Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies / Aktuelles / Call for Applications: 2019-2020 Fellowships from “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence

“Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence


The “Africa Multiple” Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) invites scholars working in the field of African studies to apply for fellowships in the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies (BA). Funded through the Excellence Strategy of Germany's federal and state governments since January 1, 2019, the aim of the cluster is to reconfigure African studies at the conceptual and the structural levels. The cluster is conceived as a transformative space for the systematic study of African and African diasporic ways of life, enabling new forms of inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation. The BA was founded in 2012 as a space for engaged scholarship and debate in the study of Africa and is now part of the “Africa Multiple” cluster.

In the academic year 2019-2020, the BA offers up to twenty short- and long-term fellowships. These are designed to enable scholars of African studies to pursue projects of significance to the cluster’s theoretical and thematic agenda while immersed in a vibrant community of researchers coming from more than fifteen academic disciplines. Fellows will be in residence for a period ranging from one to six months, during which they will carry out their research in an efficiently managed environment with excellent working conditions.


Fellows join an international group of junior and senior scholars—professors, postdoctoral researchers, and doctoral students—affiliated to the Cluster of Excellence to advance research and scholarly debates in African studies. Apart from pursuing their research and engaging in informal exchanges with members of the cluster, fellow activities include:

  • participating in cluster events while in residence; these include regular Thursday afternoon lectures, seminars, and discussion groups;
  • presenting a 45-minute talk based on the fellow’s research within the BA;
  • attending occasional social events for fellows;
  • optional participation in one of the BA’s postdoctoral working groups;
  • optional offering of discussion sessions for doctoral students and possibly contributing to existing formats such as summer schools.

In addition, fellows are expected to collaborate with Bayreuth-based scholars, especially by creating synergies with one of the cluster’s six Research Sections. The latter serve as umbrellas for the cluster’s research projects and revolve around specifics set of themes. The six sections are: (a) Moralities, (b) Knowledges, (c) Mobilities, (d) Arts & Aesthetics, (e) Affiliations, and (f) Learning. Fellows also have the opportunity to team up with others in research groups for joint work on common research interests, and are encouraged to publish results of their work in one of the cluster’s outlets.


Scholars with a PhD and proven track record in the study of Africa are eligible to apply. They may come from Germany or abroad, and from any discipline in the humanities and the sciences. Africa-based scholars are encouraged to apply. The duration of the fellowship may range from one to six months between October 2019 and July 2020; the precise length and dates will be determined on the suggestion of the successful applicants. During the fellowship period, residence at the University of Bayreuth is mandatory.

Fellows will be given office space and access to the excellent Africana library resources at the University of Bayreuth. In terms of remuneration, fellowships include travel subsidies and monthly stipends. For long-term fellows, the fellowship may come in form of a grant to be used for a “teaching buyout” at the fellow’s home institution.


If you are interested in applying, please send an email to the contact address indicated below and request the information kit about the cluster’s theoretical and thematic agenda. All proposals must demonstrate the candidate’s commitment to the cluster’s theme and detail the proposed contribution to one of the cluster’s Research Sections.

Applications need to include:

  • a cover letter explaining your motivation to apply for a BA fellowship and indicating the envisaged time period of the fellowship;
  • a brief statement (ca. 300-500 words) sketching the contribution you offer to make to cluster’s agenda and research sections (in theoretical, methodological, or thematic terms; here you should mention the name(s) of the Bayreuth-based scholar(s) with whom you wish to collaborate);
  • an outline (ca. 1,000 words) of the research project you are proposing as a fellow;
  • your CV;
  • for a proposed fellowship duration exceeding two months, two reference letters (to be sent separately by the referees); one of the letters may come from a Bayreuth-based scholar with whom you intend to collaborate within the fellowship program.

Please send all documents by e-mail as a single pdf file to the cluster’s Vice Dean of Research, Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber at the following address:

The application deadline is April 30, 2019. Reference letters should go to the same email address; they are due three days later and will not be accepted beyond May 3, 2019.

For further information and questions, please contact the coordinator of the BA, Robert Debusmann:

Find the Text as PDF here.