Projects funded by foundations

Projects funded by foundations

The involvement of foundations in funding science and research is an integral part of Germany’s scientific community. A whole host of different funding options are available for science, research, teaching and studying in the form of scholarships, guest professorships, project-specific grants, printing and travel expenses, and scientific awards, to name just a few examples. The following pages contain a selection of the funded foundation projects available at the UDE.

Cooperative research projects through the Mercator Research Center Ruhr

Logo Mercur

​The Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR), founded in March 2010 by Stiftung Mercator and the Ruhr University Alliance (UA Ruhr), supports the strategic development plans of the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), the universities of TU Dortmund (TUDo) and Duisburg Essen and consequently the targets of UA Ruhr. MERCUR promotes both the profile building of the individual universities as well as their cooperation, thereby strengthening science in the Ruhr metropolis and making it more attractive for international vocations. To the UDE projects funded by the MERCUR funding​​.

Promotion of persons in the international field

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation


​The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards fellowships and research prizes to highly qualified scientists for the promotion of scientific exchange. To the list of Humboldt research fellows.

Heinrich Hertz Stiftung

Logo Heinrich Hertz Stiftung

​The Heinrich Hertz Stiftung promotes scientific exchange by awarding scholarships for international research stays.
Eligible for a Heinrich Hertz fellowship are:
  • Scientists working in North Rhine-Westphalia who are planning a research project abroad, and
  • scientists working abroad who are planning a research project in North Rhine-Westphalia.

To the list of Heinrich Hertz research fellows (in german).

PRIME (Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience)

With co-funding from the Marie Curie Programme of the European Union, the DAAD offers a new postdoctoral funding programme, "Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience" (PRIME), which provides positions for highly qualified young researchers of all nationalities and subjects instead of scholarships. The funding includes a 12-month phase abroad and a six-month integration phase at a German university, where the funding recipients are employed as postdoctoral researchers for the entire funding period.

PRIME-funded researchers at the UDE

Name Host Provenance Year
Domenik Schleier Prof. Dr. Tina Kasper,
Fakultät für Ingenieurwissenschaften
Leiden Observatory, Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands 2021
Dr. Peter Fjodorow Prof. Dr. Christof Schulz,
Faculty of Engineering
P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute (Moscow) 2020
Dr. Leonid Ryvkin Prof. Dr. Daniel Greb,
Faculty of Mathematics
Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu-Paris Rive Gauche 2019
Franzika Muckel Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Gerd Bacher,
Faculty of Engineering
University of Washington, Department of Chemistry 2017
Dr. Rachel Fainblat Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Gerd Bacher, Faculty of Engineering University of Washington, Seattle, USA 2015

Selection of colleges funded by foundations

Academy in Exile

The growing awareness of the acute needs of academics emigrating from Turkey led to the founding of the Academy in Exile (AiE) in Germany in 2017. The AiE was founded as a joint initiative of the Institute for Turkish Studies (Prof. Konuk), the KWI and the Forum Transregional Studies Berlin.

It is based on a model that creates multidisciplinary cohorts of scholars from the same region and/or around a unified theme, with the aim that threatened scholars can continue their careers in Germany and work on a research project of their choice in a multidisciplinary environment.

Unlike other European initiatives that support academics at risk, AiE targets those who are specifically threatened because of their academic or civic commitment to human rights, peace and democracy. The fellows contribute to and shape the research agenda and intellectual profile of the Academy.

The VolkswagenStiftung provided initial funding and in 2017. Further substantial funding followed, including from the Mellon Foundation.

Mercator Graduate Programme Open-Mindedness, Tolerance and Public Engagement

With the guiding theme "Open-Mindedness, Tolerance and Public Engagement", the Research Training Group takes up a highly topical social issue and sets itself the task of analytically grasping the various historical and contemporary aspects and varieties of cosmopolitanism, tolerance and public spirit in pluralistic, democratic societies and illuminating them from multiple perspectives.

This academic debate is driven by various disciplines (theology, philosophy, social sciences, history, education, linguistics, cultural studies and political science, but also economics, engineering and life sciences).
Project management: Vice-Rector for Social Responsibility, Diversity and International Affairs.

Approval year: 2018
Duration: 4 Years

 Research Training Groups of the VolkswagenStiftung

Title | Project lead Approval year Duration
Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models,Transatlantic Interventions
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau, Faculty of Humanities
2017 4 Years
MEDAS 21 | Global Media Assistance: Applied Research, Improved Practice in the 21 Century
Project lead at the UDE  (co-applicant): Prof. Dr. Jens Loenhoff, Faculty of Humanities
2017 4 Years
To the VolkswagenStiftung

 Doctoral Programme of the Hans Böckler Foundation

Title | Project lead Approval year Duration
Die Politische Ökonomie der Ungleichheit
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Till van Treeck
2019 3 Years
Mediale Diskursivierungen von Arbeit seit 1960
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Rolf Parr
2015 3 Years
Demokratie und Klimawandel
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie
2011 3 Years
Widersprüche gesellschaftlicher Integration. Zur Transformation Sozialer Arbeit
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Horst Bossong
2011 3 Years
To the Hans Böckler Stiftung

Selection of fundings in the foundation sector (in alphabetical order)

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation supports excellent basic research in medicine, biology, chemistry and pharmacy - for important, sometimes groundbreaking, new findings that secure the long-term health and quality of life of all of us.

Title| Project lead Duration
Perspektiven-Programm „Plus 3“: Computational design of molecules with therapeutic potential
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Elsa Sánchez-Garcia, Center of Medical Biotechnology (ZMB)

Forschungsinstitut für gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung

Fritz Thyssen Foundation


The Funk-Stiftung's funding is intended to help further develop awareness of a methodical and analytical approach to risk assessment and management. To this end, the Funk Foundation focuses on research, education and practice projects.

Ttile| Project lead Duration
“Big risks”: perceptions, management and neuralgic societal risks in the 21st century
Project lead: Prof. Prof. Dr. Andreas Niederberger (Faculty of Humanities), Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kiesel (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics) und Prof. Dr. Achim Goerres (Faculty of Social Sciences)
2015 – 2019

Gerda Henkel Stiftung

The purpose of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung is to promote scholarship in the field of the humanities and its publication. The focus of funding is on the historical humanities, in particular on supporting research projects from the following disciplines: Archaeology, Historical Sciences, Historical Islamic Studies, History of Art, History of Law, Prehistory and Early History, and History of Science. For some years now, the Foundation has also increasingly turned its attention to topics related to the present and the future.

Title| Project lead Duration
Tomorrow is Today’s Uncertainty: Speculating on Futures in Early Modern Europe
Research scholarship
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Stephan Zelewski, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
2015 – 2017
Election Violence in Zimbabwe,
Research scholarship
Project lead: Dr. Vimbai Kwashirai, Faculty of Humanities
2012 – 2014
Die Devotio moderna als Medium für Wissen und Wissensvermittlung und als Element des sozialen und kulturellen Transfers innerhalb der Rhein-Maas-Region (ca. 1350 – 1575),
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Jörg Engelbrecht, Faculty of Humanities
Vorbild Dänemark – Lehrmeister Preußen? Die Heeresreformen des Comte des Saint-Germain in Dänemark (1762 – 1766) und in Frankreich (1775 – 1777) im Vergleich
Project lead: Dr. Hanna Sonkajärvi, Faculty of Humanities
2009 – 2011
You can find more of the Foundation's funded projects here here

Hans Böckler Foundation

José Carreras Leukämie-Stiftung

The José Carreras Leukämie-Stiftung funds research projects on the causes and treatment options for leukaemia and related blood diseases. In doing so, it cooperates with university hospitals throughout Germany.  In addition, the José Carreras Leukämie-Stiftung supports psychosocial projects. Furthermore, the José Carreras Leukämie-Stiftung awards doctoral scholarships to students, research scholarships to young scientists and promotes scientific exchange through workshops and congresses.

Title| Project lead Duration
Prospektive Untersuchung des Einflusses nicht-permissiver HLA- DPB1 Spender-Empfänger-Differenzen auf die alloreaktive T-Zell Antwort und den klinischen Ausgang der nicht-verwandten Stammzelltransplantation
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Katharina Fleischhauer, Institute for Experimental Cellular Therapy


The Karl-Vossloh-Stiftung has put (rail-based) mobility research on its agenda. There are usually annual calls for research grants with compulsory doctoral studies. As a private institution for the promotion of science, the Karl Vossloh Foundation can, by its very nature, only support research projects that are objectively defined and limited in time to three years.

Title | Project lead Duration
E-Logistics für regionale Güterverteilerverkehre zur Steigerung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des Kombinierten Verkehrs (ELOKOV)
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Stephan Zelewski, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
2012 – 2015

Mercator Foundation

Robert Bosch Stiftung


Welker Stiftung

The main focus of the Welker Stiftung is on the promotion of gifted people, especially young scientists, innovative projects in schools and training, new courses of study, research on the importance of values and religious education in politics and society, as well as research on the structure of the family and its importance for the future of our society.

Title | Project lead Duration
Johann-Wilhelm-Welker-Stiftungsprofessur für Ethik in Politikmanagement und Gesellschaft Prof. Dr. Christoph Bieber
Project lead: Prof. Dr. Karl-Rudolf Korte, Faculty of Social Sciences
2010 – 2017


The Willy-Hager-Stiftung promotes research projects in the field of environmental protection, in particular process engineering for the treatment of process and drinking water as well as waste water.

Title | Project lead Duration
Weitergehende Untersuchungen zum Fouling von Ultrafiltrationsmembranen bei der Aufbereitung von ölhaltigen Abwässern
Project lead: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Panglisch, Faculty of Engineering
2010 – 2017