The Historische Kolleg, founded in 1980 as an Institute for Advanced Study in Munich, supports notable researchers with a proven track-record in research and teaching drawn from all sectors of the historical sciences in Germany and abroad, by releasing them for research purposes. Appointments to the Kolleg, which are made on a competitive basis, offer scientists the opportunity to concentrate on a major work ("magnum opus") freed from their university duties. The selection criteria are focused on the promotion of research personalities.
Since 1988, the Historische Kolleg has also awarded bursaries to allow post-doctoral students time for their work and to promote close professional contact with established researchers, from the full spectrum of the discipline concerned, within the inspirational atmosphere of the college. The Foundation has provided the Historische Kolleg with funds for the bestowal of four "Gerda Henkel Junior Fellowships" to outstanding young researchers.