Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Goals and Mission

"[...] systematic and regular discussion, colloquia, critique, and agreement in a group of scientists interested in the same topics, although perhaps from different perspectives, are of the greatest benefit for a scholar and his work".

The ZiF - Bielefeld University's Institute for Advanced Study - supports and funds outstanding and innovative interdisciplinary research projects. Founded in 1968 as Germany's first institution of its kind, the ZiF became a model for numerous Institutes for Advanced Study throughout Europe.

Open to any research topic, the ZiF welcomes scholars from all academic disciplines and countries. It offers the opportunity to realize interdisciplinary academic projects with international colleagues by means of providing residential fellowships, grants, and conference services.

Founding father of the ZiF, Helmut Schelsky, believed that interdisciplinary exchange is a central drive for scientific progress. The ZiF looks back to more than 40 years of experience in interdisciplinary research supporting this view. The history of the ZiF shows that interdisciplinary exchange opens up new approaches to a shared subject and can even initiate new fields of research. Therefore the ZiF does not invite individual researchers but entire research groups to work on interdisciplinary projects. It perceives interdisciplinarity as a process which has to be developed and realized by each research group anew. The ZiF hereby seeks to meet the growing differentiation within the disciplines as well as the 'great interdisciplinarity,' the encounter between science and humanities. The ZiF's mission is to encourage, mediate and host high level interdisciplinary exchange.

The ZiF funds Research Groups (12 months), Cooperation Groups (1 to 6 months), Workshops (2 to 14 days). Applications can be addressed at any time to the Managing Director. It is recommended to contact the ZiF in advance.



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