Max Weber Foundation

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Max Weber Foundation - German humanities institutes abroad


Logo Max Weber Foundation
Legal form: federal foundation under public law
Purpose: Promotion of research with a focus on the fields of history, culture, economics and social sciences in selected countries
Chair: Hans van Ess (President)
Consist: since July 1, 2002
Number of employees: about 300
Seat: Bonn , Germany

no founder specified

The Max Weber Foundation - German Humanities Institutes Abroad (MWS) is a legally competent federal foundation based in Bonn . It was established by law of the German Bundestag on July 1, 2002 as the Foundation of German Humanities Institutes Abroad . With effect from July 1, 2012, it was given the suffix “Max Weber”. It brings together ten institutes with around 300 employees at locations in Beirut , Istanbul , London , Moscow , Paris , Rome , Tokyo , Warsaw and Washington, DC. The institutional donor is the Federal Ministry of Education and Research . In 2014, the foundation had an annual budget of around 40 million euros plus third-party funding.


The office of the Max Weber Foundation in Bonn

The aim of the foundation is to promote research with a focus on the fields of history, culture, economics and social sciences in selected countries and to promote mutual understanding between Germany and the host countries or regions. By promoting both the dialogue between specialist cultures and bringing together academic and non-academic employees from different countries with different cultural backgrounds, it strengthens the internationalization of research in the humanities, social and cultural sciences.

The foundation supports the global networking of German research, funding and intermediary organizations and thus makes an important contribution to strengthening Germany as a research and university location. It creates forums where the institutes can present their research, primarily in the host countries, but also in Germany.

To intensify international scientific exchange, the foundation contributes to the development of social and information technology research infrastructures.

Institutes and projects

The institutes abroad are independent in their academic work. They conduct their own research and promote collaboration with scientists and institutions in their areas of work, in particular through publications and scientific events, scientific information and advice, the mediation of scientific contacts, the promotion of young scientists and the establishment and maintenance of libraries and media libraries.

The foundation currently has ten institutes abroad:

Since 2010 the Orient-Institut Beirut has been working more closely with scientific partners in Egypt .

Since 2012, the DHI London has been conducting research in New Delhi together with German, British and Indian cooperation partners .

The Max Weber Foundation has had an office in Beijing since 2017 . The office is based on a cooperation with the École française d'Extrême-Orient and the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences .

The Pacific Regional Office in Berkeley has also existed since 2017 and is operated by DHI Washington together with the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley .

In addition, the DHI Warsaw has now opened two branch offices which are intended to strengthen regional research cooperation beyond Poland: 2017 in Vilnius (Lithuania) and 2018 in cooperation with the Collegium Carolinum and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague .


The scientific work of the institutes is particularly supported and shaped by projects by younger scientific employees on temporary qualification positions, whose mobility is given a high priority. The embedding of the institutes in the specialist cultures of their host countries or regions opens up excellent opportunities for professional development for employees.


The foundation awards more than 250 scholarships to students, doctoral candidates and postdocs every year through its institutes. After the German Academic Exchange Service , the German Research Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation , the Max Weber Foundation is the largest grant provider, primarily for German humanities and social scientists abroad. In addition, many of the institutes also offer research internships to students.

Research award

With its newly created international research grant, the Max Weber Foundation, in cooperation with the Historisches Kolleg in Munich, honors internationally oriented research in the humanities. The winners were Isabel Hull in 2013 , Georges Didi-Huberman in 2014 and Hélène Miard-Delacroix in 2017 .


Board of Trustees

The highest foundation body is the foundation council . It decides on all matters that are of fundamental importance for the Foundation and its development and monitors the activities of the Foundation's facilities from the point of view of legality, expediency and economic efficiency.

The Board of Trustees consists of eleven members appointed by the BMBF for a term of four years. According to the DGIA Act, the right to appoint four scientists lies with the DFG and one scientist each with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation , the Max Planck Society and the Leibniz Association . The Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft appoints a person close to the humanities. Two members of the board of directors' assembly and the assembly of the advisory board chairmen, the managing directors and the respective representatives of the staff and the academic staff attend the meetings of the foundation council as permanent guests with the right to propose and speak. The members are currently (as of July 2018):


The joint office of the foundation is set up in Bonn. It is led by the managing director and is, among other things, a. Responsible for the coordination and representation of the administrative matters of the institutes in Germany, the provision of a digital publication platform, the implementation of external evaluations and public relations. In addition, she generally supports the organs and institutes of the foundation.

Publications of the foundation and its institutes

The foundation publishes annual monitoring reports and since 2012 the magazine Weltweit vor Ort , which appears twice a year and is also available for download. Selected publications from the individual institutes are published on the humanities open access publication platform .

Web links

Individual evidence

  5. Archived copy ( Memento from June 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  7. ^ Pacific Regional Office. Retrieved August 23, 2019 .
  8. job profile - German Historical Institute Warsaw - DHIW. Retrieved May 7, 2020 .
  9. job profile - German Historical Institute Warsaw - DHIW. Retrieved May 7, 2020 .
  11. Homepage of the Max Weber Foundation for German Humanities Institutes Abroad: International Research Promotion Prize 2014 awarded , notification from March 25, 2014 , accessed on March 25, 2014
  12. Hanna Pletziger: International Research Award for French historian Germany Miard-Delacroix. Max Weber Foundation - German Humanities Institutes Abroad, press release from February 6, 2017 at the Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (, accessed on February 6, 2017.
  13. Archived copy ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ All annual reports can be found at the Max Weber Foundation's Infothek
  17. See magazine Weltweit on site of the Max Weber Foundation