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Foundation Index Edit

From international exchange programs to funding opportunities for students and researchers, German foundations support education and research with scholarships, fellowships, grants and a variety of innovative programs. Projects that focus on politics, society, art, science and education are eligible for funding depending on the foundations’ individual focus.

Through their diverse activities the foundations aim to strengthen international relations. Individuals and institutions from every country in the world are welcome to apply. A selection of foundations, both public and private, are listed below.

  • Stifterverband

    Stifterverband is the business community’s innovation agency for the German science system. Representing 3,000 companies, business ...

    Stifterverband is the business community’s innovation agency for the German science system. Representing 3,000 companies, business associations and individuals, the private not-for-profit association’s sole source of funding is charitable giving. Originally founded in 1920, Stifterverband has acted as the industry’s joint initiative for supporting research and higher education.

    Stifterverband’s goal is to improve the quality of the science system. Through its programs, the association wants to ensure the sciences retain their reputation and high standard of quality for the long term. Learn More

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  • Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen

    The Association of German Foundations represents nearly 19,000 foundations in Germany. With more than 3,800 members, which represent three quarters of foundation capital in Germany ...

    The Association of German Foundations represents nearly 19,000 foundations in Germany. With more than 3,800 members, which represent three quarters of foundation capital in Germany, it is the largest and oldest foundation association in Europe.

    The Association of German Foundations is committed to enabling foundations to implement and realize their work and objectives more effectively, now and in the future. This includes efforts to improve the general conditions of foundation law and foundation tax law, and to foster a foundation-friendly climate. Learn More      

    Browse BVDS Foundation Index      
    (In German only)

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  • Baden-Württemberg Stiftung

    The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization based in Stuttgart. It is one of the major foundations in Germany and ...

    The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization based in Stuttgart. It is one of the major foundations in Germany and the only one which exclusively and above party lines invests in the future of the state of Baden-Württemberg – and thus in the future of its citizens. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is engaged with projects and activities that focus on science and research, education, as well as social responsibility and the arts. With its projects it advocates a vital Baden-Württemberg with a high quality of life for all its residents. The foundation helps pave the way for advanced technological progress, high quality education, and a responsible relationship with fellow human beings. Learn More       (In German only)

    Click for the new Motor of Innovation - Advancing education and research in Baden-Württemberg brochure

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  • Einstein Foundation Berlin

    The Einstein Foundation promotes outstanding science and research in Berlin. It identifies the projects and people in a competitive, science-driven process. ...

    The Einstein Foundation promotes outstanding science and research in Berlin. It identifies the projects and people in a competitive, science-driven process. A particular focus is on cross-institutional research collaborations. The Foundation is a service provider and strategic partner of the Berlin universities. Together with the universities, the Foundation aims to further enhance Berlin as an internationally recognized and competitive hub for excellent science and research.

    Funding programs include personal funding: Einstein Professor, Einstein Junior Fellow, Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellow, Einstein Visiting Fellow. Project funding for Einstein Research Project, Einstein Research Fellowship, Einstein Compass Group, Academic Event, as well as structural funding (Einstein Centre). Learn More

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  • Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung

    The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung ranks among the largest private foundations in Germany. Founded in 1983 by the pharmacist and ...

    The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung ranks among the largest private foundations in Germany. Founded in 1983 by the pharmacist and entrepreneur Else Kröner, it is mainly dedicated to funding medical research and supporting medical humanitarian projects. To date, the foundation has supported about 900 projects with a total value of approximately €100 million.

    Projects from all fields of medical research can be submitted. Funding decisions are based on scientific quality, originality, and relevance. Often, research projects are embedded in international cooperation: recently, for example, the foundation has co-financed a study on the functionality of kidneys involving scientists from 12 countries and almost 90,000 patients and healthy volunteers from Europe and the United States.

    Besides funding individual projects, the foundation emphasizes the promotion of young clinician scientists through a range of instruments such as: a yearly call for scholarships allowing clinicians to concentrate full-time on science; funding of a graduate school; an ongoing call for establishing research schools for young clinicians. Learn More       (In German only)

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  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

    The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) promotes research and consulting services in the fields of economic, technological, labor and ...

    The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) promotes research and consulting services in the fields of economic, technological, labor and social policies. Through its emphasis on political and academic dialogue on issues related to foreign and security policy, the foundation provides analysis and potential solutions to a wide circle of experts from politics, business and academia, and to the public by means of a number of publications.

    The FES was founded in 1925 as a political legacy of Germany´s first democratically elected president, the social democrat Friedrich Ebert. As a private cultural non-profit institution, the foundation is committed to the basic values of social democracy.

    Also represented in New York, the FES maintains representation offices in more than 100 countries and is engaged in projects in the fields of socio-political development, economic and social promotion. Learn More

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  • Friedrich Naumann Stiftung

    The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation for liberal politics in the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims to ...

    The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation for liberal politics in the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims to promote the goal of making the principle of freedom valid for the dignity of all people in all areas of society, both in Germany and abroad. With the safeguarding and the development of its statutory projects (civic education and dialogue, sponsorship of the talented, research and political consultation, archive-work), the Friedrich Naumann Foundation wants to contribute to shaping the future. The foundation also assists in the development of democratic and constitutional structures by supporting liberal parties and groups. A strong network of associations of democratic parties, of human rights organisations and of academic establishments, forms the basis of the foundation’s activites abroad. Learn More

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  • Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

    Founded in 1959, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung was the first private foundation dedicated to the support of scholarship and research ...

    Founded in 1959, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung was the first private foundation dedicated to the support of scholarship and research to be established after World War II in the Federal Republic of Germany.

    The sole purpose of the Cologne-based foundation, according to its statutes, is the direct support of research and scholarship in universities and research institutes, primarily in Germany, with special emphasis on the support of young scholars. The foundation is particularly interested in supporting research projects in the humanities and in biomedicine. Learn More

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  • Hanns Seidel Foundation

    The Hanns Seidel Foundation, founded in 1967, is a German political foundation, close to the Christian Social Union (CSU), providing ...

    The Hanns Seidel Foundation, founded in 1967, is a German political foundation, close to the Christian Social Union (CSU), providing political education in Germany and abroad. The foundation's manifold responsibilities are concentrated in four specialist departments:

    Institute for Political Education (seminars for political training), Institute for Scholarship Programs (scholarship organization), Institute for International Cooperation (development cooperation with around 90 projects in around 60 countries worldwide) and the Academy for Politics and Current Affairs. Learn More

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  • Heinrich Böll Foundation

    The Heinrich Böll Foundation is part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional ...

    The Heinrich Böll Foundation is part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism. Its main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice. The foundation places particular emphasis on gender democracy, meaning social emancipation and equal rights for women and men. It is also committed to equal rights for cultural and ethnic minorities and to the societal and political participation of immigrants, and promotes non-violence and proactive peace policies.

    Based in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Heinrich Böll Foundation serves as an international actor in both ideal and practical terms with 28 offices worldwide. Learn More

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  • Hertie Foundation

    The Hertie Foundation carries on the life’s work of its founder, Georg Karg, the owner of the Hertie Waren- und Kaufhaus GmbH ...

    The Hertie Foundation carries on the life’s work of its founder, Georg Karg, the owner of the Hertie Waren- und Kaufhaus GmbH (department stores) who died in 1972. Founded in 1974, it is one of today's largest foundations in Germany, with assets to the order of over 800 million €. In 1998, the Foundation sold its shares in the company, and has been independent since.

    The Hertie Foundation sees itself as a reform body creating incentives for change – through new approaches, additional know-how and by providing the necessary financial support. It focuses its work on the fields of preschool and school, university and neurosciences, scholarship programs and the compatibility of work and family. The foundation has established four major projects with an independent legal structure, two being the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research in Tuebingen and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Learn More

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  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

    Named after the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is a political foundation ...

    Named after the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is a political foundation. In Germany as well as abroad, the foundation’s civic education programs aim at promoting freedom and liberty, peace, and justice. KAS focuses on consolidating democracy, on the unification of Europe and the strengthening of transatlantic relations, as well as on development cooperation. With its headquarters in Sankt Augustin, near Bonn, and in Berlin, the KAS holds 16 regional offices and two conference centers that offer a wide variety of civic education conferences and events. KAS offices abroad are in charge of more than 200 projects in more than 120 countries. Learn More

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  • Robert Bosch Stiftung

    The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company. It holds 92 percent of the share ...

    The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company. It holds 92 percent of the share capital of the Robert Bosch GmbH. Established in 1964, it represents the philanthropic endeavours of Robert Bosch (1861-1942), focussing on the fields of science, health, international relations, education, society, and culture. In Stuttgart, the foundation maintains the Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (Robert Bosch Hospital), the Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology, and the Institute for the History of Medicine.

    With its focus on the areas of science in Germany, research programs, science in dialogue as well as the research conducted in the foundation’s own facilities, the Robert Bosch Stiftung develops new approaches that aim to tap into the enormous potential of junior scientists, researchers abroad and women to the benefit of science and research. Other key areas of activity are science communication and research programs on selected themes. Learn More

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  • Siemens Stiftung

    The Siemens Stiftung, a nonprofit foundation under German civil law, was founded in the fall of 2008 by Siemens AG. The foundation ...

    The Siemens Stiftung, a nonprofit foundation under German civil law, was founded in the fall of 2008 by Siemens AG. The foundation works with projects to strengthen civil society particularly in Africa, Latin America and Europe. Its aim is to make a long-term contribution to reducing poverty and improving education. The foundation operates in three areas: It supports enlarging basic services and improving social structures; initiates educational projects; and contributes to strengthening cultural identity. The over-arching principle for the foundation's work is to help people help themselves. The Siemens Stiftung works in close cooperation with local and international partners as well as in alliance with the other Siemens foundations established by Siemens in Argentina, Brazil, France, Colombia and the United States. Learn More

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  • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

    The Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the German National Academic Foundation, is the largest and oldest organization in Germany ...

    The Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, the German National Academic Foundation, is the largest and oldest organization in Germany sponsoring exceptionally gifted students and doctoral candidates. It is non-political and non-denominational.

    The foundation promotes future excellence in the areas of science, business, public administration, and the arts. Through its sponsorship program it promotes academic consolidation, interdisciplinary dialogue, a cosmopolitan world view and international experience.

    The German National Academic Foundation is financially supported and subsidized by the federal government of Germany, the German federal states and local authorities as well as by a large number of private donors. Founded in 1925 in Dresden, the German National Academic Foundation dissolved in 1934 and re-founded as a registered association in Cologne in 1948. During its existence, it has sponsored more than 50,000 exceptionally gifted students and doctoral candidates. Learn More

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  • Volkswagen Foundation

    The Volkswagen Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation under private law with its head office in Hannover. According ...

    The Volkswagen Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation under private law with its head office in Hannover. According to its statutes, the foundation supports the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. The money spent for grants is earned through investing the foundation’s capital – currently some 2.4 billion Euros. With a funding volume of up to 100 million Euros p. a., it is the largest private science funder and one of the major foundations in Germany.

    With its initiatives and programs, the Volkswagen Foundation furthers and raises public awareness of a number of research developments, subjects and methods. Some of its programs also aim for structural improvements, for example in the fields of international cooperation and university education in Germany. Learn More

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  • ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius

    The ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius sets out to strengthen the development of civil society. The independent and charitable ...

    The ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius sets out to strengthen the development of civil society. The independent and charitable foundation aims to promote knowledge, enrich cultural life, and provide opportunities. Its charitable activities extend to research and scholarship, art and culture as well as education and training. The flagships of the foundation are the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, founded in 2000, and the Bucerius Kunst Forum, established in 2002 in the heart of the Hanseatic city. Learn More

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