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The Volkswagen Foundation - https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en - is Germany‘s largest private research funding foundation, and one of the country’s largest common benefit foundations under private law. It supports the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research.


The Volkswagen Foundation is neither a corporate foundation nor affiliated to the company; its decision-making bodies are autonomous and independent. We owe our existence to the German government and the State of Lower Saxony. They established the foundation at the beginning of the 1960s with money raised from privatization of parts of the Volkswagen car manufacturing plant. Via our funding initiatives, we transcend the borders of countries, subjects and disciplines. 


Every year, we award approximately 150 million euros of funding to academic institutions in Germany and abroad. The Foundation, based in Hanover, employs around 100 staff, processing more than 1,500 grant applications each year. They are supported by hundreds of experts from all over the world. Funding decisions are made by the 14 members of our Board of Trustees and the Secretary General. Above all, our funding initiatives advance creative minds and experimental or daring research ideas – beyond the mainstream. We strengthen basic research and enable new research talent to explore novel avenues. 

We bring scholars and society together with our XPlanatorium in Herrenhausen Palace (https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/veranstaltungen/xplanatorium). Thanks to our support, researchers all over Germany and many other parts of the world are able to realize their ideas.

Are you also interested in striking out on a new path together with the Volkswagen Foundation? Find out more about our current funding opportunities on our homepage: https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en.