The Hamburg Institute for Advanced Study (HIAS) hosts outstanding scholars and researchers, as well as representatives of both the visual and the performing arts, who will find an interdisciplinary space of research and exchange in Hamburg, Germany.

HIAS promotes scholarship and research in the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering and the Arts. It was founded in January 2019 by a group of top higher education institutions:

Fellows 2020/2021

Katrin Hammerschmidt, Microbiology
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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Thomas Hirschhorn, Art

Philipp Lehmann, History of Science
University of California, Riverside

Dietmar von der Pfordten, Legal and Social Philosophy
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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Sophia Prinz, Cultural Sociology and Theory of Design
Berlin University of the Arts (UdK)

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Anna Katharina Schaffner, Comparative Literature and Medical Humanities
University of Kent

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Chenxi Tang, German Literature
University of California, Berkeley

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Fellows 2021/2022

Stephen Barber, Art History
Kingston University London

Paolo Luca Bernardini, Early Modern History
Università degli Studi dell’Insubria

Alide Cagidemetrio, English Literature
Emerita Università Ca´ Foscari Venezia, NYU Abu Dhabi

Péter Cserne, Law
University of Aberdeen

Colin DeYoung, Personality Psychology
University of Minnesota

Bärbel Friedrich, Microbiology
Emerita Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Andrea Frisch, French Literature
University of Maryland

Matthew Gandy, Cultural and Historical Geography
University of Cambridge

Rainer Goebel, Cognitive Neuroscience
Maastricht University

Constanze Güthenke, Classics and Comparative Literature
University of Oxford

Lisa Maria Herzog, Philosophy and Social Sciences
University of Groningen

Markus Jochum, Physical Oceanography
University of Copenhagen

Racha Kirakosian, German Medieval Studies
University of Freiburg

Birgit Liss, Applied Physiology
Ulm University

Axel Metzger, Law
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Lutz Rademacher, Conductor
Detmold, Germany

Oliver Schmidtke, Political Science
University of Victoria

Werner Sollors, English Literature
Emeritus Harvard University

James Vigus, English Literature
Queen Mary University of London

Urban Wiesing, Medical Ethics
University of Tübingen

HIAS appoints outstanding scholars and artists from all parts of the world who are granted full freedom to pursue their own research projects under excellent conditions on-site in Hamburg.

Starting in October 2020, HIAS aims to enable scholars and researchers as well as artists of distinction a space of intellectual freedom, entirely unimpeded by their usual professional duties, in which to pursue their own projects.Show more

The appointment of fellows is conducted both via calls for application, nominations by affiliates of HIAS' member institutions, as well as via personal address by members of the Institute’s Executive Committee. HIAS seeks to compose a cohort of fellows that, in respect to its members’ academic or artistic disciplines, countries of origin and career stages, is as diverse and stimulating as possible. HIAS attaches particular importance to the promotion of promising emergent early career researchers.Show less

Integration Into the Hamburg Research Infrastructure

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Utmost Freedom and Flexibility

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Services for Families

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Library Network

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Working Facilities

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Financial Arrangements

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Established scholars, promising emergent early career researchers as well as musicians and visual artists are eligible for application. The most important prerequisites for a fellowship at HIAS are intellectual curiosity, an interest in other disciplines as well as openness to engage with topics and ways of inquiry beyond the confines of one’s own discipline. Ideal candidates are researchers and artists who reflect the basic assumptions of their discipline and who work theoretically or conceptually. HIAS emphatically welcomes applications by early career researchers and emerging artists.

During their fellowship, fellows live and work in Hamburg. Research or projects requiring absence (e.g. in laboratories, archives or other facilities outside of Hamburg) are thus not suited for a HIAS fellowship.

To ensure that the Fellows enrich the Hamburg science location with their external perspective and expertise, researchers from within the metropolitan region of Hamburg are not eligible for a HIAS fellowship.


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Admission Criteria

Applicants should be internationally visible in their respective fields, give evidence of creativity and originality as well as willingness to participate in a community of scholars, scientists and artists and, in the form of lectures and other types of events, to engage with the broader public in the city of Hamburg.

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Board of Members

Prof. Dr. Andreas Timm-Giel Chairman
Acting President of Hamburg University of Technology

Prof. Martin Köttering
President of Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Prof. E.h. Edwin J. Kreuzer
President of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Lenzen
President of Universität Hamburg

Dr. Anna Neubauer Secretary-General
Chancellor of Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg

Executive Committee

Chair of the Executive Committee
Professor Dr. Frank Fehrenbach

Frank Fehrenbach is a professor in the Department of Art History at Universität Hamburg, a position that arose from his appointment to an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in 2013. From 2005 to 2013, he was professor at Harvard University. Since 2018 he has served as co-speaker for the Centre for Advanced Studies “Imaginaria of Force” at Universität Hamburg.
Frank Fehrenbach received his PhD from the University of Tübingen in 1995 and his habilitation from the University of Basel in 2003.

Professor Dr. Lorraine Daston

Lorraine Daston has been a member of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science since 1995 and served as its director until 2019. She is a regular visiting professor on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and honorary professor of the history of science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Lorraine Daston received her PhD in the history of science from Harvard University in 1979 and has taught at Harvard, Princeton, Brandeis and Göttingen University, among others.

Professor Dr. Jörg Hacker

Jörg Hacker served as president of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina from 2010 to 2020 and was president of the Robert Koch Institute from 2008 to 2010. From 2003 to 2009 he served as vice president of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
After receiving his PhD in biology from the University of Halle in 1979 and his habilitation from the University of Würzburg, Jörg Hacker was appointed professor of microbiology at Würzburg in 1988.

Professor Dr. Margret Wintermantel

Margret Wintermantel served as president of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from 2012 to 2019 and as president of the German Rectors’ Conference from 2006 to 2012. She was president of Saarland University from 2002 to 2006.
After studying psychology and journalism at Mainz University, Margret Wintermantel received her PhD in 1972 and her habilitation in psychology from the University of Heidelberg in 1986. In 1992, she was appointed professor of social psychology at Saarland University.

Administrative Office

Dr. Anna Neubauer

Sonja Gräber-Magocsi, PhD
Fellow Support
Academic Coordination
Tel.: +49 40 428 38 - 4475

Dr. Astrid Bothmann-Lucko
Fellow Support
Academic Coordination
Tel.: +49 40 428 38 - 2193

Tanja Kruse Brandão
Press and Public Relations
Financial Coordination
Tel.: +49 40 428 38 - 6795


Our Funders

HIAS is financed by funds from the Ministry of Science, Research, Equalities and Districts of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Universität Hamburg, the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg, the Joachim Herz Foundation and the ZEIT Foundation Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.

The Ministry is funding the HIAS Administrative Office. The funds of the University, the Academy, and the foundations are used to finance the fellowships.

The Academy of Sciences and Humanities supports the stay of early career researchers from all disciplines at HIAS.

The Ministry of Science, Research, Equalities and Districts finances the HIAS Administrative Office and thus realizes the administrative framework for the fellowship program.

With the support of the Joachim Herz Foundation, HIAS Fellowships for scientists and economists are realized.

The Körber Foundation organizes the annual conference series "Hamburger Horizonte - Wissenschaft trifft Gesellschaft" in cooperation with HIAS. Our common goal is to bring top-level research to life.

Through its funding by the Federal Government and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg within the framework of the Excellence Strategy, Universität Hamburg guarantees the stay of scientists and scholars from all disciplines and career levels as well as artists.

The ZEIT-Stiftung funds stays at HIAS for researchers from the social sciences and the humanities.

Reaching Out to the City’s Public

In order to encourage a continuous exchange of the fellows amongst each other as well as with the local scientific community, HIAS will conduct lectures and symposia on research questions and findings gained by the HIAS fellows. The scientifically interested public is invited to participate through events and publications.


05.03.2021: Conference on self-optimization

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Postponed: Lecture by Thomas Hirschhorn

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19./20.11.2020: Hamburger Horizonte

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29.10.2020: Opening

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Press releases

Hamburger Horizonte 2020

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Press notes

Conference on self-optimization

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