MIASA/University of Ghana Fellowships

“Sustainable Rural Transformation”

Extended Application deadline: October 15, 2019, 24 h CET

The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is dedicated to research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, with ‘Sustainable Governance’ as its central topic. More specific topic areas under this umbrella prominently include sustainable democracy, conflict management and environmental transformation as well as migration, restitution, and human rights research. Overarching aims of MIASA are working towards a reduction of global asymmetries in knowledge production and bridging the cultural divide between anglophone and francophone Africa. MIASA, established in 2018, serves as a hub for exchange, networking and collaboration amongst leading researchers from Germany, Ghana, the African and European continents and beyond. Its main site is located on the beautiful campus of the University of Ghana at Legon (Accra), with a scenic secondary site in Dakar (Senegal). 

In its third call for short-term fellowships, MIASA welcomes applications from excellent researchers to join the interdisciplinary fellow group (IFG) “The Governance of Energy Transitions in the Global South” from September to December 2020.

The IFG brings together a group of up to six fellows for a duration of four months. The group comprises both senior and junior researchers from Germany, Africa and the rest of the world. The group centers around a research question which necessitates the input of experts from different academic fields and backgrounds. The group will work on the joint topic by, among other activities, holding weekly colloquia and organizing a final workshop or conference. The group will be asked to produce working papers based on their work at MIASA. Members of the group will also be expected to contribute a guest lecture on a relevant postgraduate course.  

This IFG aims at developing critical perspectives from the social sciences on the governance of sustainable energy transitions (SETs) in the Global South. These are some of the questions that the IFG strives to address:

  • What is meant by SET in different Global South contexts?
  • What are the multiple roles that different actors on the ground play to foster SETs?
  • To what extent are local concerns about SETs reflected in international conceptualizations of sustainability and justice? 


All fellowships will be awarded to individuals of high academic quality with original and rigorous research projects that fit with the IFG focus, and will be selected through a highly competitive, strictly merit-based selection process.

The fellowships will typically be held for four months from September to December 2020.

The successful applicants will become MIASA Fellows with all the corresponding rights and obligations for the requested funding period.

  • The fellows’ salary costs will be met by MIASA on the principle of “no loss, no gain” and paid directly to their home institution.
  • MIASA will provide accommodation and reimburse travel costs. Furthermore, all fellows will receive a monthly allowance of 400 €.
  • In addition, MIASA will provide a research cost contribution towards field work costs that fellows can apply for to support their research undertaken at MIASA (250 €/fellow month). 
  • The Institute provides its fellows with modern office space and an up-to-date infrastructure. Fellows have full access to all library services.

A full-time presence of fellows at MIASA for the four-month period is expected.

The Institute supports academic exchange across existing boundaries: between disciplines, between different cultures and countries, between established and younger researchers. Furthermore, MIASA engages in activities opening the research community to society and politics. Fellows will be part of this community and profit from the lively research environment of the University of Ghana.

MIASA is committed to inclusion and gender equality. It expressly welcomes applications from appropriately qualified disabled persons. The MIASA fellowship program aims for gender parity and is promoting affirmative action policies.


Eligible for application are junior and senior researchers from around the globe after completion of their PhD in a relevant discipline of the Humanities or the Social Sciences.

Applicants must propose a research project that matches the research focus of the IFG on“The Governance of Energy Transitions in the Global South”.


The completed application form together with the required documents has to be uploaded on the application webpage https://frias.wufoo.com/forms/miasa-ifg-energy-transitions/ and submitted by October 15, 2019; 24.00 h CET.

Information on the application and selection process (required documents, eligibility criteria, evaluation criteria, timeline and stages of the selection process) and the interdisciplinary fellow group is provided on the call website.


The all-important selection criteria are the academic excellence of both the applicant and the project proposal. The fit of the proposed project with the IFG and the required experience and capability to conduct the research project will equally be taken into account.

An international selection committee will be responsible for the selection of the fellows.

It is recommended that researchers interested in this IFG should please contact the convenors of the group through IFG3@ug.edu.gh in advance to preparing an application.

Application date
4 months
Social sciences