Transformational Knowledge on Democracies under Change┋Transdisciplinary Perspectives


This call aims at fostering collaboration and networking between researchers from the diverse research areas engaged in the field of "transformation of democracy" and partners from (civil) society.

  • area of research: humanities, cultural and social sciences (lead); cooperation with natural, life, data and technical sciences possible
  • type of funding: task forces, cooperation projects
  • target groups: inter- and intradisciplinary research groups with researchers and partners from (civil) society, intl. participation possible
  • task forces up to 180,000 euros; cooperation projects up to 1,3 Mio euros
  • task forces: up to 1 year; cooperation projects: five years

New funding offer: Democracies under change

In this two-part funding offer, the Foundation is looking for transdisciplinary project teams to draw up recommendations on how democracies must develop in order to master the multiplicity of societal challenges. Adelheid Wessler, team leader "Societal Transformations" and Cora Schaffert-Ziegenbalg, the program manager, answer questions about the new initiative. 


What is funded?

The program is aimed at applicants from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences, as well as (civil) society actors who would like to work together in transdisciplinary teams to exchange and address different ideas and questions on democracy in transition. With this program, the Foundation would like to promote the development of new perspectives on the transformation of democracy, taking into account not only the academic perspective but also the ideas and experiences of (civil) society partners. In addition to research, the program offers the opportunity to develop concrete recommendations, e.g. for politics, relevant social actors or the economy, and to contribute to the implementation of these recommendations.

The program consists of two funding lines:

Funding line 1) (next call in autumn 2024) enables applications for so-called task forces, in which up to two researchers from different disciplines work together with partners from (civil) society within one year on a clearly defined question on acute challenges to democracy in Germany or at the EU level. The focus here is on publishing concrete recommendations for action in the form of policy papers or similar formats.

More information on funding line 1) 'task forces'


Funding line 2) focuses on collaborative projects between up to three researchers from as many different disciplines as possible and partners from (civil) society. The project teams are asked to submit a concrete concept for the scientific communication of the research results, as well as a plan for how the research results will be translated into concrete recommendations for action for relevant actors from politics, (civil) society and/or business. In addition, the project teams are required to communicate interim results, where appropriate, in the form of initial recommendations for action from the ongoing research process. 

In both funding lines, an ongoing reflection on the transdisciplinary research process as well as a justification of the selection of partners and the composition of the project team is a central component.

More information on funding line 2) 'collaborative projects'


Networking workshop (for calls starting in autumn 2024)

The next networking workshop for researchers and actors from civil society organisations and institutions will take place from February 26 to 28, 2024 at the Xplanatorium in Hanover. The deadline for applications was November 21, 2023. 

With this event, the Foundation is particularly addressing people who have little or no experience in the field of transdisciplinary research and are looking for (new) partners to apply for one of the two funding lines. This is a supplementary offer to facilitate the application process for the deadlines for task forces (Sept. 2024) or collaborative projects (expected in early 2025).

How to submit your application

Terms and conditions

Please read the 'Information for Applicants' for 'collaborative projects' (funding line 2) carefully and familiarize yourself with the application conditions. 

Prepare application for 'collaborative projects'

You want to apply for 'collaborative projects' (funding line 2)? Then please use the templates provided here.

Submit application

Submit your application in electronic form via the application system.

Jan. 10, 2024, 10:00 AM - Jan. 10, 2024, 11:30 AM

Questions on our funding offer 'cooperation projects'? Join our online Q&A session

Are you considering to apply for a cooperation project? In our online Q&A on Jan. 10, 2024, Cora Schaffert-Ziegenbalg will give an introduction to the program and answer your questions. The access link will be provided here, prior to the event.


Dr. Cora Schaffert-Ziegenbalg

 +49 511 8381-276

Administrative/Organisational Issues

Nicole Richter

 +49 (0)511 8381-243

Application date
Up to 1 year - Up to 5 years
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, History, Digital humanities and big data, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences : Law, Economy, Geography, Management and Public administration, Gender studies, Identities, gender and sexuality, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, International Relations, Political science, Pedagogic & Education Research, Information and Communication Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Sociology
Citizen Sciences