Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz
Center of Excellence "Cultural Foundations of Social Integration", University of Konstanz
The idea of the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz was inspired by a model that has become increasingly established in Europe since the 1970s: a model whose basic outline can be generally understood as originating in 1930 with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The Konstanz Institute defines itself within that American and European research tradition, while also emphasizing a unique profile that it has shaped and developed over recent years.
A central purpose of the Institute is to allow its fellows – scholars from both Konstanz and other universities in Germany and throughout the world – to pursue research free of teaching and administrative duties. Such a research framework has become increasingly attractive as a result of higher numbers of students in many universities and time-consuming administrative and evaluative responsibilities.
Since October 2007, both well-established and younger scholars have been invited to the Institute to either significantly advance their work or bring it to the stage where it can be published. Every second IAS fellowship is reserved for junior faculty members.
In the case that fellows have been granted a leave by their university, the Institute will take on the costs of their replacement as a rule on the level of a German W2 salary.
Fostering International Exchange
In line with the role of the Institute for Advanced Study as a center for international scholarly contact, renowned researchers meet with those at an earlier phase of their careers in both the Bischofsvilla and the Seeburg. A special quality of the Constance Institute is the informal and intensive exchange between senior fellows and those at earlier points in their careers. Likewise, external fellows have close working relations with scholars at Constance.
Over the past years the size of the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz – 20 to 25 fellows annually – has proven optimal: large enough for lively intellectual exchange, yet flexible thanks to clearly defined organizational structures. Annual invitations for research on particular core themes (in the past, for example, “culturalization” and “non-knowledge”) are meant to further promote interdisciplinary exchange between fellows.
The program and activities of the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz are closely tied to the University of Konstanz and its research and teaching. This not only encourages productive dialogue on both sides, but serves to better integrate the Institute’s guests into the scholarly life at Konstanz. The Institute likewise encourages its internal and external fellows to form and intensify contacts with interested students working on both a master’s and doctoral level.
At Konstanz fellows enjoy an attractive academic and research location: in 2012 the university once again received a “seal of excellence” in the framework of the German Federal “Excellence Initiative.” Likewise the “Cultural Foundations of Social Integration” Center of Excellence, itself first honored in 2006 in that initiative’s framework, was highly positively evaluated in 2012 and extended for a five-year period. With two striking locations, the Institute for Advanced Study is a major focal point of the Center’s activities.