About us

Max Weber Foundation is a legal entity closely linked to the German Federal Government located in Bonn. It comprises ten humanities research institutes.

The Foundation’s goal is to promote research with a focus on history, culture, economic and social sciences in selected countries and to promote a mutual understanding between Germany and those countries.

The Max Weber Foundation is the only German research institute which is academically active abroad exclusively due to its programme of work. Through its own research, extensive publications, international events and numerous scholarships it makes a considerable contribution towards an international exchange through its institutes, in regard of questions, methods and results of humanities research. In this way it strengthens both the position of the humanities in Germany and that of German humanities in an international context.

The Foundation finances its activities almost exclusively through the annual contributions by the Federal Government, made available by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The annual budget amounts to approximately EUR 30 million. Moreover the institutes have at their disposal further funding from partners and sponsors amounting to approximately EUR 1 million each year.

In total there are over 275 staff, of which 100 are academic fellows, employed in the institutes and in the Central Office in Bonn.

The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research, concentrated around the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with distinctive and independent focal points. Through its globally operating institutes, the Foundation is able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and the host countries or regions of its establishments. By promoting scientific dialogue and merging academic as well as non-academic employees from several countries with different cultural backgrounds, the Max Weber Foundation is able to strengthen the Internationalization of research in its three fields of dedication.

Being aware of its significant role and responsibility towards academic research and education, the Foundation is committed to the affiliation of research and academic teaching.

Institutionally financed by the public sector as a research organization, the Max Weber Foundation maintains the principles of open access in online publications. The online publication platform www.perspectivia.net is operated for international scientific exchange.

Publications are administered in German, however to promote and increase its conspicuity and research results, the Foundation endorses the distribution of scientific findings in the local language as well as the leading languages of the various disciplines.

The Max Weber Foundation does not discriminate against ethnic beliefs and origin, gender, age, religious and world views, sexual orientation and physical or mental disabilities. It believes in equal opportunities and gender equality, advocating the increase of female representatives in management positions.

Being open to new information technologies highly sophisticated instruments are provided to the libraries and administration in order to facilitate the research of its scientists.

The Max Weber Foundation is part of the self-administration of the sciences and reinforces the full independence of research in politics, the economy and public opinion.

The Foundation guarantees its high-quality of scientific research through regular intervals of evaluations by independent experts.

The Max Weber Foundation preserves and strives to improve the framework for research and scientific exchange at its institutes. It is looking for new ways of promoting cross-border cultural, social science and humanities research. By supporting the global network of German research funding and intermediary organizations, the foundation contributes to the strengthening of Germany’s international research profile. It creates forums for institutes to display and present their findings and research.

The Max Weber Foundation promotes innovative projects by establishing smaller project groups with limited research assignments, or even new institutes. For these purposes it enters into strategic partnerships with other German and international research organizations.