CfA: RCC Fellowships 2019–2020

The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society invites applications for its 2019–20 cohort of postdoctoral and senior fellows. The RCC’s fellowship program is designed to bring together excellent scholars from a variety of countries and disciplines who are working in the fields of environment and society. In this application round, the RCC is offering thematic fellowships (four to twelve months) on the following three topics:

Urban Environments
The twenty-first century planet is an urban planet. The urban population in 2015 accounted for 54 per cent of the total global population, up from 30 per cent in 1950 and it is expected to increase to 60 per cent of the world population by 2030. How have environmental challenges in cities been met in the past? What place do “nature” (green spaces, animals) have in urban politics, in planning, and in the shared imagination of the urban? What lessons can be learned across cultures about clean water and air, mobility, energy and land use, and sustainability and growth?

Sufficiency, Postcapitalism, and the Good Life
How have societies and institutions around the globe and across time dealt with ecological constraints? How can buen vivir or the principle of the “good life” work in restructuring society, technology, and politics, and in reshaping attitudes and behavior? Is sufficiency a useful principle in order to meet future environmental challenges? Where are its limits? Are there other, more promising concepts? What is a post-growth paradigm and how might it help us to overcome ecological crises?

Unmaking and Remaking “Nature”
With more than fifty percent of the earth’s surface modified by humans, and with an ever-accelerating loss of biodiversity, the idea of repurposing or transforming landscapes has gained currency over the last decades. How has ecological restoration worked across time, and how is it being culturally (re)imagined as “rewilding”? Do different parts of the Globe value wildness? What are the challenges and opportunities of renaturalizing streams and rivers, for example, or for fighting to keep them wild? What impact do conservation projects have on communities?

These clusters aim to bring future fellows together to facilitate focused dialogue and collaboration across disciplines. Applicants are welcome to apply individually or as interdisciplinary teams; we also accept applications for outreach projects. All fellows are expected to spend their fellowship in residence, to work on a major project, and to participate actively in life at the RCC. Please note that the RCC does not sponsor field trips or archival research.

Fellowship Awards
Fellowships will be granted for a period of four to twelve months (applicants should indicate their preference in their application). The RCC will pay for a teaching replacement of the successful candidate at their home institution; alternatively, it will pay a stipend that is commensurate with experience, current employment, and funding guidelines. Travel to and from Munich will be covered by the RCC.


  • fellows must commit to a stay of between four and twelve months
  • fellowships may begin on the following four dates:
    • 1 September 2019
    • 1 January 2020
    • 1 May 2020
    • 1 September 2020
  • fellows (except outreach fellows) must have completed a doctoral degree (including final defense) by 31 January 2019
  • applicants from those who reside in the greater Munich area will not be considered (however, applications for fellowships that are based on collaborative projects with scholars in Munich are welcomed).

To Apply:
The deadline for applications is 31 January 2019. Applications must be made in our online portal. The application portal will be open from 1 January to 31 January 2019. It closes at midnight (Central European Time) on 31 January.

The application (in English) should include the following:

  • Cover letter (750 words maximum);
  • Curriculum vitae (3 pages maximum);
  • Project description (1,000 words maximum), including project’s relation to one of the three thematic clusters;
  • Research schedule for the fellowship period (300 words maximum), including preferred length of stay;
  • Names and contact information of three scholars as referees; these scholars should be people who know you and your work well. Please note that we do not initially require letters, and we may not contact your referees.

For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website. Please consult this section before contacting us with questions.

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