Visiting Scholarships 2022-23 (Dept. III, "Visualizations and Material Cultures of the Heavens in Eurasia and North Africa")

Department/Research Group

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Department III: Artifacts, Action, Knowledge,directed by Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schäfer, offers several Visiting Scholarships (residential, 3–12 months) to take place in the period September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2023.

We invite scholars to apply for participation in the Working Group "Visualizations and Material Cultures of the Heavens in Eurasia and North Africa (4000 BCE–1700 CE)" of Department III, more information here. The Working Group’s research focuses on visual representations and material objects in the creation, change, and movement of astral knowledge across space and time. A growing image database serves as the main tool to collect and research the manifold objects and their imagery, the practices and relations of their production, reproduction and transmission, and their roles in organizing knowledge and creating meaning in different sociocultural contexts like politics, rituals, religion or medicine. We welcome scholars working on the visualization of astral knowledge in any time period before 1700 CE, preferably focused on one of the following geographical regions: East Asia, Southeast Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia, Asia Minor, Egypt, North Africa, and Europe (with an emphasis on Slavonic, Caucasian, Black Sea, or Celtic cultures).

We welcome applications from scholars in every field within history, history of science and technology, art history, archaeology, philology, cultural history, religious studies, or museum studies, with a focus on visual representations or objects and some preference for research addressing the multilingual and transregional nature of the project. Successful applicants are expected to advance their own research project under the Working Group’s overall research agenda, and to actively contribute to the Working Group activities during their period of affiliation. In particular, they are expected to systematically and comparatively identify and discuss relevant visual materials in the framework of the Working Group’s protected image database. They are also encouraged to actively take part in the scientific life of the Institute with its many academic activities like conferences, workshops, seminars, and colloquia.

Visiting scholars receive a stipend commensurate with rank and experience for their period of residence, and reimbursement for a return ticket to and from their place of residence.

Candidates are requested to submit:

  1. a cover letter (indicating your preferred period of residence)
  2. curriculum vitae (including a list of publications)
  3. a research prospectus on a topic related to the project (1000 words maximum)

Applications must be submitted via our online application portal:

Please note that only complete electronic submissions uploaded to this link will be accepted. Applications sent via email will not be accepted. Only successful candidates will be notified.

Review of applications will commence from May 31, 2021, and afterwards occur regularly every three months. This call will remain active until the Working Group’s capacity is full or until February 28, 2023, whichever is earlier.

Applications may be submitted in German or English. Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply; applications from women are especially welcome. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting individuals with disabilities and encourages them to apply.


For research-related questions about the Working Group, please contact Dr. Stamatina Mastorakou ( For administrative questions concerning the position and the Institute, please contact Rand El Zein ( For technical questions regarding the application portal, please contact the Department secretary (


Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany