As a private research funding organization, we support researchers with creative ideas aimed at changing the world of science – something we have been doing for more than 60 years now. Our mission: We endow knowledge.

We support

Pile of books

Understanding Research

Critically exploring and reflecting on the research system with a view to initiating positive change on areas such as career paths, governance, research and teaching.

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humanoider Kopf einer Maschine

Societal Transformations

Expanding knowledge about processes of transformation and developing possible courses of action together with stakeholders in civil society.

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Hand with compass


Breaking into previously unexplored research territory with unconventional ideas and experimental approaches.

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Schachfigur "Pferd"


Funding program for top-level research in Lower Saxony.

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Portrait eines Mannes vor dunklem Hintergrund
  • Public event
  • Herrenhäuser Gespräch
  • With live stream

Dec. 07, 2023, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Alt, fit, leistungsstark - vom Umgang mit dem Altern (in) unserer Gesellschaft

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Älterer Mann nimmt ältere Frau huckepack. Beide lachen.
  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Dec. 11, 2023, 09:00 AM - Dec. 12, 2023, 01:00 PM

Kick Off "Aufbruch"

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Zu sehen sind drei junge Menschen vor einem Berggipfel, ausgerüstet mit Rucksäcken, bereit den Berg zu besteigen.
  • Public event
  • Herrenhäuser Forum
  • With live stream

Dec. 19, 2023, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Vom Schund zum Schulstoff - Die Emanzipation des Comics zum Kulturgut

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Person, die ein Comicheft in der Hand hält.
Funding offer

New call: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Mobility and Global Health

With this joint call, the Novo Nordisk Foundation (Denmark), Wellcome (UK) and the Volkswagen Foundation are funding multi-perspective research into the interactions between mobility and health. Deadline for pilot projects: March 25, 2024

Funding offer

"Momentum" initiative provides funding for recently tenured professors

The Volkswagen Foundation supports professors three to five years after taking up their first tenured professorship at a university in Germany.  Next deadline for application is April 24, 2024. Questions? Visit our online Q&A on Feb. 01, 2024 (in German) or Feb. 08, 2024 (in English).