Open call: 10 Junior/Senior Fellowships


Fellowships offered by
Käte Hamburger Kolleg Cultures of Research
International center for advanced studies in history, philosophy, and sociology of science and technology


The new Käte Hamburger Kolleg Cultures of Research is an international center for advanced studies at RWTH Aachen University, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The center has openings for a total of 10 international fellows from the humanities and social sciences, as well as from natural, life, and technical sciences. Fellows will be offered a free space in which to develop their own research and to exchange ideas with each other. Cultures of Research is positioned where the fields of history, philosophy, and sociology interface with natural science and technology. The focus of the center's work is on the manifold research cultures within the sciences, their commonalities and differences, and how they are transformed through interdisciplinary discourse. The four research areas of the center are: (1) Complexity, Lifelikeness, & Emergence; (2) Emerging Computational and Engineering Practices; (3) Histories and Varieties of Science; and (4) Expanded STS.

The question at the focus of its interdisciplinary discourse will be how the orientation of the sciences around complex systems and societal challenges such as climate change, the energy revolution, biologization, and sustainability is changing research, and how the epistemic and participative complexity of research is increasing as a result. It will investigate this shift in researching from both historical and contemporary perspectives, cooperating with international fellows from the humanities as well as from the social, natural, life, and technical sciences. The discourse revolves around the science philosophical premise that, through complexity requirements and through digitalization as the facilitation of studying complex systems (simulation, artificial intelligence, machine learning), the forms of recognition and thus the findings of research are currently undergoing profound change. The consequence is that new cultures of (transdisciplinary) research are emerging, and that science and technology are closely intertwined (engineering of science/science of engineering).

Against this backdrop we encourage applications by candidates:

  • from the humanities, social sciences, and STS on transformations in science and technology;
  • from science and engineering on understanding complex systems; and
  • from arts, art history, science journalism, and scientific illustration, on mediating and representing complexities and complex findings in science and technology.


The international center is part of RWTH Aachen University (Germany), which with a student body of 47,000 is one of the largest technical universities in Europe. With over fifty professorships and ten institutes from the humanities and social sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is an integral part of the interdisciplinary culture of teaching and research at RWTH Aachen University. Located at the borders of Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands (Euregio), it has close ties with STS institutes at the universities of Maastricht and Liège, and with the Jülich–Aachen Research Alliance (JARA BRAIN) at the neighboring Jülich Research Center, a research campus of more than 5,000 researchers.


Fellows will join the international center for a maximum period of 12 months. The fellowships provide a full grant commensurate with applicants' level of professional experience, working space in fully-equipped offices, logistical support, and access to the interdisciplinary research landscape and research labs at RWTH Aachen University. Fellows who take unpaid leave during their fellowship will receive financial compensation in the form of a stipend; alternatively, the center would pay for a teaching replacement at the fellow's home institution. In order to create a stimulating intellectual environment among the resident research community, fellows are expected to routinely conduct much of their work from Aachen during their fellowship. Residency in Aachen is required and the center can support fellows in the search for accommodation.


Scholars can apply for either junior or senior fellowships. For junior fellows a successfully completed PhD is an eligibility requirement; for senior fellowships a professorship (associate, full professorship) or comparable position is expected. Applications (in English) should include a cover letter, your CV, a concise research proposal (2 to 3 pages), plus one relevant publication. Please submit your application electronically (compiled into a single pdf file) to: The deadline for applications is the 15th of May 2021. Female researchers and scholars from the Global South are particularly encouraged to apply. Fellows will be elected by the scientific board of the international center.

Application FAQs

Members of the scientific board

  • Prof. em. Dr. Ad Aertsen, Neurobiology and Biophysics, Bernstein Center Freiburg
  • Prof. Dr. Pierre Delvenne, Political Sciences, University of Liège
  • Prof. Dr. Harro van Lente, Science and Technology Studies, Maastricht University
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen, Science and Innovation Research, University of Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Mary S. Morgan, Albert O. Hirschman Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics, LSE
  • Prof. Dr. Lars Nielsen, Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland
  • Prof. Dr. Alfred Nordmann, Philosophy of Science and Technology, Technical University Darmstadt and University of South Carolina
  • Prof. em. Dr. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Max-Planck-Institute of History of Science Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Franck Varenne, Philosophy of Science, ERIAC, University of Rouen & CNRS-Lab GEMASS, Sorbonne Paris