Excellence in research is not possible without scientific freedom. The funding formats of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) offers precisely this free space. As the DLR Project Management Agency, we have made a significant contribution to its development: we actively participated in the BMBF ‘Free Space for the Humanities’ initiative (2007 - 2012). Under contract to the BMBF, we initially designed innovative formats for sponsoring excellent humanities scholars and tested them in practice. These proven formats are being used in the current humanities and cultural and social sciences framework programme. A central flagship of the initiative is the Käte Hamburger International Centres in Humanities Research, which we are currently supporting at 10 universities in Germany.
Quelle: Bild © J. Ilyasov
At the core of the free space concept is the funding of excellent humanities research dedicated to current and innovative issues. This especially applies to those humanities subjects that could contribute to shaping the future and that influence current debate, covering topics such as the future of work, the environment or global collaboration, for instance. In addition to the creation of academic free space, other goals are the internationalisation of humanities research and raising the profile of the humanities as a mediator and translator in collaboration and interaction with the natural sciences and engineering.