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Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA)


The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) is an international research college at the University of Ghana in Legon, Accra. The Institute promotes collaboration between Ghanaian scholars and international colleagues across disciplinary and national borders. MIASA is committed to reducing global asymmetries in knowledge production and increasing collaboration between researchers from Anglophone and Francophone Africa. The overarching goal of MIASA is to increase the global visibility of research in the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies by scholars from Sub-Saharan Africa. In order to achieve this goal, the research college awards fellowships to junior researchers as well as established scholars working on the overarching theme of Sustainable Governance during the project's preliminary phase from 2018 to 2020.

The African-European scientific exchange of MIASA as the fourth Maria Sibylla Merian Centre for Advanced Studies is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), while the personnel, administrative and operating costs on site are borne by the University of Ghana.

From 2018, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) was involved in setting up the research college at the University of Ghana together with five other consortium partners from Germany and France and two other partners from Accra and in Dakar/Senegal. Since 2023, MIASA is no longer organisationally affiliated with FRIAS, but with the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT) at the University of Freiburg, which is responsible for the administrative and content-related project management. This has no effect on FRIAS's support for the establishment of a new IAS and the goal jointly pursued by MIASA and FRIAS of reducing global asymmetries in knowledge production, strengthening scientific cooperation with the global South and selecting fellows with these aims in mind.