As a private research funding organization, we support researchers with creative ideas aimed at changing the world of science – something we have been doing for more than 60 years now. Our mission: We endow knowledge.

We support


Understanding Research

Critically exploring and reflecting on the research system with a view to initiating positive change on areas such as career paths, governance, research and teaching.

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humanoider Kopf einer Maschine

Societal Transformations

Expanding knowledge about processes of transformation and developing possible courses of action together with stakeholders in civil society.

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Hand mit Kompass


Breaking into previously unexplored research territory with unconventional ideas and experimental approaches.

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Schachfigur "Pferd"


Funding program for top-level research in Lower Saxony.

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Mann mit Erlenmeyerkolben, darin grüner Inhalt

Is it possible to transfer artificial photosynthesis from the test tube into the cell?

  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Feb. 10, 2023, 01:00 PM - Feb. 11, 2023, 03:00 PM

Weltoffen vor Ort - Welche Rolle spielen Hochschulen an ihrem Standort?

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Wegweiser Universität vor blauem Himmel
  • Public event
  • Herrenhausen Science Movie Night

Feb. 17, 2023, 06:00 PM - Feb. 17, 2023, 09:00 PM

Frauen in der DDR: Wie gleichberechtigt waren sie wirklich?

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Titelbild des zweiten Frauenkongresses der DDR. Konterfei einer Frau und DDR Wappen
  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Mar. 02, 2023, 09:00 AM - Mar. 03, 2023, 01:00 PM

Kick Off "NEXT - Law between Normativity and Reality"

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Scales / justice symbol
Funding offer

Circularity with recycled and biogenic resources


The funding line ‘Collaborative projects’ of this initiative is primarily targeted at the natural sciences and engineering.  We offer a Q&A-session (online) on Jan. 24, 2023. Deadline for application is March 1, 2023. 

Mann mit Globus

Earth system science as a new leading concept for the geosciences

At a Leopoldina symposium held on December 19, 2022, the Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation Dr. Georg Schütte presented a new funding initiative. Fifty years after publication of the "Limits to Growth" report, the foundation creates a renewed geo-scientific focus on the Earth system as a whole.