Funding Programme Democracy

Background Funding Initiative Democracy

Over the last few years, a previously somewhat abstract finding has become an empirical fact: Democracy is not a given. The rule of law, the separation of powers, freedom of opinion, and obligation to the common good have lost some of their binding effect even in core democratic countries, and have been relativized, called into question, and limited. Thus, amongst other things, we are currently witnessing a shift in political weighting in Europe away from an essentially pro-European stance toward an anti-European discourse, which apparently still has the potential to mobilise more support. Such challenges, from populist movements among others, not only call into question democracy as a political order, but also the role of academia and the relevance of its research results. After all, the freedom of research and teaching hinges on the acceptance of democratic principles. With this current problematic situation as a starting point and a goal of placing it in a greater historical context, the Gerda Henkel Foundation has established a new funding program for the theme of "Democracy as Utopia, Experience and Threat".

Announcement

“Democracy”, as an overriding concept of this historically-oriented funding program spanning different eras, may be simply a search direction, a heuristic guideline, and not a universalization of any – for example, our current – social and political system. The focus here is on the history of confrontation concerning the basic principles of social order, whereby there is a clash of demands for enhanced participation, for greater scope for self-organization, for more justice, or for the dismantling of hierarchies on the one hand, and on the other the value systems of those who consider the relevant status quo worthy of preservation or who see entirely different objectives of fairness, freedom and hierarchization as worth fighting for. These confrontations took place and continue to take place from ancient times until today, sometimes with and sometimes without application of any concept of democracy. What they can provide information about is the diversity of the value systems, the preconceptions of justice, and the ideals of a good society that are brought to the field by the conflicting sides.

These sorts of histories of conflict over a just order, good leadership and participation in both therefore make it necessary for the preconceptions of values and order of all the conflicting sides to be taken into account. Only this way does it become possible to historicize the diverse histories of conflict over good order, and thus to understand them in their relevant historical context: It can’t just be about the proponents of enhanced participation or a more comprehensive form of justice, not only about social movements and their hierarchies or criticism of the elite. After all, the relevant proponents of limited participation, selective socialization concepts and preconceptions of justice and freedom that cannot be universalized are equally important. The examination of conflict histories within societies that see themselves as democratic requires just this multiperspectivity: There is an interplay between the social movements and protests that critically oppose the relevant established forms of democracy and defenders of the established order and their preconceptions of participation, justice and freedom.

With the triad of concepts “utopia, experience and threat”, three of the key references to conflicting social value systems from ancient times to today are touched upon: Social movements inspired by utopias determine ideal preconceptions of politics, religion and society and fight for their realization. In societies that see themselves as democracies, people have experiences, which they mobilize in a way that is critical of democracy – be it against democracy as such or against specific aspects of the relevant established democratic order. The historically – and currently – frequently found references to conflicting social value systems is the impression of threat, as a result of which, for example, ruling elites deploy their law enforcement forces against social movements, various social groups fight for re-order and new order, religiously based preconceptions of society or justice come into conflict, or social inequality becomes a political issue. All three points of reference can be utilized for historical research into conflict histories surrounding the correct order and just society. They expand the theme of the funding program beyond the classic fields of protest and revolutionary history, or the history of constitutions, elections and political parties – which are likewise part of it all – to include a multiperspectival history of conflict and culture surrounding the right order in society and politics.

Application

Prerequisites

Eligible to apply are post-doctoral researchers based in a university and working in the area of the humanities and the social sciences. Funding can be provided for projects with a thematic focus being addressed by a group of researchers. The Foundation uses the term “group of researchers” to mean associations of at least two researchers actively involved in the project work which is to be funded by means of scholarships from the Foundation and who are carrying out research into the same issues. Applications can only be made for PhD or research scholarships. Applications for a research scholarship by the applicant (project leader) are also possible. A maximum total of three scholarships per group of researchers can be applied for, as well as funds for travel and materials. A fundamental prerequisite for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name. Other contributors who are not financed by scholarships can also be involved in the project. Scholarship applications made by individual researchers outside of the group are not accepted. The funding programme also provides for the project partners to participate in a public “workshop discussion on Democracy” organised by the Foundation.

The maximum duration is 36 months.

The applicants must be actively involved in the research work of the project.

Project staff on research projects may only be financed by PhD or research grants. A fundamental prerequisite for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name. The simultaneous receipt of salary or retirement pension and a research scholarship is not possible.

The Board of Trustees decides on the applications on the basis of a recommendation from the members of the Academic Advisory Council.

Application Documents

The necessary application documents can be uploaded in the electronic application form.

Proposals will only be accepted in German or English language and should include:

  • description of the research proposal (max. 8 pages)
    • plus bibliography if necessary (in addition to the max. 8-10 pages)
    • documents printed on one side only, at least font size 11 and line spacing 1.5
    • please choose a readable font, e.g. Arial 11 pt. or Times New Roman 12 pt. (We kindly ask you to keep to the formal requirements on how to compile application documents)
  • work plan and time schedule, travel itinerary (if needed)
  • detailed cost calculation
    • specific funds being applied for must be precisely defined
    • no college or tuition fees
    • no overhead costs
  • curriculum vitae and list of publications of the applicant(s)
  • if needed, curriculum vitae and list of publications of the proposed project participant(s)
  • if needed, academic certificates of the project participant(s) (Masters, PhD, professorship, etc.; please do not send Bachelor certificates)

If also a scholarship for the applicant is planned:

  • academic certificates of the applicant (Masters, PhD, professorship, etc.; please do not send Bachelor certificates)

Please do not additionally send the documents by email or postal mail.

Payment

Application for scholarships as part of a research project

Project staff on research projects may only be financed by PhD or research grants. A fundamental prerequisite for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name. The period of support for Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects can be extended by up to 12 months if the holder becomes a parent during the period covered by the stipend and has an entitlement to maternity or parental leave. Individual arrangements must be discussed with the Foundation’s administrative office. The following rates apply:

PhD scholarships

Monthly scholarship award: 1.600 euros

Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects with children, will receive a monthly family grant in addition to their scholarship. The family grant is awarded on presentation of the child’s birth certificate and disbursed for children who have not yet turned 18.

•    for one child: EUR 400
•    each further child EUR 100

Monthly endowment for scholarships abroad: 400 euros
Travel aid: as required
Material aid: as required

Research Scholarships for Postdocs

Monthly scholarship award: 2,300 euros

Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects with children, will receive a monthly family grant in addition to their scholarship. The family grant is awarded on presentation of the child’s birth certificate and disbursed for children who have not yet turned 18.

•    for one child: EUR 400
•    each further child: EUR 100

Monthly endowment for scholarships abroad: 575 euros
Travel aid: as required
Material aid: as required

Research Scholarships after Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification

Monthly scholarship award: 3,100 euros

As equivalent to the German Habilitation the Foundation accepts positions as „Associate Professor“ or „Full Professor“ / „Distinguished Professor“ (according to the North American university system) and „Senior Lecturer“ or „Reader“/„Professor“ (according to the Commonwealth university system), respectively.

Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects with children, will receive a monthly family grant in addition to their scholarship. The family grant is awarded on presentation of the child’s birth certificate and disbursed for children who have not yet turned 18.

•    for one child: EUR 400
•    each further child EUR 100

Monthly endowment for scholarships abroad: 775,- euros
Travel aid: as required
Material aid: as required

Contracts for work may be awarded for smaller research activities. The Foundation specifies no rates in this regard.

Deadlines

The next application deadline is 2 June 2020.

Form

Electronic Application Form for the Foundation

1. Please complete the application form in full.

2. The application form can be saved at any time. You can return to and edit the form for a period of ten days. You can also access the form via your own personal link. However, after this period(10 Days), your data will be deleted from the server.

3. Once you have completed the form, you will receive a short summary, which needs to be confirmed in order to be sent to the Foundation electronically.

4. During the transmission process your data will be sent to the Foundation in electronic form. Confirmation of receipt will be sent to the e-mail address provided in the application.

Please follow these rules when uploading your application files:

  • All documents need to be uploaded as pdf-files.
  • Please do not upload secured PDF documents.
  • A single file may not exceed a file size of 6 MB each.
  • You cannot upload more than one document per upload field.
  • The application can only be sent, if all necessary documents are included.

Please note the following additional information:

  • Your data will be stored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation for the purpose of processing your application and will not be passed on to third parties.
  • The Gerda Henkel Foundation will be happy to provide you with information about the data that we have stored on your person at any time. If so required, personal data can be changed or deleted.
  • This form may only be used to make an application to the Gerda Henkel Foundation. The Foundation reserves the right to delete application data without prior notification, if necessary.

Publishing Aid

Publishing aid is currently only awarded to especially successful projects already being supported by the Foundation. Please include the following documents:

  • two-page summary of the academic merit and innovativeness of the monograph/collection
  • cost calculation by the publishing house
  • manuscript on which the calculations have been made (digital)

A copy of the (preliminary) PhD certificate should be included in proposals submitted for the publication of PhD theses supported by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Applications can be submitted at any time.

    Important note on submitting applications

    Please take a look at the information provided in this section and under General References. We would of course be happy to assist you should you have any further questions.

    Contact Person Funding Programme Democracy

    Thomas Podranski, M.A.
    Head of Research Scholarships and Special Programmes
    podranski@gerda-henkel-stiftung.de

    General Information for Applicants and Beneficiaries

    Frequently asked questions

    General questions regarding the application

    Can I apply for a research project also if I have not received my PhD yet?
    No. Applications for research projects can be made by universities, other research institutes or comparable institutions as well as by one or several Postdocs or scholars with Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification. It is necessary to provide a (preliminary) PhD certificate.

    Can I apply with one and the same research project for support from several of the Foundation’s programmes?
    A simultaneous application with different research projects is in principle possible as long as no scholarship is earmarked for the applicant him/herself.

    Are foreign academics allowed to apply for funding programmes?
    The funding activities concentrate basically on German and foreign academics in the fields of historical humanities. Candidates can apply regardless of their nationality and place of work.

    In which languages does the Foundation correspond?
    German and English.

    Should application documents and references be submitted in English or German?
    The Foundation accepts both, although German is preferred where possible.

    Are there formal requirements on how the application documents should be compiled?
    The project description should not be longer than 8 pages. Documents should have at least font size 11 and line spacing 1.5. Please read carefully all instructions in the section general references.

    Are there any substantial requirements for the structure or form of the description of the research project?
    No, there are no substantive requirements. Applicants for a research scholarship should make sure that in addition to the content presentation, information on the method, the state of research, the sources and research relevance are included in the description, especially if the transcript of the study is in the foreground.

    Should the proposal include a detailed list of publications or is it enough to note the cited references in footnotes? Is an additional list of publications with for the project relevant references necessary?
    It is sufficient to note the references of the proposal in footnotes. A list of publications with for the project relevant references can but must not be submitted.

    What should my working plan and schedule include?
    They should include detailed information about the work stages planned for the period of funding, including research trips and their planned duration.

    Can I apply for financing for my own post instead of a research grant?
    No. The Foundation is not providing funding for posts at research institutions.

    Can project staff be funded via posts?
    No. Project staff can only be financed by doctoral or research grants. A fundamental precondition for a grant is that project staff conduct their own research, which is published under their name.

    Do I have to include the scholarships for the staff members in the cost calculation of the research project or do they have to apply separately for a PhD or research scholarship?
    Please budget the scholarships as part of the research project funding. The staff members do not have to apply separately for a PhD or research scholarship.

    What do you require for travel and material expenses claims?
    We require a list of costs with each individual expense in as much detail as possible. Please have a look at the information provided under http://www.gerda-henkel-stiftung.de/calculation_travel-material-expenses.

    Does the Foundation pay for childcare during the period for which a stipend is awarded?
    Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects receive a family grant on presentation of the child’s/children’s birth certificate(s). The grant is paid for children who have not yet turned 18.

    What is the Foundation’s policy is a stipend holder becomes a parent during the period for which a stipend is awarded?
    The period of support for Foundation stipend holders working on Ph.D. or research projects can be extended by up to 12 months if the holder becomes a parent during the period covered by the stipend and has an entitlement to maternity or parental leave. Individual arrangements must be discussed with the Foundation’s administrative office.

    Does the Foundation cover overhead costs?
    No, the Foundation does not cover overhead costs.

    Can anyone request funding for printing?
    Publishing aid can only be claimed for projects which are already receiving funding from the Gerda Henkel Foundation. However, not all projects will be awarded funding for printing as the current budget for publishing aid is extremely limited.

    Does the Foundation sponsor individual journeys to participate in scientific conferences?
    At present travel expenses are only paid for larger research projects or PhD and research scholarships. Funding applications for independent trips to participate in conferences/congresses are in principle not considered.

    Can I change anything in my electronic application form after having sent it to the Foundation?
    No, that is not possible. Please inform us about any differing information when sending us your application documents or fill out a new application form and let us know you have sent a new form in a short note or email.

    If my confirmation of receipt includes a request for missing documents, will I be sent another confirmation once these missing documents have been submitted?
    No, you are responsible for making sure that all the necessary documents and references are properly submitted. Due to the number of applications we receive, we regret that we are not in a position to send further confirmations after the initial confirmation of receipt.

    What happens to my submission if it is incomplete?
    Incomplete submissions will not be considered and will be put back to the next selection round. Incomplete applications for PhD scholarships will not be considered any more after the expiration of one year.

    Does the Foundation provide reasons for refusing applications?
    The Academic Committee’s deliberations are confidential so the Foundation does not provide detailed reasons for refusals.

    General questions regarding the applications for scholarships

    Can I continue to work during the time of my scholarship?
    No, the simultaneous receipt of salary and a scholarship is not possible.

    Can I continue to draw a retirement pension during the time of my scholarship?
    No, the simultaneous receipt of a retirement pension and a scholarship is not possible.

    In which case can I apply for an overseas bonus?
    Should a beneficiary leave the country of her/his principal residence and spend more than four weeks abroad for research purposes, the Foundation shall grant a flat-rate overseas bonus. This should be seen as an extension to the scholarship, intended to cover the extra costs of food and accommodation. The Foundation shall not cover any accommodation costs for that period if an overseas bonus has been granted.

    Can I apply for funding of college or tuition fees?
    No, the Foundation does not cover college or tuition fees.

    If I am given a doctoral grant, do I have to start my doctorate immediately?
    Doctorates must be started within twelve months of the grant being agreed.

    Questions regarding letters of recommendation

    Can I apply for a research scholarship when I have not yet finished my PhD?
    No. Applications for research scholarships can only be made by Postdocs or scholars with Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification.

    Do the criteria also apply to the special programme "Security, Society and the State" and the two funding programmes "Democracy" and "Lost Cities"?
    No, the criteria only apply to applications for a general research scholarship.

    What is  the definition for "Post Doctoral Lecture Qualification"?
    As equivalent to the German Habilitation the Foundation accepts positions as „Associate Professor“ or „Full Professor“ / „Distinguished Professor“ (according to the North American university system) and „Senior Lecturer“ or „Reader“/„Professor“ (according to the Commonwealth university system), respectively.

    Questions regarding grants in general

    What should I do once I have received the letter of approval?
    Please let us know by postmail whether you accept the grant and the terms of appropriation. If you do accept, please also supply your current bank details and include when you wish payments to start. Please note that all credit transfers and standing orders are being switched over to the pan-European SEPA system. Instead of a bank sort code and account number, the Foundation requires the IBAN and BIC details. You will find the corresponding information on your account statement and possibly on your bank card.

    What are my obligations if I accept the funding?
    You must inform the Foundation of any changes which have a bearing on the payment of the grant or the amount paid. Teaching positions and other employment must be agreed with the Foundation if they exceed an average of 5 hours a week.

    Can I work during the grant period?
    Yes, as long as the employment does not exceed an average of five hours a week.

    How should references be made to the Foundation in my work?
    We ask that the Foundation be mentioned in any publications that arise from the funded project. The Foundation should also be included in the imprint of any publications for which publishing aid was supplied. For other media, such as conference posters or flyers, please use the logo available on our website. Please also mention the Foundation at events and in any contact with journalists (e.g. via your university’s press office), including in any press releases.

    Can the grant or parts thereof be used for other purposes?
    No. The grant is only to be used for the purposes detailed in the letter of approval.

    Can grants be transferred to overseas accounts?
    Yes. Please supply your SWIFT/BIC code and IBAN. We would however prefer to make transfers to a German account.

    Do I have to take out insurance if I am awarded a grant or does the Foundation cover those costs?
    As grant recipients are not technically employed by the Foundation, national insurance contributions are not paid. The Foundation recommends that all grant recipients take out medical insurance. No additional funding is available for these costs.

    Invoices

    What kind of information about my bank account do I have to submit?
    Please note that all credit transfers and standing orders are being switched over to the pan-European SEPA system. Instead of a bank sort code and account number, the Foundation requires the IBAN and BIC details. You will find the corresponding information on your account statement and possibly on your bank card. Please send us these details or submit them with your next invoice.

    Do original receipts have to be sent?
    Generally yes. Should third parties need the originals for billing purposes (e.g. university offices), please submit copies and ensure that the originals are held for at least ten years in case they need to be checked.

    Will my family’s costs be reimbursed for research trips?
    No. These must be covered by the grant recipient.

    General questions

    What is the phone number for Henkel AG & Co. KgaA in Düsseldorf?
    +49 (0)211 7970