of Relationalities in past or present configurations and regimes of conviviality-inequality.
  • The Thematic Fellow makes an intellectual contribution to the overall research profile of the project
  • The Thematic Fellows participate actively in the Centre’s activities (including the weekly colloquia) and engages in interdisciplinary exchange with other Thematic Fellows.
  • Each Thematic Fellow contributes a Working Paper to the Mecila’s Working Paper Series.
  • The Thematic Fellows contribute at least once together with another Thematic Fellowship holder to the Centre’s outreach activities (interview, blog entry, video, public lecture, policy paper, etc.)


Applicants are invited to 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 than 15 February 2024:

  • Motivation letter (max. 500 words)
  • Research outline discussing the research question and the scholarly added value of the project (max. 1.500 words)
  • Abstract (max. 150 words)
  • Key words (max. 5 )
  • Work plan detailing how the proposed project will be realised during the stay at the Centre
  • Curriculum Vitae, including lists of publications
  • Junior Fellows only: Two recent writing samples: journal article (published or forthcoming), book chapter, or thesis chapter

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

Criterios de selección

Applications for the Thematic Fellowship will be submitted to a peer-review process. The primary selection criterion is the applicant’s potential to yield original and excellent research results and make a substantial, innovative contribution to the research profile of Mecila. The scientific merit of the project will be assessed in terms of its originality, the importance of the scientific questions addressed, and its relevance to study Relationalities in the context of conviviality-inequality. An appropriate methodology, a feasible work plan and relevant deliverables will also be part of the assessment.

Final decisions will be taken by Mecila’s Executive Board, in close consultation with its Advisory Board and Ethics Committee, 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 2023.

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 Office in São Paulo via e-mail (

By applying to this scholarship you consent that we use the information and data you provide for the selection and granting process.