Public Release: 

DFG to fund two new research units and one new humanities centre for advanced studies

Topics range from protective mechanisms in cells to microsimulation models, Approximately €10 million awarded for first funding period

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has approved the establishment of two new Research Units and one new Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies. This was decided by the DFG Senate during its spring session in Bonn. Research Units enable researchers to pursue current and pressing issues in their research areas and to take innovative directions in their work. Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies are specifically tailored towards the working methods used in the humanities. The maximum funding duration for Research Units is two periods of three years; Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies can be funded for two periods of four years.

In the initial grant period, the three new groups will receive approximately €10 million in funding, including a 22 percent programme allowance for indirect project costs. With today's decision, the DFG will now fund a total of 182 Research Units.

The New Research Units (in alphabetical order by the spokesperson's university)

In multicellular organisms, cells are permanently exposed to stress resulting from mechanical forces. They have therefore developed special protective mechanisms, which, however, have not yet been sufficiently investigated. The Research Unit "Mechanical Stress Protection" therefore intends to expose isolated cells and tissue, genetically tractable model organisms and human subjects to mechanical stress in order to analyse how cells react to it.

(Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Jörg Höhfeld, University of Bonn)

Muscle power, mental power or purchasing power - there is barely a field of cultural reflection that does not refer to power in its widest sense. The Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies "Imaginaria of Power" aims to systematically investigate the concept of power for the first time, thereby reconstructing a basic concept of art and cultural theory in dialogue with the natural sciences and science history. This will involve investigation of biological, physical, socio-political, religious, economic and psychological forces.

(Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Frank Fehrenbach, University of Hamburg)

The Research Unit "Multi-Sectoral Regional Microsimulation Model (MikroSim)" intends to draw on existing data records to develop a model enabling person and household-based simulations. The regional connection is to help develop a new, evidence-based foundation for sturdy prognosis models regarding the effects of political and economic measures, for example in the areas of family, care and migration research. This research will take place with the involvement of the German Federal Statistical Office.

(Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Ralf Münnich, University of Trier)


Further Information

Media contact:

DFG Press and Public Relations, Tel. +49 228 885-2109,

Further information will be provided by the spokespersons of the established units.

For information on the DFG Research Units and Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies, visit:

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