The Volkswagen Foundation invites researchers from all disciplines to engage in an intensive exchange on current research issues and methods as well as the latest scientific findings. To this end, it offers a range of formats of varying scope and composition in order to meet the different needs of the scientific communities as well as their particular funding requirements.
The Herrenhausen Conferences focus on scientific topics of (potentially) high social relevance with a special reference to current and future developments.
The focus is on the differentiation of new fields of research that promise answers to the major issues of the 21st century, as well as the discussion of concrete proposals and solutions from the already established sciences. It is therefore less a matter of further deepening and analyzing individual topic areas, but rather dealing with the current challenges facing the respective field of research. Our interest lies primarily in clarifying open questions and seeking solutions to unsolved problems. Dialogue with top scientists from all over the world is just as important to us as the integration of early career researchers and the participation of other funding institutions and NGOs.
The Herrenhausen Symposia take a closer look at individual subareas of a research field with the aim to further deepen or specify in greater detail the existing knowledge. As a rule, Herrenhausen Symposia are very closely related to a current or recently completed funding initiative of the Volkswagen Foundation or refer to current or completed project funding. Historical issues relating to Herrenhausen's scientific and cultural heritage can also be the subject of a Herrenhausen Symposium, as can currently discussed issues concerning research institutions in and around Hanover.
Symposia and Summer Schools
With its "Symposia and Summer Schools" initiative, launched in 1966, the Volkswagen Foundation promotes symposia, workshops and smaller conferences that address forward-looking issues or advance areas of work at the frontiers of secured knowledge, and those that open up new research perspectives by bringing together different disciplines.
As in all the Foundation’s initiatives, funding under this initiative is generally based on applications.