The Gerda Henkel Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation under German private law. The object of the Foundation is to promote science, primarily by supporting specific projects in the field of the humanities that have a specific specialist scope and are limited in time and the related publications, in particular
- by supporting research projects by scholars inside and outside Germany on carefully defined themes in the humanities,
- by awarding scholarships (in particular for research and Ph.D. projects) to scholars inside and outside Germany,
- by undertaking and supporting measures on a scientific basis in the field of monument preservation as well as by undertaking and supporting all measures that are suited to further the object of the Foundation,
- by carrying out measures to enhance public awareness in the above-mentioned fields that support the Foundation’s object.
As a private institution for the promotion of scholarship, the Foundation’s statutes only allow it to provide support for certain discipline-specific research projects that are limited in time. It prioritises research projects that are of an outstanding quality given the scientific findings and therefore promise to achieve the greatest benefits with the funding made available.
In line with one of the founder’s wishes, a special focus of the Gerda Henkel Foundation is support for up-and-coming scholars. Special attention is made when approving grants to enable qualified young researchers of both sexes to conduct scientific work for a limited period of time and in order to improve their academic training.
The Board of Trustees has resolved the following general funding principles to further the Foundation attaining its object, and these include the following possible forms of support:
- support for specific research projects, limited in time, in the form of funding for personnel, travel and hardware,
- scholarship grants for research and Ph.D. projects for scholars from both inside and outside Germany,
- provision of funding to help cover publishing costs for projects the Foundation has supported that have been especially successful.
The Board of Trustees and the Management decide on funding approvals after consulting the Academic Advisory Council. The Foundation’s bodies convene as a rule twice a year, usually in April and in November. A simplified procedure exists for deciding on applications for smaller-scale financial requirements.