IASS Fellow Programme: Call for Applications from Artists

The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) is an international, inter- and transdisciplinary research institute located in Potsdam. It is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal State of Brandenburg. The main purpose of the institute is to conduct scientific research on global sustainability, particularly in the areas of air quality and climate change, energy transitions, governance for sustainable development, and other areas.

The IASS was created with the aim of harnessing all sources of knowledge and ingenuity to support the transition to more sustainable societies. Though primarily a research institute, the IASS recognises the need to bring together different kinds of knowledge practices in order to address the question of how societies can become more sustainable. The links between art and science, and the synergies that arise from combining them, have only been explored to a limited extent to date. Despite many individual contributions within the arts and the sciences, the potential of bringing artists and scientists together for mutual inspiration remains largely untapped.

To further explore the connection between art and science on sustainability-related matters, the IASS is launching a special call for fellowship applications from artists.

With these art fellowships, the IASS recognises the potential and necessity of collaborations between scientific and artistic knowledge practices towards a common goal of sustainable transformation and transformative sustainability. The fellowships are open to practitioners across the arts and art-related professions at all career stages.

The IASS intends to provide up to five fellowships for durations of between six and twelve months for artists to work at the IASS in collaboration with our research groups. Please check our website ( for an overview of our research, themes and areas of work. Interested applicants should contact the research group leaders of the projects they would like to work with in advance.

Fellows receive financial compensation in the form of a tax-free stipend under German law, which is intended to cover their additional living costs during their time at the IASS. The amount of the stipend is scaled relative to their experience and living situation. Upon request, the IASS also provides limited resources for production costs, such as travel funding, publication fees, or support for workshop organisation.

During the fellowship, you must fulfil the following expectations:

  • Regular physical presence at the institute;
  • Cooperation with the researchers contacted as part of the application process;
  • Participation in IASS events, particular the bi-monthly fellow meetings;
  • Providing a workshop, presentation or other contribution as part of the IASS Tuesday Talk series;

The application deadline is 27 October 2019. Applications from potential fellows will be submitted to a formal review process organised by the Fellow Unit. It is a two-stage process, which includes an internal review as well as a review by an external panel (whose members come from the artistic and the scientific communities). The final decision will be made by the IASS Board of Directors. The IASS strives for diversity in terms of geographic background and gender balance.

For your application, we will need the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation and your current CV.
  • A proposal outlining the activities you plan to engage in. The proposal should not be longer than five pages (excluding bibliography, artistic portfolio, illustrations, etc.) and should contain the following information:
  1. Description of your planned activities;
  2. Details of how you would like to contribute to the work of the IASS. Please provide here also information on your discussions with IASS researchers prior to submitting the application and select at most three research groups with which you would like to interact;
  3. Resource needs (e.g. travel plans, workshops, studio space, atelier space, etc.);
  4. Timeline (i.e. intended start and end of fellowship);
  5. Budget (estimated).

Proposals that highlight the following will be treated favourably:

(1) How they will be “transformative”, i.e. how the fellow intends to affect change towards sustainability during their time at the IASS or how their project will lead to change towards sustainability;

(2) How they will connect art-based activities with scientific activities.

For your application The working language at the IASS is English and proposals have to be submitted in English. Proposals should be sent as one PDF file (max 5MB) and submitted via e-mail to before 27 October 2019. Inquiries should be directed to the same address.