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Call Fellowship 2023

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Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program


Call for Applications 2023: Planetary Spaces

On behalf of the Panel on Planetary Thinking, we are pleased to invite applications for an innovative fellowship program based at the Justus-Liebig-Universität (JLU) in Giessen, Germany. The consecutive four-year program fosters transdisciplinary dialogues between the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and the arts. In 2023, two fellowships are awarded from April-June, and two others from September-November to explore Planetary Spaces. To contribute to each year’s thematic focus, we seek individuals who are willing to transgress disciplinary boundaries within and resulting from their advanced, academic and creative endeavors.

The iconic Earthrise photograph taken by astronaut William Anders in 1968. © NASA

The Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program (2022-2025) provides the space for intensive, collaborative work on how the sciences and the arts grapple with the manifold relations between societies and the planet. Currently, the first round of fellows are working on the overarching theme of Planetary Materials ‐ ranging from tangible wood and tree rings to vibration as a planetary trans-material and social sculpture.

Engaging with what it means that we do not simply live ‘on’, but are part of an ever-changing planet, planetary projects unite scientific and creative methods to communicate their insights. To the second round of the program, we invite applications which focus on (2) Planetary Spaces (2023), whereas the topics for the consecutive calls will be addressing (3) Planetary Times (2024), (5) Planetary Agency (summer term 2025), and (6) Planetary Politics (winter term 2025).


Planetary Thinking on Planetary Spaces


The overarching questions the program aims to address touch upon the diverse dimensions:

  • In terms of the past: How did planetary forces form us? How did we obtain planetary forces that are capable of transforming Earth?
  • As concerns the present: How can humans deal with irregular-regular planetary changes that are beyond their influence? What does it mean to have such powers, how should they be deployed and when should they be restrained?
  • And prospectively: Which planetary forces beyond our influence can we anticipate? Which planetary dynamics can we ally or reunite with, and which alliances should we quit (if possible)?

Possible foci for the second round of projects seeking insights into Planetary Spaces (2023) include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • specific sites on planet Earth or another planet, such as the Amazon, the Mariana Trench or the Valles Marineris;
  • interplanetary spaces, such as the orbit of Venus, the route of a spacecraft to Mars or the Van Allen radiation belt;
  • trans-spaces, such as coastal regions, flight- or land routes of human and nonhuman migration, artificially connected spheres and deep space, such as networks created by sensors in, on or around Earth;
  • contested spaces, such as indigenous land, border areas and other sites of political, socio-cultural, or economic conflict, threatened or disrupted habitat or natural reserves;
  • chemical and biological geographies, such as the distribution of human and nonhuman life, carbon or hydrogen circulation;
  • real and imaginary spaces in representation, such as maps and globes, climate- or science-fiction literature, video games, art installations;

While we wish to stress the wide range of possible projects from pilot studies to risky investigations to finalizing ventures, an overarching agenda to further an understanding of Planetary Spaces, particularly by rendering them visible, tangible, and/or palpable by creative/scientific means should be prominent.


Fellowship Awards


JLUs very own castle of Rauischholzhausen – the ideal venue for your co-organized workshops, performances, exhibitions, installations, or further festivities. ©JLU / Katrina Friese

All fellows are expected to take up residence in Giessen (or its proximity) throughout their three-month fellowships. They will be granted a monthly stipend of 5,000 euros/month, which is supposed to cover all travel and living expenses. In addition, funding for workshops, guest speakers, exhibitions, publications etc. can be made available upon request. During their residence in Giessen, fellows will be fully integrated into the JLU’s institutional network and benefit from its comprehensive range of research facilities. Fellows are expected to participate in the regular panel meetings, such as the Planetary Lecture Series, and to design an engaging workshop with and for a transdisciplinary audience. Preferably in collaboration with their co-fellow artist/scholar, fellows may conceptualize the workshops in a format of their choosing, such as a masterclass, depending on their individual, scholarly and/or artistic subject matters.

Comfortable apartments with fully equipped kitchens have been reserved in the university’s Alexander von Humboldt’ guest house, but fellows are welcomed to take up residence elsewhere according to their preferences. They will be provided with their own,

Co-working spaces for our fellows. © Bauer
newly renovated and furnished office spaces or studio at the Panel on Planetary Thinking’s headquarters within the city center ― inside one of Giessen’s most characteristic, old-style buildings (see photograph below). They will also be integrated in the academic life at the JLU, have full access to its libraries and academic support, and have the opportunity to attend a wide range of regular events.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific requests you might have. As we work in close cooperation with the JLU’s international office, future fellows will receive adequate support on any formalities connected to their stay in Giessen (e.g., on questions about health insurance or registering at the city hall).


Requirements and Application Procedure

Space Age Lounge and expanding Planetary Library. © Bauer


  • fellows should have an advanced academic or artistic  record relevant to Planetary Spaces; as we prioritize the respective project's relevance for our theme as against academic degrees holding a PhD is not a prerequisite
  • fellows must commit to a stay of three months and take up residence in or in the proximity of Giessen
  • fellows should be willing to participate actively in the activities outlined above and (co-)organize one workshop.

 Please send the application (in English) as a single pdf-file and include the following:

  1. Cover letter (one page max.)
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Project description (one page max.)
  4. Tentative abstract for workshop or alternative format (one page max.)
  5. Outline of any specific requests (materials/equipment) needed, individual requirements with regards to the furnishment of office spaces/studios, etc.)

Applicants are welcome to apply individually or as transdisciplinary pairs (artist & scholar), with a clearly defined project in mind to which they will dedicate their fellowship. Please note that two individual CVs are required for joint applications, and your personal ideas and perspectives upon your collaborative project should be clearly outlined.

The deadline for applications is September 1st, 2022. Applications must be sent via email to Shortlisted applicants may be invited for online interviews in September 2022, decisions will be announced by October.

For more information, please see our website or consult us via panel.

We are very much looking forward to reading your applications!