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: Privatdozent Dr. Martin Kehl
Universität zu Köln
Department für Geowissenschaften
Geographisches Institut
Subject Area: Physical Geography
Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Term: since 2019
Project identifier: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Projekt number 424584141

Project Description

Farming and pastoralist societies of the Iranian highland have evolved in ecologically diverse arid to subhumid environments including deserts, steppes, open forests and high mountain grasslands. The study of sedimentary archives has shown that during the Holocene these ecological zones have shifted in space and time as triggered by climate change. The kind and timing of paleoenvironmental change is still a matter of dispute, though, and comparatively little information is available for the interior highlands. Likewise questions arise in how far highland societies reacted to this purported change, for instance by retreat to environmentally more favorable areas and abandonment of settlements, or adoption of new techniques to overcome climate related shortage of resources. Eventually, we can pose the question, in how far highland societies themselves have caused shortage of resources and affected paleoenvironments. The SPP presents an excellent framework to jointly study these questions in interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration. In this subproject, we apply for detailed paleoenvironmental investigations on sedimentary archives of two terminal basins located in the central part of the northern Zagros Mountains and its transition towards the interior highland. The first basin is partly covered by Lake Gandoman, situated at an altitude of about 2250 m above sea level (a.s.l.) in the transition zone between steppe and open forests, a mountainous area traditionally used by pastoralists. The second study area is Gavkhouni playa, located at about 1450 m a.s.l at the margin of the interior deserts. The scope for the first phase of the SPP is to retrieve sediment cores from each basin and to set up litho- and chronostratigraphies using sedimentological methods as well as radiocarbon and luminescence dating. Phases of Holocene sediment accumulation and post-depositional alteration will be identified through high resolution analyses of granulometry, organic and inorganic carbon, major and trace elements and physical properties such as color or magnetic susceptibility. The results will be integrated to describe the genesis of different layers and evaluate their palaeoclimatic implications. Screening for pollen, botanical macro remains and gastropods will be done to assess the potential for conducting detailed investigations on these biological proxies. The results of the project will be discussed concerning the magnitude and drivers of climate and paleoenvironmental change and possible effects on highland societies. Close collaboration with archaeologists and other geoscientists will deliver a clear picture of man-environment interactions in the Iranian Highlands.