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Call For Applications: Postdoctoral Grants For The Study Of The Silahtarağa Archive

Call For Applications: Postdoctoral Grants For The Study Of The Silahtarağa Archive



Description: Up to three postdoctoral grants for durations of 3 to 12 months to be held between 1St September 2024 - 31st August 2025 for the study and treatment of the Silahtarağa Electric Plant Archive (Silahtarağa Archive) collection from a social sciences perspective.


The postdoctoral grantee(s), hosted by the Institut français d’études anatoliennes (IFEA), will work closely with the Silahtarağa Electric Plant Archive curatorial team within İstanbul Bilgi University.

IFEA is a French research institute abroad under the joint umbrella of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education and Research and National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). It is based in İstanbul and specializes in various disciplines of the humanities and social sciences in the Turkish and Ottoman area.

Istanbul Bilgi University (BILGI) is a higher education foundation institution established by the Bilgi Education and Culture Foundation. BILGI has as its object the provision of higher education services by offering a broad spectrum of activities in the fields of teaching, research and technical consultancy by way of the various methods provided for under Turkish legislation. The responsibility for the Old Silahtarağa Electric Plant was granted to BİLGİ in 2004. The facility was renovated and repurposed to be one of the campuses of the University, which still serves this function.

Silahtarağa Electric Plant Archive (Silahtarağa Archive) consists of two million items inherited from the Silahtarağa Electric Plant varying from correspondences, magazines, reports along with architectural and technical drawings, ranging from the establishment of the factory in 1910s to a decade after its closure in 1990s. Reflecting Istanbul's special place in the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey, documents in Silahtarağa Archive offer the opportunity to investigate the city's modernization, urbanization, capital transformation and industrialization processes on sociological, economic and ecological levels. So far documents are classified under 41 categories and written in six different languages with a large number in French. Silahtarağa Archive aims to digitize the archive materials and store digitized documents with the intention of allowing the public to access them at a later stage; another dimension of the work is scientific promotion of the material, through a seminar due to start in 2024 and an international conference planned for 2025. 

The postdoctoral grants are made possible thanks to the support of the National Library of France (BnF) and the The Mellon Foundation in the framework of the BnF-run program Bibliothèques d’Orient.



Expertise: The grants are open to holders of a doctoral degree in all relevant disciplines of the humanities and social sciences (history, geography, anthropology, sociology, and political sciences). It is expected that applicants’ studies and research areas will be related to  the transformation of social and cultural practices brought about by the advent of electricity, its impact on ecology and the natural environment, and its role in urban and capital transformation.

Language Skills: Proficiency in (at least) reading French is required for studying and treating the archival materials; English proficiency would be highly valued for the dissemination of scientific results. (Pre)indermediate level of Turkish is appreciated, but not necessary.

Duration of the grants: Up to three grants will be awarded for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months depending on the scope of the selected research projects and applicants’ workplans.

Amount of the stipend: €1,875 per month all inclusive, with transportation to and from İstanbul, housing and other living expenses, and necessary insurance in Turkey to be covered by the grantees.

Working Conditions: The grantees will have facilitated access to the santralistanbul campus of Istanbul Bilgi University and will have access to a dedicated workspace within IFEA.

Selection process: Applications will be reviewed by a committee on the basis of the candidates’ academic credentials, language skills, quality of the research project and work plan, and intentions regarding the dissemination of the research results. 


Application requirements: Applications are to be submitted in French or English and should include the following documents:

- 1 concise CV (5 pages);

- 1 research project (min 10 pages) detailing he research and its relevance with regard to the Silahtarağa Archive;

  • A detailed work plan for the duration of the grant-holding period;
  • A statement of intentions about the dissemination of research results, including the participation and/or organization of academic events during the tenure of the grant (with details), and publications in international peer-reviewed indexed journals (please specify);  

- 1 cover letter stating the interests’ of the application for the proposed grant.


Application Deadline: 30/04/2024 at 00.00 o’clock. (Istanbul time)

Selection Results Announcement: 01/06/2024

Earliest starting date: 01/09/2024

Latest end date: 31/08/2025


Contacts: philippe.bourmaud@ifea-istanbul.net