Perspectives on Research

To effectively address current challenges, it is increasingly relevant for the various stakeholders in the research system to better understand the effects and impact of their actions and to be in a position to make evidence-based decisions, for example, on the design of career pathways, allocation of funds and evaluation processes.

Antje Tepperwien and Johanna Brumberg explain how the foundation wants to contribute to improving the framework conditions for research and higher education.

With targeted funding schemes and activities, the Volkswagen Foundation aims to contribute to and significantly expand existing knowledge on the research system. It also wants to share relevant findings with other stakeholders. Here the intention is to jointly and positively influence the structural conditions of research and knowledge production. In this context, the Foundation conceives itself in the dual role of both a funder as well as an actor within the research system. It seeks to design funding opportunities to support collaborative and internationally oriented research projects and to encourage experimentation with the various methods relevant for research on research. At the same time, the Foundation feels a responsibility to initiate stakeholder dialog to discuss findings and insights and – if promising – to support further activities or pilot projects. 

Activities and funding opportunities

Currently, the following activities and funding opportunities aim to support research on research: 

A kick-off symposium will be held on July 6-7, 2022, at Herrenhausen Palace to discuss ongoing trends and developments in the wider field of research on research. In a joint process with the scientific community the Foundation also aims to identify the thematic focus of the first call for proposals within the envisaged funding scheme "Researching Research: Collaborative Projects". The conference language is German.

The funding scheme "Researching Research: Summer Schools & Workshops" enables the realization of workshops and summer schools in the field of science research.