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. ***

Applicants: Professor Dr. Reinhard Bernbeck
Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie
Professorin Dr. Susan Pollock
Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie
Subject Area: Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Term: since 2019
Project identifier: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Projekt number 424609853

Project Description

Iranian excavations in 2006-2011 at the late 4th mill. BCE site of Tappeh Sofalin in the Varamin Plain of north-central Iran recovered numerous artifacts of a complex accounting system, including inscribed clay tablets, sealings, and seals dating to the Proto-Elamite period. Unlike neighboring Mesopotamia, where a similar administrative system was associated with the emergence of large urban centers, the appearance of Proto-Elamite administrative artifacts across the central plateau of Iran was accompanied by an overall decline in settlement and only modest increases in the sizes of the largest sites. A number of scholars have postulated that these settlement patterns attest to the fundamental role of pastoral nomadism in the development of complex societies in highland Iran.In this project, we re-examine mobility as an important factor in settlement and economic patterns of the 4th mill. BCE. In contrast to the nomadism thesis, we reconsider evidence for long-term patterns of mobility, examining their connections to a highly dynamic natural environment in the Varamin Plain. The project investigates the changing strategies used by 4th mill. societies to make a living in the context of challenging natural circumstances. We posit that varying rhythms, frequencies, and forms of social and economic mobility were crucial elements of resilience in this region.