Foundations occupy a firm place in science funding in Germany and support not only person-oriented funding, but also research projects and collaborative research. Foundations are interesting backers for unusual research projects, as they often fund research and subject areas outside the mainstream. In order to find the right foundation for your field of research, you can conduct a targeted search via the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany (Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft) or via the Association of German Foundations (Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen).

We would be happy to help you identify possible sponsors for your project and to support you in the application process. We have compiled an initial selection of the most important foundations for you here. The House of Young Talents provides information and advice on scholarships and material grants for young scientists.

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

The AvH primarily promotes international exchange between excellent foreign and German researchers through research grants and research awards.

Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.

As a non-profit foundation, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation is active throughout Europe in the fields of culture, science, education and nature conservation. A long-standing focus topic is European understanding.

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung

Every year, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation awards the EUR 1 million prize for young university teachers in the field of natural and engineering sciences and grants scholarships in the field of museums and photography.


The Bayer scholarship programs support young talents worldwide in special studies and career projects in life science and medicine. The regular Bayer Fellowship Program is aimed at students in scientific, technical and medical disciplines. Internationality is a central aspect.

Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung

With the “Plus 3” perspectives program, junior research group leaders in medicine, biology and chemistry can apply for funding for their independent research group of between €200,000 and €300,000 per year for up to three years to continue their research program. The funding includes the own position as well as personnel resources for e.g. B. a postdoc and/or two doctoral students, a TA as well as material and travel funds.
With the “Exploration Grants”, junior research group leaders can apply for flexible funds for material, consumable and human resources in order to test new ideas.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds

With the Boehringer Ingelheim funds, young researchers of all nationalities are supported in basic biomedical research as part of an international scholarship program.

Geschwister Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung für Geisteswissenschaften

The Geschwister Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation for the Humanities exclusively awards printing cost subsidies for scientific works. It promotes the book, which is still by far the most important working tool for the humanities. The printing of dissertations and post-doctoral theses is particularly encouraged.


The DAAD promotes the international exchange of students and scientists.

Daimler und Benz Stiftung

The Daimler and Benz Foundation supports postdocs and junior professors with scholarships to finance assistants, technical equipment, research trips or participation in conferences.

Deutsche Bundesstiftung für Umwelt

The German Federal Foundation for the Environment supports projects that focus on the sustainable development of environmental and health-friendly processes, climate protection and energy, architecture and construction, nature conservation and applied environmental research.

Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung

The German Foundation for Peace Research supports peace and conflict research in Germany and promotes research projects, scientific conferences as well as networking and transfer projects.

Fritz Thyssen-Stiftung

Applications for project funding, research grants for postdocs and for small scientific conferences can be submitted to the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in the funding areas of history, language & culture, image and imagery, state, economy & society, international relations and medicine and natural sciences.

Gerda Henkel-Stiftung

The focus of the funding is on the historical humanities, in particular on supporting research projects from the following disciplines: archaeology, historical studies, historical Islamic studies, art history, legal history, prehistory and early history and the history of science. In addition to funding research projects, doctoral grants are also awarded.

Hans Böckler-Stiftung

The Hans Böckler Foundation is the DGB’s codetermination, research and study funding agency. Research projects, junior research groups and doctoral colleges can be applied for in the six social science and socio-political research areas. In addition, the foundation awards study and doctoral scholarships.

Heinrich Hertz-Stiftung

The Heinrich Hertz Foundation promotes scientific exchange by awarding grants for international research stays. Heinrich Hertz grants are awarded to researchers who work in NRW and are planning a research project abroad, and researchers from abroad who are planning a research project in NRW.

Max Weber Stiftung

With the support of the Peters Beer Foundation, the Max Weber Foundation awards Gerald D. Feldman travel grants to internationally oriented young scientists once a year. The travel grants are intended to improve the career opportunities for humanities graduates in the qualification phase.

Robert Bosch Stiftung

The Robert Bosch Stiftung is involved in the areas of health, international understanding, society, education, culture and science. It offers numerous scholarship programs that are intended to promote exchanges and the training and further education of young international managers. The scholarships are only awarded as part of calls for applications.

Volkswagen Stiftung

The Volkswagen Foundation supports science and technology in research and teaching. In addition to person-oriented research projects, international and interdisciplinary research networks are funded. The funding portfolio of the VW Foundation is very extensive. In addition to support offers for young scientists, there are also funding programs that promote original and risky research ideas.

Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften

The academy program of the German Academies of Sciences serves long-term basic research in the humanities. The central task of the academy program, which has been confirmed by the Science Council, is the development, safeguarding and visualization of our cultural heritage. In order to be included in the academy program, research projects must meet the following criteria: nationwide importance, high scientific relevance, a duration of between 12 and 25 years and a minimum financial volume of 120,000 euros per year.

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Dr. Nadine Hoffmann
Phone: +49 271/740-5077

Dr. Susanne Pütz
Phone: +49 271/740-4944