The foundation for the most part concentrates on the following areas of support:
There are also the following interdisciplinary areas:
The area of support “history, language and culture” is intended to preserve the heritage of the traditional humanities and foster its further development. In spite of all the new subject areas and interdisciplinary combinations, the connection to “traditional” subjects such as philosophy and theology, which are also caught up in the process of change, remains important. By the same token, this continues to provide an orientation helping to guide scholarly enquiry which can benefit the broader area of the humanities and cultural sciences.
The development of information technologies has resulted in unforeseeable social, political and cultural consequences. Particularly the so-called „new media“ (video, internet, cyberspace etc.) have engendered lively debates often culminating in speculative scenarios and historical predictions. The time has come to critically explore the changing role of the image in a scholarly manner.
In the area of support “State, economy & society” the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in particular seeks to support research projects which explore the preconditions and the effects of change processes characterising present-day society. It concentrates here on projects falling under the rubric of economic science, jurisprudence, political science, sociology and ethnology. It thus does not exclude other fields of the social sciences.
In accordance with a special desire of the donors, the foundation’s committees devote special attention to medical research. At present the foundation is concentrating on the area of support “molecular foundations in the development of diseases”. This programme supports molecular biological studies of diseases whose development is largely based on genetic defects or with respect to which genes play a major role in the evolution of complex illnesses.
The exchange of experience and cooperation between scholars from different countries often serves to stimulate further development in most fields of research. This goes for the work of experienced university teachers as well as junior researchers and scholars.