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Call for Applications: Curatorial Research Fellowship


For Download: Information Booklet MARKK Curatorial Research Fellowship

Application Deadline: January 22, 2023 


 Call for Applications: 

Curatorial Research Fellowship 

Gerda Henkel Fellowship-Programme „4 Museums – 4 Opportunities“ 

The Museum am Rothenbaum- World Cultures and Arts (MARKK) in Hamburg, Germany is offering a two-year fellowship for African curators or scholars 

from April 2023 

The fellowship programme, funded by the German Gerda Henkel Foundation, aims at supporting four German museums holding African collections– in Leipzig/Dresden/Herrnhut (Saxony), Hamburg, Cologne, and Stuttgart – in their engagement to decolonize their museum practice and to foster a new ethics of collaboration with the African continent. It offers 4 promising African candidates based on the continent an opportunity to become a team member of a German museum and to pursue their own exhibition, educational or research project and contribute to the overall development of the museum, while at the same time building on their professional experience. 

All four museums have been actively involved in the German debate about colonial heritage and restitution for many years and are in a reflexive, comprehensive process of transformation. In this process, they are looking for a responsible approach to the collections and their history, for new forms of presentation and collection practices, as well as for transdisciplinary formats in scholarship, exhibitions, and outreach. The four fellows are invited to contribute to this process of creating an ethically responsible and contemporary museum practice allowing a renegotiation of interpretive sovereignties and multifaceted museum stories to be told beyond the Eurocentric perspective. This can only be achieved with the help of participatory, collaborative, and cooperative formats in inclusive partnership with descendants of the societies and communities that created and once used the collections the museums are currently holding. Four two-year fellowships have been approved at the Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsen in Leipzig, the Museum am Rothenbaum - Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK) in Hamburg, the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Cultures of the World in Cologne, and the Linden-Museum in Stuttgart. 

We offer 

  • A monthly stipend of 2.875 € gross, for 24 months with the possibility of an extension for another 12 months 
  • A travel budget of 2.000 € to cultivate exchange and collaboration with the Gerda Henkel fellows at the three other museums and their host institutions 
  • A budget of 6.000 € to complete research in Africa to support the project at the museum 
  • A project budget of 25.000 € to complete an exhibition, program, education or research project at the museum. 


fon +49 40 428 879 505 | Rothenbaumchaussee 64, 20148 Hamburg, Germany 

Departmental Placement 

The fellowship grants scholars/curators/curatorial aspirants from Africa an opportunity to collaborate and immerse themselves in the curatorial, education, conservation or programming department at the respective museums. They can use the museum as a space for dynamic exchange, research, and to fully integrate themselves into the life and work at the museum. 

The fellow will become a member of the museum team and will be paired with a supervisor or team member/primary contact at their host institution, who will help her/him to navigate the museum and facilitate access to resources. The fellow will have access to staff, library, collections, research facilities, and the time and space to complete an exhibition project, research, training, and other academic or curatorial pursuits. 

We are specifically looking for a curator/scholar with experience in working with and researching cultural and art objects. The focus of the fellowship should ideally lie on collections from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (mostly from the Kasai and central regions) or Nigerian collections (mostly from the coastal areas or the Plateau regions). S/he will help to establish contacts for collaboration to contribute contemporary perspectives on the historic collections. 

The fellow will be further involved in the conceptualization of our new permanent exhibition and in our overall process of rethinking museums and exhibition practices. 

We expect 

  • A University degree (Master or PhD) in Social Anthropology, Art History, African Studies, African History, Cultural Studies or a related subject 
  • Experience and interest in working with and researching cultural objects, archival material 
  • Familiarity with colonial heritage and decolonizing endeavors 
  • Ideally experience in curating exhibitions or educational work 
  • Willingness to learn basic German to enable comprehension of historical object documentation 
  • Publications 
  • Computer skills, ideally experience with databases 


Materials Required for Applications 

  • Motivation letter of at most two pages describing your background and relevant experience with collections of art and cultural objects and/or museum work 
  • Curriculum vitae (education, professional experience, publications) 
  • Official transcripts of degrees 
  • Two letters of recommendation (academic, professional) 
  • Project proposal or statement (3 pages) reflecting your interests in research/ collections, practice at the museum and your expectations for the fellowship 


How to Apply 

Please send all questions and your application to 

Application Deadline: January 22, 2023 

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