The Volkswagen Foundation's Freigeist Fellowships are aimed at unusual and courageous early career researchers from all disciplines in the first four years after their doctorate. Each year, the Foundation selects up to fifteen exceptional research personalities for funding of up to 2.2 million euros over a maximum period of eight years. Around 100 young researchers had submitted their project proposals by the deadline in October 2019.
The new Freigeist Fellows and their research projects
Dr. Elisabeth Becker: Invisible Architects: Jews, Muslims, and the Construction of Europe (Universität Heidelberg, approx. 1.4 million euros)
Dr. Hannes Beyer: Light-Assisted Programming of Synthetic Organoid Tissues (Universität Düsseldorf, approx. 1.8 million euros)
Dr. Jakob Huber: Democratic Hope (Freie Universität Berlin, approx. 800.000 euros)
Dr. Jakub Limanowski: Re-Learning Body Models in the Human Brain (Technische Universität Dresden, approx. 1.2 million euros)
Dr. Dr. Marco Meyer: Culpable Ignorance: Moral Knowledge in Organisations (Universität Hamburg, approx. 900.000 euros)
Dr. Francesca Mezzenzana: Learning "Nature": A Cross-Cultural Ethnography of Children's Relationships to the Non-Human World (Universität München, approx. 1.5 million euros)
Dr. Torben Ott: The Value of Time – A Neural Mechanism That Links Serotonin and Depression (Universität Tübingen, approx. 1.8 million euros)
Dr. Caroline Schuppli: The Evolutionary Roots of Innovativeness: Tracing the Phylogeny of Human Curiosity (Max-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensbiologie Radolfzell/Konstanz, approx. 800.000 euros)
Dr. Elena Vogman: Madness, Media, Milieus. Reconfiguring the Humanities in Postwar Europe (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, approx. 1.2 million euros)
In order to become a Freigeist Fellow, young research personalities must not only bring outstanding subject expertise to the table, but also the ability to look beyond the boundaries of their own discipline and combine critical analytical ability with new perspectives and approaches to reaching solutions.
With a final round of approvals in 2021, the Volkswagen Foundation will end this program for the promotion of young talent that began in 2014 – in order to launch new funding initiatives to fit in with the realignment of its funding strategy.
For details on the Volkswagen Foundation's Freigeist Fellowships, please also visit https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/freigeist-fellowships.
The next and final closing date for project proposals in the frame of this funding program is April 1, 2021.