Gerda Henkel Grants: Funding Programme Democracy

Over the last few years, a previously somewhat abstract finding has become an empirical fact: Democracy is not a given. The rule of law, the separation of powers, freedom of expression, and a commitment to the common good have all lost some of their binding effect even in core democratic countries, and have been relativized, called into question, and restricted. Nevertheless, the development is subject to constant fluctuations. Hence, for some time now within Europe there has been a shift in political weighting away from a primarily pro-European stance towards an anti-European discourse, yet in the global crisis resulting from the Corona pandemic, it seems that alongside the return to national decision-making, stronger hopes and expectations have emerged that European cooperation will be able to contribute some positives to the management of the crisis and its resulting problems. At the same time, however, there are still challenges from populist movements, amongst others, which not only question democracy as a political order but indeed also the independent role of science and the research findings it produces.

Taking this present-day experience as a starting point, the Gerda Henkel Foundation has established a new funding initiative for democracy, which is divided into two subsections with different perspectives:

  • The first, historically oriented subsection on the topic of Democracy as a Utopia, Experience and Threats aims at placing the aforementioned problematic issues in the broader historical context and considering the history of conflicts over the foundation of the social order.
  • The second subsection, which is oriented towards analysis of the present situation and predictions for the future, focuses on Transformations of Democracy? Or: The Contours of Future Democratic Society. It represents an invitation to venture contributions, speculations and assertions so that we might learn to better understand the complex present-day situation and the processes of profound transformation that are taking shape while also trying to trace the contours of future society.

 

Application

Applications are open to post-doctoral researchers with links to a university from the entire spectrum of humanities and social sciences. The proposed projects must address focal themes that are being examined by a research group, which the Foundation understands to mean teams of at least two scholars actively taking part in the project work, who are to be funded by grants from the Foundation and are researching shared topics. Only post-doctoral or research grants will be considered. Applications for a research grant for the applicant (project leader) are also permitted. In total, a maximum of three grants plus funds for travel and equipment may be applied for by each research group. The prerequisite for funding is an assurance that those working on the project will produce their own research output that will be published under their names. Other people who are not funded by grants may also be involved in the project. Applications for individual grants outside of a research group are not permitted. The funding program also provides for the project partners to participate in a public “workshop discussion on democracy” or “workshop discussion on future society” organized annually by the Foundation.

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.

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.

 

Contact Person Funding Programme Democracy

Thomas Podranski, M.A.
Head of Research Scholarships and Special Programmes
podranski@gerda-henkel-stiftung.de

Institution
Date de candidature
Durée
36 months
Discipline