The Wissenschaftskolleg invites outstanding researchers from all disciplines and all parts of the world to spend a research year in Berlin. For each “class”, the Wissenschaftskolleg aims to bring together the most diverse and stimulating group possible of about 40 Fellows. Each candidate is first and foremost evaluated on the basis of individual accomplishments in his or her field of endeavor.
Along with the Fellow’s previous research record, the quality and potential of the research proposal submitted by the candidate plays a crucial role in the selection decision and is evaluated by external experts.
In addition to the evaluation of individual candidates on individual merits, the Wissenschaftskolleg also seeks to compose a Fellow "class" that is greater than the sum of its individual members. Ideally, a Fellowship increases the probability of serendipitous discoveries through informal encounters with scholars from other disciplines and intellectual traditions as well as with artists, novelists, and composers.
The selection process is carried out in several steps. The Rector confers with the Permanent Fellows and the Academic Advisory Board on all applications and nominations and solicits external evaluations.