Strengthening excellence in the humanities

The Käte Hamburger Collegia (International Research Collegia in the Humanities) represent a funding format developed on the initiative of the German Council of Science and Humanities which combines the benefits of cooperative and individual research in a unique fashion. The aims of funding Käte Hamburger Collegia are:

  • To promote the internationally visible and effective establishment of research priorities in the humanities at universities in Germany and to strengthen ties with foreign research priorities and institutions;
  • To grant outstanding researchers opportunities to pursue their research interests by largely releasing them from their other university responsibilities;
  • To enable the formation of a learning community by means of a fellowship programme that analyses its own – often unquestioned – assumptions through systematic confrontation with other scientific cultures;
  • To involve internationally high-ranking experts in research at universities in Germany in the form of these fellows;
  • To advance methods in the humanities;
  • To improve cooperation between disciplinary and regionally specific research by working on a common issue;
  • To increase interdisciplinary cooperation in the humanities, including the “minor” disciplines.

In 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, an international panel of experts selected a total of ten collegia for two funding phases of six years each:

In terms of their structure and organisation, the Humanities Centres constitute an innovative element in the research landscape of the Federal Republic of Germany. They conduct high-level research projects on societally relevant themes, invite international guest researchers appropriate to their research topics, and aim to specifically qualify next-generation researchers.

In two funding phases the BMBF has been funding the three Berlin-based institutions since 2008 in cooperation with the federal states where these institutions reside

The establishment of humanities research centres is based on a recommendation made by the German Council of Science and Humanities in 2001. Following an evaluation in the year 2005, the Council expressly recommended that five positively evaluated institutions receive further funding. Supported by the BMBF, the Centre for Research on Contemporary History (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, ZZF) has meanwhile become a member of the Leibniz Association.


"Käte Hamburger Kollegs"     Bekanntmachung vom 


Contact Persons

Dr. Kerstin Lutteropp

+49 228 3821-1642 +49 228 3821-1500