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. Wouter Henkelman
Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Altorientalistik
Dr. Kai Kaniuth
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Fakultät für Kulturwissenschaften
Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie
Subject Area: Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Ancient History
Term: since 2019
Project identifier: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Projekt number 424380776

Project Description

In contrast to the intensively-surveyed western Fārs region, with its settlement clusters in the area of the modern city of Shiraz, the eastern part of the province has hitherto received much less attention. This is true for the available historical documentation as well as for the settlement history in pre-Islamic times. Particularly the critical evaluation of texts from the Achaemenid era (the Persepolis Fortification Archive) testifies to the importance of the area for this first Iranian empire.The aim of the project is to compare the pre-Islamic land use patterns of the valleys of Fasâ and Dârâb with the economically and politically integrated landscapes of the early empires. This will be done through a combination of philological and archaeological methods.Against the background of the natural conditions (availability of resources, hydrology, the potential of natural and artificial irrigation regimes), data gathered in earlier surveys from the 1930s to the 2000s will be systematized. This will be done in close cooperation with Iranian colleagues. The results will then be supplemented by original data collected in the field. Secondly, available textual sources for the Achaemenid and Sasanian periods will be critically analysed in order to describe 'institutional landscapes'. These, in turn, will be confronted with the archaeological data.The resulting set of data will be unique in its diachronic perspective. As it will include data on earlier and later periods, it will provide a wide context to test the hypothesis of systematic attitudes in the political and administrative traditions of Achaemenid and Sasanian Iran. Both in its central research question as well as in its specific historical-archaeological approach the project opens new avenues in the study of the Iranian plateau.