The Volkswagen Foundation has approved funding of around 7 million euro in the engineering and social sciences for five interdisciplinary research clusters dealing with the challenges arising from the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on society.

In its initiative focussing Central Asia and the Caucasus the Foundation especially supports the capacity development in research and higher education in the region. In Tbilisi, Georgia, 11 postgraduates now benefit from a novel, clearly structured doctoral program.

Selection processes in research funding are known to be unreliable, costly and prone to bias. Injecting some randomness into the process may improve science while improving fairness and efficiency, says Dorothy Bishop, a neuropsychologist in Oxford, who started a lively online-discussion among researchers.

During this Herrenhausen Symposium, experts from various fields discussed questions that will help to reconstruct the historical development of garden art and will highlight the notion and the relevance of "art" in everyday work.
Eight early-career researchers recently convinced the Foundation's international review panel with their unconventional project proposals.
With the "Lichtenberg Endowed Professorships”, the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft and the Volkswagen Foundation seek to establish a new endowment funding instrument for universities in Germany. The idea: to help universities attract outstanding scholars and scientists from innovative, seminal and risk-prone fields of research.

On September 24, 2018, a cyber attack on the event-portal of the Volkswagen Foundation triggered several mass e-mailings. Personal user data remained protected.

Quantitative metrics are playing an increasingly important role in the assessment of academic careers. Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, considers other characteristics to be more important.

The new funding offer "Change of Course – Exploring New Research Territories between the Life Sciences and Science or Engineering" supports concepts aimed at the multidisciplinary training of research groups.