Call for Applications Norbert Elias Fellowships 2021/22


The  Center for Interdisciplinary Research  (Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung, ZiF)  of Bielefeld University is offering 2 Fellowships for African researchers to take part in the ZiF Research Group  Economic and Legal Challenges in the Advent of Smart Products  for up to ten months in the academic year 2021/22.

Are you interested in interdisciplinary cooperation? Do you want to be part of a high-level international team of researchers? Then you may want to apply for a Norbert Elias Fellowship at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Bielefeld, Germany. 

The ZiF is the Institute for Advanced Study of Bielefeld University and has been fostering outstanding interdisciplinary Research Groups for more than 50 years.  The ZiF Research Group Economic and Legal Challenges in the Advent of Smart Products is convened by Prof. Dr Herbert Dawid, Bielefeld University, Prof. Dr Sabine Gless, University of Basel, and Prof. Dr Gerd Muehlheusser, University of Hamburg. It will bring together international Fellows from different disciplines to work together at the ZiF from October 2021 to July 2022. The Research Group’s working language is English. Further information on the Research Group can be found here. 

Successful applicants will become Fellows of this Research Group and live and work at the ZiF for up to ten months. Norbert Elias Fellows also have the opportunity to work on their own projects, qualification and networking.

Who can apply

Applications are welcome from senior researchers and postdocs from African universities from all disciplines whose research and publications are closely linked to the Research Group’s topic. In particular, applicants should demonstrate their willingness and ability to conduct high-level research in thematically relevant research fields such as innovation, industrial economics, law and economics, digitisation and smart products. Applicants should be interested in interdisciplinary collaboration and willing to engage in the activities of the Research Group, such as jour fixes, talks, workshops and conferences. Since our aim is also to extend our interdisciplinary networks to Africa, we are looking especially for researchers who are planning to continue their careers in Africa. 

What is offered

The ZiF offers a monthly stipend of 3,000 € plus free accommodation at the ZiF’s campus and travel expenses. The ZiF will also contribute to health insurance costs.  Fellows are very welcome to bring their families with them. The ZiF campus comprises flats from single room to family size to provide suitable accommodation. Fellows will also receive an additional allowance of 200 € per month per accompanying child. We will be happy to assist with finding appropriate childcare and educational facilities.

How to apply 

For the application, please send us a CV and a letter of motivation (maximum three pages, CV excluded) describing your research and how you intend to contribute to the Research Group. Please attach one or two relevant publications and indicate how long you intend to stay (two to ten months).  Selection criteria are academic excellence, relevance of the research for the Research Group’s topic, and a strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. The decision will be taken by the ZiF and the Research Group conveners. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview.

Please send your application in one PDF to: 

For further information on the fellowship, please contact:

Dr Marc Schalenberg Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung / Center for Interdisciplinary Research Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany 

More information about the ZiF can be found here:

Deadline for applications is 15 February 2021.