Fellow Program 2021

The Iranian-German DFG Priority Program (SPP 2176) 'The Iranian Highlands: Resilience and Integration of Premodern Societies' invites applications for a new Fellow Program in 2021. This fellowship supports short-term research visits for young researchers (early career researchers) at universities or institutions that are associated with the SPP 2176.
The SPP 2176 is an interdisciplinary research program focusing on expressions of resilience in premodern Iranian Highland communities, their environment and long-term developments in the Iranian Highlands. It is represented by 12 individual projects employing archaeology, inorganic and organic archaeometry, geo-sciences, ancient history, Near Eastern studies and linguistic research. Key research areas are: i) Landscapes and raw material regimes; ii) Daily life and institution; iii) Mobility and networks.
We invite researchers and particularly Iranian young researchers to submit proposals for the Fellow Program 2021 to carry out their own research in cooperation with a university or institution that is associated with the SPP 2176. Young researchers can apply for the funds by submitting separate applications for travel cost and research expenses. For both forms of applications (travel and research) the agreement of the respective institution is required. In addition to the fellowship, a family allowance for parents with young children can be granted. Due to the current situation the program will additionally support successful applicants in mandatory measures related to Covid-19 when necessary. The following average rates can be considered as a guideline for the Fellow Program:


Travel costs / fellows from Iran: up to € 800,-
Travel costs / fellows from Europe: up to € 500,-
Travel costs / fellows from Overseas other than Iran: up to € 1000,-
Research grants for Iranian scientists: up to € 2500,-
Family Allowance: up to € 800,-


Applications should consist of a brief project description (max. 700 words) including project goals, applied methods, a research schedule, a feasible and detailed budget plan and a commitment from the host university or institution for research and/or travel costs.
The Fellow Program supports any kind of research activity (e.g. archaeological, laboratory or archival research, museum studies, or workshop or conference contributions) but proposals have to relate to at least one of the listed key research areas; proposals must be submitted in English.
The deadline for submission is 15. November 2020. Proposals submitted after the deadline and proposals that do not meet the above listed requirements will not be considered.
Successful applicants will be notified in January 2021.


Please send your application to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


For details of the program, please check https://iranhighlands.com/index.php/en/ or https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/402379177?language=en 
For questions, the committee of the grants program is at your disposal: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


*** Please note that 'The Iranian Highlands' Fellow Program also includes opportunities for Senior and Junior Fellows starting in late 2021. ***

Applicant: Dr. Andrea Ricci
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte
Subject Area: Prehistory
Ancient History
Term: since 2019
Project identifier: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Projekt number 424602581

Project Description

The project aims to reconstruct long-term socio-cultural-environmental dynamics and past changes in cultural landscape formation processes in the Zagros Mountains of Southwestern Iran. In particular, this study will reconstruct past human settlement dynamics and mobility patterns, as well as identify strategies of past societies to cope with and react to changing environmental and political conditions. Within the SPP, the proposed research focus speaks directly to the questions raised in the main Research Topic ST 3 "Mobility and Networks". Further, the project will make a strong contribution to the research fields "FF2: Population dynamics and settlement Systems", "FF4: Strategies of coping with distances", as well as "FF5: Mobility Patterns" with an innovative approach to investigate newly collected datasets. We plan to use a highly interdisciplinary three-pillared approach including: 1) palaeoenvironmental; 2) landscape archaeological; 3) ethno-historical studies.Located in a crucial position between the main cultural zones of Southwestern Iran, the highly mountainous Kohgiluyeh-e Boyer Ahmad Province is an ideal setting for this case study. Here, it is possible to find very diverse environmental conditions within a limited horizontal distance. The presence of unexplored palaeoenvironmental and archaeological archives, as well as ethno-historical accounts offer excellent conditions to reconstruct past human settlement and connectivity over environmentally distinct sub-regions located at different elevations. With a focus ranging from the earliest phase of the Neolithic process to the age of the empires (ca. 9000 BCE-700 CE), the present investigation will combine the results of detailed studies in three different environmental zones of the Kohgiluyeh-e Boyer Ahmad Province. In particular, this study will: a) acquire a vast and detailed Holocene palaeoenvironmental dataset from two lake sediment archives for reconstructing changes in the vegetal, soil, and water resources; b) acquire new archaeological datasets and integrate them with the existing archaeological record to reconstruct regional population dynamics; c) identify the main forms of social organizations, the modes of subsistence and patterns of mobility in this specific region as derived from the analysis of written documents and ethnographic examples; d) correlate and integrate the above-mentioned records for a detailed reconstruction of past dynamics. In a nutshell, this study aims to be a prototypical example of interdisciplinary research efforts to explore past socio-cultural-environmental interactions in a ‘marginal’ sector of the Zagros Mountains. The results of this innovative methodological approach may then be extrapolated to trace similar dynamics in other sections of the Iranian Highlands, or in other mountainous areas of southwestern Asia.