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 provide support in four profile areas

Pile of books

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 with compass


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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  • Public event
  • Herrenhäuser Forum
  • With live stream

Aug. 15, 2024, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

CO2-Zertifikate – Ablasshandel oder effektive Werkzeuge?

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Das Bild zeugt kleine Geldberge, aus denen Pflanzen wachsen.
  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Aug. 20, 2024, 12:00 PM - Aug. 22, 2024, 01:00 PM

Statussymposium "Innovative Approaches to Antiviral Drug Development"

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The funding initiative "Innovative approaches in antiviral drug development" builds a bridge between high-risk basic research and practical application. (Design: Freepik
  • Expert meeting
  • Symposium

Sep. 04, 2024, 01:00 PM - Sep. 06, 2024, 12:30 PM

Potentials and Challenges for Europe

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Das Bild zeigt eine Frau und einen Mann, die nachdenken. Im Hintergrund ist die EU-Flagge zu sehen,
Illustration zum Thema Wissenschaft
News 23. July 2024

Animal testing: The topic deserves more visibility

Animal rights activists are calling for the abolition of all animal experiments, which makes researchers fear for medical progress. What is the discourse on this topic like in Germany and what does it take for society keep an open mind on the topic and reach the right value judgements? 

Illustration: Mann mit Laborbrille und Lupe blickt auf ein Modell der Erde
In brief 17. July 2024

Understanding the Earth as a system: 10 million euros for reorientation and networking in "Earth system sciences"

Earth system sciences understand the world as a complex system. Phenomena of the Anthropocene, such as climate change, are the result of multiple interactions in this system concept, the interplay of which is researched by Earth system sciences. In order to establish this guiding principle in research and teaching, the Volkswagen Foundation has granted six junior professorships - with funding totalling around 10 million euros.