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

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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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Societal Transformations

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

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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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  • Expert meeting

Sep. 27, 2023, 01:00 PM - Sep. 29, 2023, 02:00 PM

Wir müssen reden! Über nachhaltige Wissenschaft

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Studierende vor einer Weltkarte
  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Oct. 04, 2023, 09:30 AM - Oct. 05, 2023, 04:00 PM

Perspectives on Social Inequality and Wealth

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  • Public event
  • Herrenhäuser Gespräch
  • With live stream

Oct. 12, 2023, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Ihr seht mich, also bin ich - Unser Drang zur Selbstinszenierung

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Funding offer

Networking workshop for "Transformational Knowledge on Democracies under Change"

#Science and the public

With a two-part funding offer, the Foundation aims to bring together researchers and (civil) society actors to enable new perspectives on social transformation processes of democracy. For the next round of calls starting in autumn 2024, the foundation offers a networking workshop in February 2024, deadline for application: November 17, 2023

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New climate models for reliable future scenarios

#Freigeist Fellowship #Sustainability

Climate researcher Niklas Boers works on optimizing climate models with the aim to improve predictions about extreme weather events and potential tipping points in the Earth system – out of a deep sense of responsibility for future generations.