CALAS/HIAS Fellowship. Political rights and democracy in Latin America

The Maria Sibylla Merian Centre for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS) and the Hamburg Institute for Advanced Study (HIAS) are inviting leading scholars and scientists from Latin American institutions to carry out teaching and research projects for four months in Hamburg and two months in Kassel.

This year's call for applications is related to the topic of political rights and democracy in Latin America. Latin America's democracies are facing major challenges: Social inequalities and economic crises are worsening and fuelling political instability; Right-wing extremism and populism exploit this dissatisfaction and run the risk of further polarising Latin America's societies; Liberal democratic regimes are reaching their limits in terms of regulating political unrest and social tensions and containing the rise of an anti-democratic right. Similar developments can currently be observed in Europe. The aim of the fellowship is to analyze the political, cultural, and social consequences of the (de) democratizing developments in Latin America from an interdisciplinary perspective. The current escalation of intolerance and discrimination will be examined alongside the radicalization of political, economic, religious, and cultural differences. It will also investigate the emergence and tactics employed by radical right-wing factions openly defying and undermining the principles and mechanisms of the democratic process or how tolerance, dialogue, and inclusive political processes can be strengthened through cultural performance, civil society representation, or social movements, what significance these developments in Latin America have for Europe and to what extent alternative participatory processes for sustainable development are emerging in the midst of the crisis of democracy.

Researchers from all disciplines and at all stages of their careers, from postdoctoral level onwards, are welcome to apply. This call is open to candidates from all Latin American countries and covers a wide range of disciplines, such as political economy, social sciences, and humanities.

Candidates are required to be internationally recognized in their areas of specialization, to demonstrate creativity and originality in their interdisciplinary approaches, and to show a willingness to integrate into a community of academics, scientists, and researchers. In addition, candidates are expected to interact with the general public through lectures and other similar activities. A solid proficiency in English, both in written and oral expression, is crucial.

The CALAS/HIAS scholarship offers competitive compensation for a four-month stay at HIAS in Hamburg (February to May) and two months at CALAS/CELA at the University of Kassel (June and July), subject to approval of the project extension. This scholarship programme provides a monthly stipend for living expenses, health insurance, working materials, visa and other associated costs. For those applicants who maintain their salary in a permanent position, the scholarship can be used to fund a teaching replacement during their absence. In addition, the scholarship will cover the costs of airfare to and from Germany.

Scholarship holders are required to reside at the respective CALAS or HIAS cities throughout the duration of the scholarship and to participate in the activities and events organized by the corresponding institution.

During the stay, HIAS and the University of Kassel will provide the visiting scholarship holder with a workplace with Internet access and the university's infrastructure (library, etc.). In addition, they will receive support in finding accommodation, completing bureaucratic formalities on-site, obtaining the necessary visa, etc.

CALAS/HIAS is committed to inclusive and gender parity. Applications from people with special needs are expressly welcomed. CALAS/HIAS also welcomes partners and accompanying children of scholarship holders.

Planned tasks for the CALAS/HIAS fellowship in Hamburg and Kassel

  • Develop a research project that is related to the thematic focus of CALAS and its research questions.
  • Publish the results of the research (scientific article(s)).
  • Teach a Bachelor's or Master's course in Social Sciences at the University of Kassel (German or English).
  • Carry out at least one public academic activity (lecture or conference) at each host institution during the stay.
  • Prepare a 10-page final report on all activities carried out during the period of the fellowship.


You must fill in the online application form and include the following documents in ENGLISH:

  • Motivation letter stating how the project fits into the thematic focus of the call and what your expectations are.
  • Two-page curriculum vitae and a list of relevant publications.
  • Summary of the research project, including a timeline and work plan, with a maximum of 20 bibliographical sources (max. 8 pages/2,000 words). The proposed project establishes new perspectives/ways of thinking and shows potential for connections with other disciplines.
  • Proposal for an interdisciplinary course to be taught (English or German) at the University of Kassel (max. 1 page with title and short description of the course).
  • Copy of the most recent academic degree.


Deadline for submission of application: May 31, 2024

Announcement of results: July 31, 2024

Start of the fellowship: February 1, 2025 (February to May in Hamburg; June and July in Kassel).


Further information on the CALAS/HIAS fellowships:

Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Burchardt, Kassel University                      



Hamburg & Kassel, Germany