The Academies’ Programme is currently the largest research programme in the humanities in the Federal Republic of Germany. It promotes long-term basic research in disciplines including law, economics and social sciences as well as humanities projects that overlap with the natural sciences. The funding periods range between twelve and 25 years. The programme is coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

Event at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig. Photo: Swen Reichhold
Event at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig. Photo: Swen Reichhold

The programme and its research projects are implemented by the eight academies under the umbrella of the Union as well as by Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences. At present, professors from Leipzig University are leading eight Academy projects at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


Dictionary of Old High German

Project director: Professor Hans Ulrich Schmid

The aim of the Dictionary of Old High German project is to unlock and record the sheer wealth of German vocabulary preserved in all text types written in the earliest stage of the language. The dictionary comprises ten volumes and is available online.

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Bibliotheca Arabica – new history of Arabic literature

Project director: Professor Verena Klemm

The Bibliotheca Arabica project is dedicated to the study of Arabic-language literature between 1150 and 1850, adopting a transregional perspective that extends beyond the centres of Arab literary production in Egypt and Syria. These centuries have hitherto been neglected by research and are often seen as a period of decline in creative cultural output.

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Eine Lupe wird auf ein arabisches Buch gehalten
Das Team um Professorin Verena Klemm erforscht alte arabische Schriften.

Letters and records on the church policy of Frederick the Wise and John the Steadfast from 1513 until 1532

Project directors: Professor Armin Kohnle and Professor Manfred Rudersdorf

Aiming to aid both ecclesiastical and general historical research, this publishing project makes the records of the church policy of the Reformation electors Frederick the Wise and his successor, John, accessible in both printed and electronic form for the first time. The project presents its results digitally on an ongoing basis.

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German inscriptions of the Middle Ages and the early modern period

Project director: Professor Wolfgang Huschner

Inscriptions are original or copied texts recorded on different materials such as stone, wood and metal, but also glass, earthenware, textiles and leather. These are an important supplement to handwritten and printed sources. This project publishes inscriptions of the Middle Ages and the early modern period up to 1650 from Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thuringia.

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Publication of the correspondence of Johann Christoph Gottsched

Project director: Professor Manfred Rudersdorf

Since 2000, the project has pursued the task of publishing the entire correspondence of Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700 – 1766), one of the key figures of the German and European Enlightenment, in a historical-critical edition.

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Structure and transformation in the vocabulary of the Egyptian language

Project director: Professor Hans-Werner Fischer-Elfert

This joint project of the Leipzig and Berlin Academies is building a comprehensive, philologically and linguistically annotated digital corpus of Egyptian texts from all linguistic and literary epochs.

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19th-century academic relations between Germany and Russia in the fields of chemistry, pharmacy and medicine

Project director: Professorin Ortrun Riha

The project aims to document and present the scientific relations between the German-speaking countries and the Russian Empire in the fields of chemistry, pharmacy and medicine in the “long” 19th century. A biobibliographical encyclopaedia covers those chemists, pharmacists and physicians who played an important role in these contacts.

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Academic study of Buddhist cave paintings in the Kuča region of the Northern Silk Road

Project director: Professor Eli Franco

The Buddhist caves of the Kuča region (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China) on the Northern Silk Road contain impressive murals dating back to the 5th to 10th centuries. Now, for the first time, these are being completely catalogued, documented and academically evaluated in cooperation with researchers in various European countries, China, Japan and the US.

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Höhlenmalerei in einer der Tausend-Buddha-Höhlen von Kizil im Uigurischen Autonomen Gebiet Xinjiang, China.
Höhlenmalerei in der Pfauenhöhle von Kizil im Uigurischen Autonomen Gebiet Xinjiang, China.

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DFG-funded projects

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Ministry-funded projects

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EU-funded projects

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