Funding Special Programs

Special Programs

The Foundation supports a number of special programs, the list of which can be found below. Applications must be submitted to the respective institution.

  • Geisteswissenschaften International
    Geisteswissenschaften International – Prize for the Promotion of Translation of Works in the Humanities

    The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Verwertungsgesellschaft Wort, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation promote the translation of outstanding works in the humanities and social sciences into English with the “Geisteswissenschaften International – Prize for the promotion of translation of works in the humanities”. The prize includes funding of the translation costs.

    The objective of this support for translation is to contribute to the global dissemination of research results in the humanities and at the same time preserve German as a language of science and language in which works in the humanities are published for the first time.

    In addition, outstanding individual works are honoured with a prize to support excellent publications in the fields of the humanities and social sciences.

    Publishing houses can apply for publications from the field of the humanities and social sciences.

    Additional information and application:

  • Philipp Schwartz-Initiative

    The »Philipp Schwartz Initiative for the promotion and support of international researchers in exile in Germany« was conceived by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with the support of the Federal Foreign Office in 2015. Funding from the Federal Foreign Office for the program is supplemented with private funds. Thus, together with the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Klaus Tschira Foundation, Robert Bosch Foundation and Mercator Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation is contributing more than two million Euros to this promotional program, which supports scholars and researchers seeking protection in Germany as a result of war or persecution in their home countries.

    The program makes it possible for German universities and research institutions to take on foreign researchers at risk for two years so that they can continue their work in Germany. The aim is not only to promote individuals, but to also organise a platform to exchange information on the particular situation of researchers in precarious situations.

    The initiative is named after the Jewish pathologist, Philipp Schwartz, who had to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 and founded the “Emergency Association of German Scientists Abroad”. The Community was able to place more than 2,000 researchers abroad by 1946. Like many other researchers whom he had helped, he himself received a chair in Turkey, from where he carried on with his support for researchers who had fled their country.

    Additional information and application:

  • Thyssen Lectures in Greece
    Thyssen Lectures in Greece

    With the “Thyssen Lectures”, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation is continuing a tradition that it began in 1979 in Germany, followed by lectures at a number of universities in the Czech Republic, Israel, the Russian Republic and most recently in Turkey.

    The series in Greece is being organised for a period of four years under the auspices of Prof. Vassilios Skouris, former President of the European Court of Justice and current Director of the Centre for European and International Economic Law (CIEEL), and is being devoted to the topic of “The EU as a Community of European Law and Values”.

    The European Union emerged as a community based on the rule of law that has shared and defended common values from the very beginning. Originally concerned with the development and deepening of a Common Market (later the Internal Market), fundamental values have crystallised over the course of time that have been considerably elaborated and securely embedded to today provide solid foundations, as they are explicitly and comprehensively enshrined both in the Treaties on the European Union and on the Functioning of the European Union and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. These fundamental values, but also law and statute serving as the foundations of the Union, have recently been called into question – and along with these the European idea is losing its appeal. The smouldering financial crisis, terrorist attacks and the influx of refugees are viewed by many as a threat to the integration process, giving rise to national initiatives and bolstering political movements with extremist aims and an anti-European sway. This phenomenon warrants an in-depth investigation from a historical, economic, but above all also from the perspective of jurisprudence and legal policy.

    One aim of this funding is to strengthen networking of the Centre in Thessaloniki more tightly with its research partners in Greece and to help make the Centre a site of international exchange in jurisprudence and related disciplines.

    The kick-off lecture in this series was delivered by Andreas Voßkuhle, who explored the “Notion of the European Community of Values”; the series’ second lecture was presented at the end of 2018 by the Bulgarian intellectual Ivan Krastev, with his topic being “Is Europe Failing? On Imitation and Its Discontents”. The next lecturer in the series was Christoph Möllers, who spoke in April 2019 on “The European Union as a democratic federation”. In October 2019 the Finnish lawyer and judge at the European Court of Human Rights Pauliine Koskelo a lecture given in Thessaloniki and Athens investigated the question “Is the EU incapable of upholding its core constitutional values? What then is the outlook for the union?” A Polish expert on constitutional law, Mirosław Wyrzykowski, will be speaking in November this year on the “Erosion of the constitutional state”; he is to be followed by the German jurisprudence scholar and researcher Angelika Nussberger, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, with her topic being “A new model of democracy in the 21 century?”.

  • "Herzog Ernst – guest scholarship program"
    “Herzog Ernst – guest scholarship program” at the “Altes Buch/Alte Karte” Research Center, Gotha-Erfurt

    This program for guest scholars is aimed at supporting and intensifying scholarly work on the material contained in the research library in Gotha.

    The research library at Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, which belongs to the University of Erfurt, contains one of the most important collections of older printed works and manuscripts in Germany – 380,000 works printed before 1900 and approximately 11,300 volumes of handwritten material.  Alongside the State Libraries in Berlin and Munich and the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, this places the Gotha Library among the most important libraries of historical material from the 16th and 18th centuries in Germany.

    The cornerstone for all this was laid by Duke Ernst I. (1601–1675), known as “the Pious”. The scholarship program named after him makes it possible for doctoral students and post-doctoral students to spend several months working intensively with this material and the collections of the Justus Perthes Publishing House in Gotha.  The Fritz Thyssen Foundation has supported more than 150 projects since 2004. The scholarship program is assisted by the Gotha Research Center at the University of Erfurt.

    The scholarly focus of the scholarship program is centred on the wide variety of material and universal spirit of the Gotha Library. It is in this spirit that the program is designed to be of an open nature in terms of topics as well as interdisciplinary.

    Additional information and application:

  • Research grant at the Historisches Kolleg, Munich
    Research grant at the Historisches Kolleg, Munich

    The Fritz Thyssen Foundation is also supporting the work of the “Historisches Kolleg München” in academic years 2020/2021, 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 with one research fellowship each year.

    Created in  Munich in 1980, the Historisches Kolleg is based on the model of an “institute for advanced study”, supporting prominent historians from Germany and abroad in research and teaching by allowing them to go on a sabbatical for research purposes.

    Appointments to the Kolleg, which take place in response to applications, provide scholars the opportunity to concentrate completely on a major work (“opus magnum”) free from teaching obligations in the unique atmosphere of Kaulbach Villa, located between the Bavarian State Library and the English Garden. Just like appointments to the University of Princeton or the Collège de France in Paris, these appointments are considered to be a commendation. In the selection made by the Curatorium at the Historisches Kolleg, the emphasis is especially on supporting individual researchers and not a particular topic.

    Additional information and application:

  • "Residency Program" for American historians
    “Residency Program” for American historians

    The Fritz Thyssen Foundation supports a “residency program for American historians” at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.

    The initiative to establish a “residency program” for American historians at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen goes back to the Organization of American Historians (OAH), one of the biggest associations of historians at universities in the USA. The OAH has had a very successful partnership program with the University of Kobe in Japan for some time and is now interested in expanding its networking of members in Europe. The aim is to strengthen interest in American history at European universities. One American historian (a professor at a college or university) per year is to come to Tübingen for five weeks in order to offer a lecture in block form. For students in Tübingen, this constitutes a valuable addition to seminars on non-European history.

    Additional information:

  • Alfred Grosser Chair
    Alfred Grosser Chair

    The Fritz Thyssen Foundation supports the „Chaire Alfred Grosser” at the University of Sciences Po in Paris. Prof. Jakob Vogel and Prof. Cornelia Woll are responsible for the programme.

    The Alfred Grosser Chair was established with the aim of sustaining comparative and interdisciplinary research and teaching on Germany, Franco-German relations and Germany in Europe and the world, founded by Prof. Alfred Grosser at Sciences Po. The chair also has the task of fostering academic and scientific exchange between France and Germany, promoting joint research projects and nurturing individual careers of both junior and established European scientists. Every year, Sciences Po invites two German social scientists to teach and perform research at Sciences Po. In recent years, chair holders have included Jessica Gienow-Hecht (history), Urs Gruber (jurisprudence), Karin Schittenhelm (sociology), Moritz Schularick (economics) and Gerald Schneider (political science). The programme has registered significant successes both in terms of student satisfaction as well as increased cooperation between social scientists in Germany and France.

    It is for this reason that the Alfred Grosser Chair program is being continued and expanded with the support of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. In particular, the program is being expanded with regard to guest researchers’ length of stay. Instead of one semester, the scholars who are invited will now be able to teach and conduct research at Sciences Po for an entire year. This is expected to have considerable additional benefits, especially for research cooperation and the results produced by it.

    Prof. Günter Frankenberg (jurisprudence) and Dr. Felix Heidenreich (political science) have been appointed as the initial holders of the Alfred Grosser Chair in this new format, which is being funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation for academic year 2017-2018.

    In the academic year 2018/19 Prof. Dr. Joachim Englisch (Law) and Prof. Dr. Dieter Gosewinkel (History) held the Alfred Gross Chair. Professor Englisch has performed research on effective international tax coordination, especially in the field of digitization, on taxation rights in the area of data access and on the taxation of robot systems. In addition to contacts at Sciences Po, Professor English has in particular been able to take advantage of proximity to the OECD, where taxation of the digital economy is currently a subject of intensive discussion. An interdisciplinary workshop with leading French economists is scheduled for this autumn, at which French economists are also to present previously classified findings and solutions contemplated by the French government. Professor English has taught at Sciences Po on topics relating to taxation of the digital economy, has published widely discussed articles on these highly topical issues during the past year, and has presented his findings in a wide variety of contexts in Europe and elsewhere.

    Prof. Dr. Gosewinkel has conducted research on the history of terrorism and counter-terrorism in France since the Second World War, including a comparative analysis of Germany and France. In addition to contacts at Sciences Po and other Parisian universities, Professor Gosewinkel has been able to make use of various French archives, to which he has been granted special access rights, and conduct interviews with (former) French decision-makers, all of which would have never been possible without a lengthy stay in Paris. The results produced by his research, as well as his productive contacts at Sciences Po and in the French scholarly research community, have also made it possible for him to plan a book manuscript on the breaching of the state monopoly on the use of force: “Counter-terrorism and targeted killings”. Professor Gosewinkel has taught at the Franco-German campus of Sciences Po in Nancy as well as at the Paris campus, organised a large final international colloquium the topic “Lutte anti-terroriste ou terreur d’Etat? Sur le terrorisme et les limites du monopole de violence en France et en Allemagne depuis la Deuxième Guerre mondiale” while publishing several articles on the subject.

    Both professors particularly benefited from their stay in that several months of research made it possible in the first place to plan their investigations on site with a long-term perspective and to establish new and intensive contacts in their respective fields of enquiry. Both scholars are planning follow-up activities at Sciences Po, and intend to respond to invitations from French colleagues and their respective institutions.

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Krotz (Political Science) and Dr. Gilad Ben-Nun (History) have been appointed to the Alfred Gross Chair for academic year 2021/2022.

    Additional information and application:

  • Reimar Lüst-Prize
    Reimar Lüst-Prize

    For scholars in the humanities as well as social sciences who are highly esteemed and key “multipliers” in bilateral research and/or cultural cooperation between Germany and their home country, but whose scholarly work – mostly as a result of its “bilateral” focus – is only disseminated to scholars outside of Germany on a limited scale, there has not been any internationally perceived and recognised funding in Germany. These researchers are often exceptionally important cooperation partners for German science and research. The »Reimar Lüst Award for International Scholarly and Cultural Exchange«, established by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, commends scientists who have acted as “multipliers” in this field. The prize is named after the previous President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and member of the Advisory Scientific Council of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

    The prize is awarded on an annual basis to up to two highly reputed scholars in the humanities from abroad whose scholarly work has had a major influence on academic and cultural relations between Germany and their countries or regions of origin. The prizes are respectively endowed with EUR 60,000.

    Award Winners:


    • Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (Lebanon)
    • Lilia Moritz Schwarcz (Brazil)


    • Robert Gerwarth (Ireland)
    • Sung-Soo Kim (South Korea )


    • Toshiyuki Kono (Japan)
    • Hannah Ginsborg (USA)


    • Ulinka Rublack (Great Britain)
    • Mara R. Wade (USA)


    • Mary Lindemann (USA)
    • Sheila Jasanoff (USA)


    • W. Daniel Wilson (Great Britain)
    • Raanan Rein (Israel)


    • Rüdiger Görner (Great Britain)
    • Jacob Kehinde Olupona (USA)


    • M. Olivier Beaud (France)
    • Myles W. Jackson (USA)


    • Vladimir Salac (Czech Republic)
    • Keiichi Yamanaka (Japan)


    • Moawiyah M. Ibrahim (Jordan)


    • Daniel W. Bromley (USA)
    • John J. Kanet (USA)


    • Elinor Ostrom (USA)
    • Roland Recht (France)


    • David Simo (Cameroon)
    • Jean-Claude Schmitt (France)


    • Kenneth W. Dam (USA)
    • Koresuke Yamauchi (Japan)

    Additional information:

  • Thyssen@IAS CEU Fellowship Program
    Thyssen@IAS CEU Fellowship Program

    Starting in 2017, the Foundation is providing funding for one junior and one senior fellowship per year for the next five years within the framework of the Thyssen@IAS CEU Fellowship Program at the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University (IAS CEU).

    The university-based Institute for Advanced Study IAS CEU offers researchers from the humanities and social sciences an opportunity to concentrate on a research project that they choose themselves for one academic year free of any other obligations. Junior as well as established researchers are invited to Budapest in order to work on their projects in an interdisciplinary and creative environment.

    IAS CEU was founded in 2011, replacing the Collegium Budapest, which had been established in 1992. The latter was founded on the initiative of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, embedded in a European funding network, as the first Institute for Advanced Study in Eastern and Central Europe fostering science and research there and strengthening scholarly relations between West and East.

    Fellows are selected in a highly competitive three-stage process involving external evaluators and an Academic Advisory Board. Scholarships provided by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, which are awarded a case-by-case basis, are usually for a term of ten months.

    Additional information and application:

  • Boost Your Research – Young Investigator Fund for Innovative Research Ideas
    Boost Your Research – Young Investigator Fund for Innovative Research Ideas

    The Fritz Thyssen Foundation offers together with the Schering Stiftung start-up grants to fund promising research ideas by young scientists. Support is provided for projects in the fields of biochemical, neuroscience or immunological basic research with biomedical implications.

    The program is explicitly aimed at highly motivated young investigators who want to start an independent career and pursue their own research ideas that differentiate from the research topic of the supervisor. Both foundations aim to support research projects that cannot be realized with existing funds and resources and for which application for other funding is not possible because of a lack of preliminary research. The start-up grant thus lays the basis for a subsequent multiannual third-party funding.

    Additional information and application:

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