Monday, August 4, 2014

GSZ Berlin: Announcement /Call for Application

The Georg-Simmel-Centre for Metropolitan Studies is an interdisciplinary research institute that brings together urban scientists from different academic fields and backgrounds, such as, in particular, human geography, sociology and European ethnology/social anthropology. The Georg-Simmel-Centre is part of Humboldt University and integrates relevant institutions from the greater scientific community in Berlin. The centre is likewise intended to contend with current metropolitan politics and planning issues, and to contribute to these in multiple ways. With its entrenchment both in academic and political spheres, the Georg-Simmel-Centre for Metropolitan Studies is an outstanding institution for conceptual and applied urban research.
The Georg-Simmel-Centre for Metropolitan Studies offers four short-term grants (€800 p.m.) for six months each to prepare proposals for PhD scholarships starting January 1. The successful candidates are expected to write a full proposal in the field of new mobilities and touristification research for submission to an academic or political foundation. Berlin is facing a significant growth in tourism each year, which has lead the city to be one of the three biggest urban tourist destinations in Europe. Urban tourism has a significant impact on the city’s economy, but simultaneous tensions exist between the visitors and citizens who feel increasingly annoyed by the crowds. Urban tourism has, thus, an ambivalent gesture in Berlin. From a top-down perspective, Berlin’s tourism is an important sector of the urban economy and also an important tool for image production. From a bottom-up perspective, urban tourism in residential quarters produces conflicts between tourists and the local population about noise, dirt and rising living costs. Against this background, the practices and consequences of urban tourism in Berlin should be scrutinized in the envisaged PhDs with an interdisciplinary perspective along the following key topics:
  • New mobilities and gentrification in Berlin´s centre
  • Heritage, touristification, and the production of urban space
  • Urban tourism and the urban economy
  • Night economy and the transition of neighbourhoods
The successful applicants are provided with a work space in the Georg-Simmel-Centre and supervision of the full research proposal by specialists of the centre in the particular field. Presence at the Centre during the term of the grant is expected. Applicants need an above average master’s degree in one of the following fields: human geography, sociology, social anthropology, cultural studies, history or related academic fields. Applicants should send a copy of a short research proposal (max. 1.600 words) of the project, a cover letter setting out your motivation for applying for the short-term grant and highlighting the particular skills and experiences you would bring to research your particular topic. Furthermore, a copy of a current curriculum vitae should be submitted, which should include inter alia your full name with title, education, details of your present post with date of appointment, degrees (subject/major, institution, date of award), other academic/professional qualifications (subject/major, institution, date of award) and publications. Applications should be submitted electronically to Consideration begins October 1st 2014.

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