Promote Free Scientific Exchange: Yehudit and Yehuda Elkana Fellowships

There is less and less free space for scientifically controversial discussions. The Yehudit and Yehuda Elkana Fellowship Program wants to create this space for scientists.

 Article 5 of the German "Grundgesetz" with white writing on a glass board
In Germany, academic freedom is anchored in the constitution. This principle does not apply in many other countries. (Foto: Emile Noir - stock.adobe.com)

The conditions for the free circulation of knowledge and the unhindered exchange of scientific hypotheses have deteriorated in recent years around the world. The polarization and rigidifying of public debates are increasing, and societal and political forces are intervening more frequently in research and teaching, to the point that researchers are being persecuted, expelled, or deprived of their liberty. This narrows the scope for scientific controversies, which are the indispensable precondition for academic work.

The Yehudit and Yehuda Elkana Fellowship Program invites researchers who have served the free exchange of knowledge and hypotheses and the open scope for academic controversies to spend three to six months at The New Institute in Hamburg or at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study. The Fellowship is tied to financial support amounting to 50,000 Euros for projects that aim to preserve free scientific exchange. The program is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Marga und Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung. It cooperates with the Einstein Stiftung Berlin.

Applications for the Yehudit and Yehuda Elkana Fellowships are not possible; funding decisions are made solely on the basis of nominations.

For further information on the programme, please contact Vera Kempa at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

Advisory Board

  • Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Central European University, Wien/Budapest
  • Katharina Biegger, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
  • Kader Konuk, Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Ivan Krastev, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
  • Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Truth Justice Memory Center Hafiza Merkezi, Istanbul
  • Shalini Randeria, Central European University, Vienna
  • Karl Schlögel, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Martin Schulze Wessel, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Magdalena Waligórska, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Selection Committee

  • Julika Griem, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen
  • Lisa Herzog, Reichsuniversität Groningen
  • Wilhelm Krull, The New Institute, Hamburg
  • Andrii Portnov, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Daniel Schönpflug, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
  • Barbara Sheldon, The New Institute, Hamburg
  • Stephan Steinlein, Bundespräsidialamt, Berlin
  • Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

In advisory capacity

  • Henrike Hartmann, VolkswagenStiftung, Hannover
  • Marion Müller, Einstein Stiftung Berlin
  • Heinz-Rudi Spiegel, Marga und Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung, Essen