As a private research funding organization, we support researchers with creative ideas aimed at changing the world of science – something we have been doing for more than 60 years now. Our mission: We endow knowledge.

We support

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Understanding Research

Critically exploring and reflecting on the research system with a view to initiating positive change on areas such as career paths, governance, research and teaching.

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Societal Transformations

Expanding knowledge about processes of transformation and developing possible courses of action together with stakeholders in civil society.

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Breaking into previously unexplored research territory with unconventional ideas and experimental approaches.

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Schachfigur "Pferd"


Funding program for top-level research in Lower Saxony.

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Zwei behandschuhte Hände sind zu sehen, die hellbraune kleine Fasern zwischen vertikale, horizontale und diagonale helle Holzstreifen legen.

Mushrooms instead of concrete: innovative biomaterials enable sustainable construction

  • Public event
  • Herrenhäuser Forum
  • With live stream

Jun. 18, 2024, 07:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Genderstreit: Wann ist eine Frau eine Frau und ein Mann ein Mann?

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  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Jun. 24, 2024, 10:15 AM - Jun. 25, 2024, 04:30 PM

Joint symposium "Towards circularity 2024"

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  • Public event
  • Herrenhäuser Forum

Jun. 25, 2024, 07:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Kiffen ohne Knast – Was bringt die Teil-Legalisierung von Cannabis?

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Das Bild zeigt zwei männliche Hände von oben. Eine hält einen Joint, die andere zündet ihn an.
Funding offer 03. June 2024

Democracies under Change: call for transdisciplinary taskforces

The call addresses task forces in which researchers from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences work with partners from (civil) society on a clearly defined issue relating to acute challenges to democracy in Germany or at EU level. Deadline: October 29, 2024

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News 30. May 2024

Everyone is equal in the lottery drum

Reaching funding decisions by drawing lots? Although that might sound a little dubious, it is not. This is proven by a scientifically monitored experiment carried out by the Volkswagen Foundation, which concludes that a partially randomized selection procedure following the scientific reviews brings more diversity into the pool of grantees. The researchers asked by the Foundation to monitor the procedure arrive at some interesting insights in their overall assessment.