The 'Freigeist' Fellowships funded by the Volkswagen Foundation are aimed at unusual and courageous lateral thinkers from all disciplines in the first four years following their doctorate. In order to become a Freigeist Fellow, the young researchers must not only possess outstanding specialist expertise, but also look beyond their own discipline and combine critical analytical skills with new perspectives and approaches.
The variety of topics covered by the new Freigeist Fellows shows just how unusual and interdisciplinary the projects undertaken by such "free spirits" (the English translation of Freigeist) are. For example, they investigate the role of the German construction industry in globalization processes, develop new models for predicting extreme events, or research new technologies for music perception in the event of hearing loss.
The New Freigeist Fellows and Their Research Projects
Dr. Niklas Boers: "Predicting Abrupt Transitions and Extreme Events in the Earth System" (Freie Universität Berlin, rund 1,4 Mio. Euro)
Dr. Nichol Furey: "In-depth Study into the Algebraic Structure of Elementary Particle Physics" (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, rund 730.000 Euro)
Dr. Darya Gorelova: "Seeing Excitons in Motion" (Universität Hamburg, rund 1,2 Mio. Euro)
Dr. Robert Kramm: "Radical Utopian Communities: Global Histories from the Margins, 1900-1950" (Universität München, rund 860.000 Euro)
Dr. Monika Motylinska: "Conquering (with) Concrete. German Construction Companies as Global Players in Local Contexts" (Leibniz-Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung, Erkner, rund 830.000 Euro)
Dr. Alessandro Rippa: "Environing Infrastructure: Communities, Ecologies, and China's Green Development in Contemporary Southeast Asia" (Universität München, rund 1 Mio. Euro)
Dr. Jürgen Schaflechner: "The Populism of the Precarious: Marginalization, Mobilization, and Mediatization of South Asia's Religious Minorities" (Freie Universität Berlin, rund 1,3 Mio. Euro)
Dr. Kai Siedenburg: "Musical Scene Analysis and Synthesis for Hearing-impaired Listeners" (Universität Oldenburg, rund 1,2 Mio. Euro)
Dr. Jonas Warneke: "Synthesizing Tailor-made Materials from Molecular Fragment Ions" (Universität Leipzig, rund 1,8 Mio. Euro)
Background: The Funding Initiative 'Freigeist' Fellowships
Since 2014, ten to fifteen Freigeist Fellows have been selected each year. Next application deadlines: Oct. 10, 2019 and Oct. 15, 2020. Further information on the initiative can be found at 'Freigeist' Fellowships.