Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program

Call illustration

On behalf of the Panel on Planetary Thinking, we are pleased to invite applications for an innovative fellowship program based at the Justus-Liebig-Universität (JLU) in Giessen, Germany. The consecutive four-year program fosters transdisciplinary dialogues between the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and the arts. In 2024, two fellowships are awarded from April-June, and two others from September-November to explore Planetary Times. To contribute to each year’s thematic focus, we seek individuals who are willing to transgress disciplinary boundaries within and resulting from their advanced, academic and creative endeavors.

The Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program (2022-2025) provides the space for intensive, collaborative work on how the sciences and the arts grapple with the manifold relations between societies and the planet. Currently, the second round of fellows are working on the overarching theme of Planetary Spaces ‐ their topics ranging from the shrinking and restoration of Lake Chad, to adaptation strategies of more-than-humans in toxic environments as well as to forms of life and the flows of energy that thrive on the ocean floor, and to the interplanetary space in form of a history of the Sun’s discovery.

Engaging with what it means that we do not simply live ‘on’, but are part of an ever-changing planet, planetary projects unite scientific and creative methods to communicate their insights. To the third round of the program, we invite applications which focus on (3) PLANETARY TIMES (2024), whereas the topics for the consecutive calls will be addressing (4) PLANETARY AGENCY (summer term 2025), and (5) PLANETARY POLITICS (winter term 2025).

Planetary Thinking on Planetary Times

 The overarching questions the program aims to address touch upon the diverse dimensions:

  • In terms of the past: How did planetary forces form us? How did we obtain planetary forces that are capable of transforming Earth?
  • As concerns the present: How can humans deal with irregular-regular planetary changes that are beyond their influence? What does it mean to have such powers, how should they be deployed and when should they be restrained?
  • And prospectively: Which planetary forces beyond our influence can we anticipate? Which planetary dynamics can we ally or reunite with, and which alliances should we quit (if possible)?

Possible foci for the third round of projects seeking insights into Planetary Times (2024) include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • temporal dynamics of human and more-than-human generations, including the impact of temporal violence amongst them, such as displacement, genocide or mass extinctions;
  • examples and histories of (de)synchronizations, such as those between social and natural times as seen when land use affects wealth and resource distribution. This includes temporalities in resource extraction such as mining landscapes that become temporal sites of past, present, and future;
  • rhythms, such as planetary rhythms of Earth’s daily rotation. Other examples include yearly seasons, lunar cycles, rhythmic patterns of urban mobility, the ‘streetscape’ during day- and night-time, or temporal migration rhythms of humans and more-than-humans;
  • artificial timescapes, such as the circumstances under which the use of artificial intelligence compresses, stretches, or complicates the relationship between subjective and world time. This can be connected to interplanetary settings, multispecies histories, or multi-planetary futures;
  • tempo, such as the pace and sequencing that enables or disables a transformation towards renewable energies. This could address the Earth’s oscillation between being managed as a fossil-fuel dominated planet and one that uses solar energy as a renewable resource;
  • deep time, this could include processes taking place on a planetary timescale, such as the development of the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as analyses of interferences by human civilizations with those processes in the Anthropocene;
  • insights into temporal literacies and their cultivation in societies by means of policies and institutions attuned to the planetary condition. This includes questions of democracy and policy-making answering to the demands of future generations, such as dealing with nuclear waste or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).

While we wish to stress the wide range of possible projects from pilot studies to risky investigations to finalizing ventures, an overarching agenda to further an understanding of Planetary Times, particularly by rendering them visible, tangible, and/or palpable by creative/scientific means should be prominent.

Fellowship Awards

JLU’s very own castle of Rauischholzhausen – the ideal venue for your co-organized workshops, performances, exhibitions, installations, or further festivities. © JLU, Giessen

All fellows are expected to take up residence in Giessen (or its proximity) throughout their three-month fellowships. They will be granted a monthly stipend of 5,000 euros/month, which is supposed to cover all travel and living expenses. In addition, funding for workshops, guest speakers, exhibitions, publications etc. can be made available upon request. During their residence in Giessen, fellows will be fully integrated into the JLU’s institutional network and benefit from its comprehensive range of research facilities. Fellows are expected to participate in the regular panel meetings, such as the Planetary Lecture Series, and to design an engaging workshop with and for a transdisciplinary audience. Preferably in collaboration with their co-fellow artist/scholar, fellows may conceptualize the workshops in a format of their choosing, such as a masterclass, an exhibition, or a performative activity, depending on their individual, scholarly and/or artistic subject matters.

Comfortable apartments with fully equipped kitchens have been reserved in the university’s Alexander von Humboldt’ guest house, but fellows are welcomed to take up residence elsewhere according to their preferences. They will be provided with their own,

newly renovated and furnished office spaces or studio at the Panel on Planetary Thinking’s headquarters within the city center ― inside one of Giessen’s most characteristic, old-style buildings (see photograph below). Thanks to the Panel’s collaboration with the Kunsthalle Giessen, the city’s main art space is available for the fellows in June 2024 to realize a performative activity or an event of an alternative format that fits the space. The Panel maintains a range of cooperation with other organizations, reaching from Giessen theater to the cinema. Fellows will also be integrated in the academic life at the JLU, have full access to its libraries and academic support, and have the opportunity to attend a wide range of regular events.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific requests you might have. As we work in close cooperation with the JLU’s international office, future fellows will receive adequate support on any formalities connected to their stay in Giessen (e.g., on questions about health insurance or registering at the city hall).

Requirements and Application Procedure

  • fellows should have an advanced academic or artistic  record relevant to Planetary Times; as we prioritize the respective project's relevance for our theme as against academic degrees holding a PhD is not a prerequisite
  • fellows must commit to a stay of three months and take up residence in or in the proximity of Giessen
  • fellows should be willing to participate actively in the activities outlined above and (co-)organize one workshop.

Please send the application (in English) as a single pdf-file and include the following:

  1. Cover letter (one page max.)
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Project description (one page max.)
  4. Tentative abstract for workshop or alternative format (one page max.). This should include information on your availability (winter/summer term), and on your interest and suggested format for using the art space at Kunsthalle in June 2024.
  5. Outline of any specific requests (materials/equipment) needed, individual requirements with regards to the furnishment of office spaces/studios, etc.)

Applicants are welcome to apply individually or as transdisciplinary pairs (artist & scholar), with a clearly defined project in mind to which they will dedicate their fellowship. Please note that two individual CVs are required for joint applications, and your personal ideas and perspectives upon your collaborative project should be clearly outlined.

The deadline for applications is September 1st, 2023. Applications must be sent via email to

Shortlisted applicants may be invited for online interviews in September 2023, decisions will be announced by October.

For more information, please see our website or consult us via panel.

We are very much looking forward to reading your applications!

Date de candidature
3 months
Sciences sociales