Senior Research Fellowship Costa Rica

The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS) is accepting applications for a 4 to 8-month residence fellowship for invited researchers, located at its regional center Central America & the Caribbean in San José, Costa Rica. According to the CALAS research program, applicants are expected to contribute to the development of new methodological and analytic approaches to understand the changes and crises in Latin America. This may include a revision of Latin-American approaches, theories, and methodologies that deal with crises.


Thematic scope

Latin America has acquired significant experience in dealing with multiple crises. In facing these challenges, theoretical and empirical approaches are generated that are of importance not only for the region but also for the general understanding and solving of the current problems of humanity. CALAS’s transdisciplinary research program “Coping with Crisis in Latin America” focuses on critical questions of how crises and processes of change are triggered, accelerated, decelerated, perceived, and reflected by different actors in Latin America. What strategies arise in the process to deal with crises at multiple levels? How can new approaches to solving problems, including those of a transregional nature, be effective or institutionalized?

The thematic proposals that are presented must address in one way or another these CALAS guiding research questions and its general approaches. In particular, projects that show interest in more than one of the research axes covered by CALAS and whose academic profile guarantees the interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches necessary for research in CALAS are welcome. In this regard, it is expected that the proposed Platforms for Dialogue will contribute to reflect, deconstruct and decentralize the Western-centered state of knowledge about concepts, dynamics and solutions, and to adapt them to the context of the region.

For more information about CALAS visit:



The fellowship is open to outstanding scholars with training in Social Sciences and the Humanities. The minimum academic degree required is a doctorate; besides, scientific work and reputation, publications, experience in the research field and the quality of the submitted project will be evaluated. An effective operational command of Spanish is required.

CALAS is committed to inclusion and gender equality. It expressly welcomes applications from appropriately qualified severely disabled persons. The CALAS fellowship-program aims for gender parity and is promoting affirmative action policies.

The fellows are expected to be in residence in San José, Costa Rica and participate in CALAS activities and events. They will have the opportunity to make use of the resources of CALAS and the respective host institution, University of Costa Rica, including office space, access to libraries and research facilities.

Fellows will receive a competitive remuneration. In case the applicant holds a permanent position, the fellowship can be used to finance a temporary replacement.

In addition, fellowship recipients will receive reimbursement for their round-trip airfare to Costa Rica, and to travel to the CALAS headquarters in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the fellow is expected to present his research at a public conference. Family support and a small amount for research travel expenses to work in libraries and archives will also be available. CALAS is unable to provide accommodation for its fellows but local administrative staff will help in finding suitable places for rent.

CALAS offers two possibilities to publish research results: in the form of a long-essay (pocket-books of about 80 pages), edited by CALAS. If this option is not chosen, fellows are expected to publish their results in at least two academic articles. The search for an adequate publication facility is up to the authors.

At the end of the fellowship, it is expected that the fellows give an account of their activities in a five-page report.


The following documents are required in Spanish or English:

  • Application form
  • A motivational letter stating why your project is a good fit for the specific fellowship and what your expectations are.
  • Short CV (2 pages), including a list of project-related publications.
  • Copy of the doctoral certificate (2015 or earlier).
  • Research proposal with research schedule and work plan with a maximum of 10 bibliographic sources (4 pages max/2.000 words),
  • If the proposal aims to contribute to the CALAS essay series: abstract with short substantiation of how the essay adds to the series, tentative index, basis literature (2 pages max.)
  • If the proposal aims to write two academic articles: abstracts with basic literature

Applications must be sent electronically as a single PDF via e-mail to; Reference: Research Fellowship San Jose


Important dates

  • Opening of the call: February 5, 2021
  • Deadline: April 25, 2021
  • Notification of results: July 15, 2021
  • Beginning of the fellowship: Between January and October 2022

Due to the expected number of applications, rejections will not be justified.

More information: Dr. Jochen Kemner, Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies, Tlf: ++ 52 33 3819 3300, ext. 23594,


San José, Costa Rica. Sede regional Centroamérica y Caribe