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Gerda Henkel Grants: Funding Programme Lost Cities

The enormous process of urbanization, which has defined world history for thousands of years in different economic situations and with regional variations, and which is now developing a particular dynamism, has another side to it that initially appears paradoxical – namely the shrinking and entirely abandoned cities, the so-called Lost Cities. Current transformation processes in various parts of the world mean that many of these Lost Cities are emerging. Nevertheless, the phenomenon is not a new one, but has been a widespread hallmark of urban history since the emergence of urban culture in the fourth century B.C. It has therefore been perceived, reflected on and interpreted in very different ways in the cultural history of urban life. With this finding as a starting point and a goal of placing current problem situations in a greater historical context, the Gerda Henkel Foundation has established a new funding program for the theme Lost Cities. Perception of and living with abandoned cities in the cultures of the world.

The funding program is designed to be interdisciplinary and to facilitate projects in which there are varied dimensions to the examination of abandoned cities. At the same time, there should be a focus on causal correlations, both with regard to specific individual cultures and spanning all cultures, and on specifics of place and time. Thus far, such places have emerged for very different reasons, including military destruction, natural disasters, epidemics, environmental pollution, economic collapse, financial speculation, mobility, migration, centralization, deindustrialization, or post-colonial change, to name but a few.

The aim of the program is to describe the tangible cultures of interpretation, knowledge and perception within these different contexts. Lost Cities are part of a distinct culture of memory, for example, which serves for the negotiation of identities, the preservation of knowledge cultures, the formulation of criticism of progress, or the construction of mythical or sacral topographies as part of a veritable “ruin cult”. On this basis, the focus here should not be on the question of which factors led to the city’s abandonment. Rather, it is the abandoned cities themselves that are of particular interest, as well as the different forms of their interpretation, instrumentalization and coding in various cultures and time frames.

Application

Prerequisites

Eligible to apply are post-doctoral researchers based in a university and working in the area of the humanities and the social sciences. Funding can be provided for projects with a thematic focus being addressed by a group of researchers. The Foundation uses the term “group of researchers” to mean associations of at least two researchers actively involved in the project work which is to be funded by means of scholarships from the Foundation and who are carrying out research into the same issues. Applications can only be made for PhD or research scholarships. Applications for a research scholarship by the applicant (project leader) are also possible. A maximum total of three scholarships per group of researchers can be applied for, as well as funds for travel and materials. A fundamental prerequisite for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name.Other contributors who are not financed by scholarships can also be involved in the project. Scholarship applications made by individual researchers outside of the group are not accepted. The funding programme also provides for the project partners to participate in a public “workshop discussion on Lost Cities” organised by the Foundation.

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

The grants for research projects involve, depending on the type of project, the assumption of costs for personnel, travel, materials and/or other costs.

The maximum duration is 36 months.

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

Project staff on research projects may only be financed by PhD or research grants. A fundamental prerequisite for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name. The simultaneous receipt of salary or retirement pension and a research scholarship is not possible. The period of support for Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects can be extended by up to 12 months if the holder becomes a parent during the period covered by the stipend and has an entitlement to maternity or parental leave. Individual arrangements must be discussed with the Foundation’s administrative office.

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

Application Documents

The necessary application documents can be uploaded in the electronic application form.

Proposals will only be accepted in German or English language and should include:

  • description of the research proposal (max. 8 pages)
    • plus bibliography if necessary (in addition to the max. 8-10 pages)
    • documents printed on one side only, at least font size 11 and line spacing 1.5
    • please choose a readable font, e.g. Arial 11 pt. or Times New Roman 12 pt. (We kindly ask you to keep to the formal requirements on how to compile application documents)
  • work plan and time schedule, travel itinerary (if needed)
  • detailed cost calculation
    • specific funds being applied for must be precisely defined
    • no college or tuition fees
    • no overhead costs
  • curriculum vitae and list of publications of the applicant(s)
  • if needed, curriculum vitae and list of publications of the proposed project participant(s)
  • if needed, academic certificates of the project participant(s) (Masters, PhD, professorship, etc.; please do not send Bachelor certificates)

If also a scholarship for the applicant is planned:

  • academic certificates of the applicant (Masters, PhD, professorship, etc.; please do not send Bachelor certificates)

Please do not additionally send the documents by email or postal mail.

Payment

Application for scholarships as part of a research project

Project staff on research projects may only be financed by PhD or research grants. A fundamental prerequisite for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name. The period of support for Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects can be extended by up to 12 months if the holder becomes a parent during the period covered by the stipend and has an entitlement to maternity or parental leave. Individual arrangements must be discussed with the Foundation’s administrative office. The following rates apply:

PhD scholarships

Monthly scholarship award: 1,600 euros

Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects with children, will receive a monthly family grant in addition to their scholarship. The family grant is awarded on presentation of the child’s birth certificate and disbursed for children who have not yet turned 18.  

•    for one child: EUR 400
•    each further child: EUR 100

Monthly endowment for scholarships abroad: 400 euros
Travel aid: as required
Material aid: as required

Research Scholarships for Postdocs

Monthly scholarship award: 2,300 euros

Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects with children, will receive a monthly family grant in addition to their scholarship. The family grant is awarded on presentation of the child’s birth certificate and disbursed for children who have not yet turned 18.

•    for one child: EUR 400
•    each further child: EUR 100

Monthly endowment for scholarships abroad: 575 euros
Travel aid: as required
Material aid: as required

Research Scholarships after Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification

Monthly scholarship award: 3,100 euros

As equivalent to the German Habilitation the Foundation accepts positions as „Associate Professor“ or „Full Professor“ / „Distinguished Professor“ (according to the North American university system) and „Senior Lecturer“ or „Reader“/„Professor“ (according to the Commonwealth university system), respectively.

Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects with children, will receive a monthly family grant in addition to their scholarship. The family grant is awarded on presentation of the child’s birth certificate and disbursed for children who have not yet turned 18.

•   for one child: EUR 400
•   each further child: EUR 100

Monthly endowment for scholarships abroad: 775 euros
Travel aid: as required
Material aid: as required

Contracts for work may be awarded for smaller research activities. The Foundation specifies no rates in this regard.

Important note on submitting applications

Please take a look at the information provided in this section and under General References. We would of course be happy to assist you should you have any further questions.

Contact Person Funding Programme Lost Cities

Dr Birte Ruhardt
Head of Executive Boards’ Office
ruhardt@gerda-henkel-stiftung.de

Application date
Duration
up to 36 months
Country
Europe : Germany
Discipline
Humanities
Social sciences
Required post-doc experience
Between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
€ 2.300 / month (postdocs) ; € 3.100 / month (after postdoctotal lecture qualification)
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