Quality Assessment

Academic Advisory Board


The Max Weber Foundation guarantees the high quality of its activities on a long-term basis. All institutes have internal quality assurance instruments.  Each institute is accompanied by a academic advisory board consisting of up to nine persons from Germany, the host country or even third countries. The advisory boards also support and advise the institutes in the implementation of external evaluations.



Independent experts are asked on a regular basis to externaly evaluate the institutes. For each evaluation, the Board of Trustees appoints an exclusively external Evaluation Commission and determines the evaluation procedure. This committee has up to nine voting members who reflect the research spectrum of the respective institute. The evaluation reports of the commissions are addressed to the Board of Trustees. The Board discusses the reports and records its conclusions in a statement. On the basis of its conclusions, it may conclude target agreements with institutes.

The foundation's head office is responsible for the organisational implementation and monitoring of the evaluations.

Good Research Practice and Ombudspersons


The Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice of the MWS were adopted by the Board of Trustees on 13 May 2022 and replace the Guidelines in their version of 6 January 2014. They summarise the central standards of good research practice in the institutes of the MWS and describe the procedure in cases of alleged research misconduct.  The institutes‘ directors announce these guidelines to the researchers and oblige them to comply with them. The binding framework for the formulation and application is set by the Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice of the German Research Foundation of September 2019.

The Board of Trustees appoints two Ombudspersons for a four-year term of office at the proposal of the Assembly of Directors. The Ombudspersons are contact persons to whom all members of the MWS can turn in questions of good research practice and alleged research misconduct.

The Ombudspersons advise and support the members of the MWS confidentially in all questions of good research practice and alleged research misconduct as well as conflict resolution.

Furthermore, members of the MWS can alternatively turn to the "Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft" (German Research Ombudsman).


Prof. Dr. Barbara Potthast, Universität zu Köln

Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve, MPI für Rechtsgeschichte und Rechtstheorie

Email address: ombudsperson(at)maxweberstiftung.de

Ethics Committee


The MWS Ethics of Research Committee Rules of Procedure were adopted by the Board of Trustees on 13 May 2022. The members of the MWS Ethics Committee are the ombudsperson appointed by the Foundation Board to ensure compliance with good scientific practice, a representative of the Assembly of Directors and the MWS person responsible for data protection. The Ethics Committee may call in further experts as members without voting rights.

The scientists of the MWS handle the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of research responsibly. This responsibility is not limited to compliance with legal requirements, but also includes the obligation to thoroughly assess the possible consequences of their research projects and to evaluate the respective ethical aspects. The good worth protecting is the psychological and physical integrity of individuals. For this purpose alone, they obtain ethics votes in critical cases. Furthermore, they obtain approvals and ethics votes when required by legal regulations or funding agencies.

The ethics committee acts at the request of the respective institute directors or the executive director of the MWS, if no competence of a committee of the institutes or, if applicable, of a cooperating scientific institution is given or another competence cannot be clearly determined.

Email address: datenschutz(at)maxweberstiftung.de