Германия: Фонд Герды Хенкель

The Gerda Henkel Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation under German private law. The object of the Foundation is to promote science, primarily by supporting specific projects in the field of the humanities that have a specific specialist scope and are limited in time and the related publications, in particular

  • by supporting research projects by scholars inside and outside Germany on carefully defined themes in the humanities,
  • by awarding scholarships (in particular for research and Ph.D. projects) to scholars inside and outside Germany,
  • by undertaking and supporting measures on a scientific basis in the field of monument preservation as well as by undertaking and supporting all measures that are suited to further the object of the Foundation,
  • by carrying out measures to enhance public awareness in the above-mentioned fields that support the Foundation’s object.

As a private institution for the promotion of scholarship, the Foundation’s statutes only allow it to provide support for certain discipline-specific research projects that are limited in time. It prioritises research projects that are of an outstanding quality given the scientific findings and therefore promise to achieve the greatest benefits with the funding made available.

In line with one of the founder’s wishes, a special focus of the Gerda Henkel Foundation is support for up-and-coming scholars. Special attention is made when approving grants to enable qualified young researchers of both sexes to conduct scientific work for a limited period of time and in order to improve their academic training.

The Board of Trustees has resolved the following general funding principles to further the Foundation attaining its object, and these include the following possible forms of support:

  • support for specific research projects, limited in time, in the form of funding for personnel, travel and hardware,
  • scholarship grants for research and Ph.D. projects for scholars from both inside and outside Germany,
  • provision of funding to help cover publishing costs for projects the Foundation has supported that have been especially successful.

The Board of Trustees and the Management decide on funding approvals after consulting the Academic Advisory Council. The Foundation’s bodies convene as a rule twice a year, usually in April and in November. A simplified procedure exists for deciding on applications for smaller-scale financial requirements.


Support is primarily provided for the historical humanities, in particular to support research projects in the following fields:

  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Historical Islamic Studies
  • History
  • History of Law
  • History of Science
  • Prehistory and Early History

Since 2008 the Foundation has also increasingly addressed issues of great relevance to contemporary life and the future, above all as part of its special “Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements” and “Security, Society and the State” programmes.


The Foundation generally accepts applications for research projects made by universities, other research institutes or comparable institutions as well as by one or several PhDs or scholars with Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification.

The applicants must be involved in the research work of the project.

It is possible to apply for financing for your own post at a research establishment. The precondition: you have successfully completed your Ph.D. and afterwards have at least five years professional experience working in an academic field. Project participants can also be financed in the form of a research scholarship.

As part of a research project, the costs incurred of visiting (foreign) scholars can also be financed.

By contrast, a research scholarship should be applied for by one scholar alone for a project that he conducts himself.


Applications for research scholarships can be made directly by PhDs or scholars with Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification. A research scholarship is usually applied for by one scholar who will work on a specific project on his own.


From 2004 to 2013, the Gerda Henkel Foundation has offered a programme to support outstanding scholars whose research is focused on Central Asia, mainly on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Northern Afghanistan, Southern Siberia, Tadzhikistan, Tibet, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Xinjiang. The programme aimed to stimulate academic research projects in the areas of Archaeology and Art History as well as projects in the fields of History, Historic Islamic Studies, Architecture and the Fine Arts. Scientists from Central Asian countries were invited to apply for this programme. Moreover, it supported projects that ideally should be based on cooperation between scholars from the above-mentioned countries and European experts specialised in Central Asia. The Foundation set great store by supporting the up-and-coming generation of scientific minds.

Please notice that, after 10 years of existence, the Special Programme Central Asia, after a last deadline in the end of June 2013, has been integrated into the Foundation's regular grant programme. Applications from researchers from Central Asia or topics related to Central Asian history will now be considered within the Foundation's Research and PhD Grant Programme.

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