Research fellowship “The maritime ceramic road: Chinese ceramics in Asia and Africa”

Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
Deadline: 18th Jun 2021

(Italian law 30 December 2010, n.240, art. 22)
The present document in English is to be considered as a mere summary of the main provisions of
the notice of competition which is available in Italian at the following link The text in Italian is the official text of the notice of competition for all legal intents and purposes and, in the event of non-conformity with the present document, it shall prevail.

The Department of Asian and North African Studies at Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia invites applications for a fellowship in:

Title: The maritime ceramic road: Chinese ceramics in Asia and Africa
Scientific sector: L-OR/20
Scientific supervisor and tutor: Prof.ssa Sabrina Rastelli
Duration: 12 months
Abstract: The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – integral part of the monumental Belt and Road Initiative, which includes a direct connection between China and Italy (through Trieste) – is a major development plan that aims to connect China with the rest of Asia, Africa and Europe. This strategic initiative broadly runs in the footsteps of the naval expeditions of Admiral Zheng He (1371-1433) and the maritime routes covered by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century. However, an extensive seaborne commerce had developed since the 8th century, when the land routes across central Asia had become unsafe and when the demand for raw materials to import into China considerably increased. Among the goods exported from China to be traded along the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, there were huge quantities of ceramics, the first artificial material made by mankind and the first to be globally exported.

This research project, intended as the first step to build up a much wider international study, focuses on late Tang (618-907) and Song dynasty (960-1279) ceramics found along the maritime Silk Road. Its aim is to investigate several aspects of the presence of Chinese ceramics west of China: to understand whether, besides trade, there were other causes behind the circulation of Chinese wares; to define the value (not just in monetary terms) of these objects in the Middle east; to observe changes in the time of the exported types; to analyse the mutual influence between Chinese and early Islamic glazed ceramics; to identify correctly
Chinese and Islamic wares. The ultimate goal is the creation of an online database mapping all the sites including Chinese ceramics: this will give a clear idea of the distribution patterns of Chinese ceramics in general and of each genre. Such a database is deemed essential by archaeologists working especially in the Middle East to date their sites, which usually lack reliable stratigraphic environments.

The fellowship is intended to provide the successful candidate with the opportunity to pursue his/her own research while benefiting from the range of expertise at Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.

Who can apply

Prospective candidates are expected to hold a doctoral degree.

Ca’ Foscari encourages applications from researchers with positive evaluation in all the criteria in individual proposals such as Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships/ERC Starting Grants/FIRB (Italian Fund for basic research investments)/SIR (Scientific Young Independence Research) or similar. Researchers having successfully completed Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships/ERC Starting Grants/FIRB (Italian Fund for basic research investments)/SIR (Scientific Young Independence Research) or similar funded projects are warmly encouraged to apply.
The research may be carried out in English

Duration of contract: 12 months (approximately starting: January, 01, 2022).

Stipend: The research fellowship amounts to 19,367 Euros per year, including taxes and social charges.

Deadline for submission of applications: June, 18, 12.00 noon.

How to apply:

Candidates should submit:

1. The application form;

2. A motivation letter (max 1 page) along with their CV in European format, duly dated and signed, both to enclosed as a one single.pdf file. (link)

3. A copy of a valid identity document (either Identity Card or Passport);

4. (If available) Evaluation Summary Reports of Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships/
ERC Starting Grants/FIRB (Italian Fund for basic research investments)/SIR (Scientific Young
Independence Research) individual proposals having passed all the evaluation thresholds;

5. (If available) Details of Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships, ERC Starting Grants, FIRB (Italian Fund for basic research investments)/ SIR Scientific Young Independence Research funded projects;

6. Declaration on availability to held the interview in remote (Link) to be send via email at the following address:;

7. All documents, qualifications and publications relevant for the selection procedure (please, see the notice

All the schemes of the quoted documentation are available on the website (

How to submit your application

Applications should be submitted by the online procedure:

The candidate, after the uploading, will receive a submission number and an e-mail acknowledging receipt of his/her application.
The candidate if necessary could access the procedures for updating any data and materials by the link provided by the e-mail, in any case any updates must be made no later than the deadline June, 18, 2021, 12 noon.
Please note that the University can be contacted for any support needs by the candidate until 24 hours prior to the deadline.
Please note that in case of a high number of applications and / or weight of the materials loaded by the candidates the system might become slower, Therefore it is suggested not to start the process close to the deadline.

NB: the University does not take on responsibility for wrong or late communication of addresses, nor for any communication problem not depending on the University.


Up to 100 points, specifically:
For qualifications, publications and possible tests, from 0 to 60;
For interview, from 0 to 40.

Selection procedure

Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview on July, 21, 2021 at 10 AM via Zoom videoconference
The short-list of the candidates admitted to the interview, or any postponement, and the link for the interview will be published on the University’s webpage within July, 14, 2021 (

Information and contacts

Candidates may find further details about the application process and the research project in the official call published on the following link:

For further information please email:


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