The Wissenschaftskolleg regards itself as a place that offers outstanding or promising scholars the opportunity to be relieved for one year of the obligations and distractions of everyday life at a university and to work on or complete a research project that they think promises substantial progress in knowledge. In the framework of working groups, the stay can focus on a common project undertaken by several Fellows. To ensure that living together with circa 40 persons from various disciplines and nations is as stimulating as possible, in past years certain conventions have developed: the Tuesday Colloquium (work in progress), the common meals, and the residence obligation. Beyond this, the Fellows themselves shape their scholarly life. The Kolleg merely offers rooms and aid in organizing seminars, in establishing scholarly contacts in Berlin, and in inviting guests. The Fellows’ partners are welcome at all events, including the common meals. If they do scholarly or scientific work and require support, they can avail themselves of the institute’s services.
The central academic event and forum for an interdisciplinary discussion is the Tuesday Colloquium. At one point during the Fellowship, each Fellow will present his or her current research work to the other Fellows in this colloquium, held Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The lecture should be a presentation of a “work in progress” and at the same time understandable to scholars from unrelated disciplines; it is followed by a discussion. The language of the lecture is either English, German, or French. The Wissenschaftskolleg encourages its Fellows – and supports them in this – to hold their lecture in the language in which they can best present their material, even if this means not all the other Fellows will understand them. If a Fellow lectures in German or French, the language division of the Fellow Services will provide an English translation of the text, so that English-speaking Fellows can read along during the lecture.
The Rector asks certain Fellows to conduct public evening lectures, which serve to present to a broader public the research of individual Fellows as examples of the work of the Wissenschaftskolleg.
For Fellow working groups, event rooms of various sizes are available in the Wissenschaftskolleg. Seminars with outside and Berlin participants are intended to help the Fellows advance their research projects. To the extent of its capacities, the Wissenschaftskolleg provides assistance in applying for the necessary funding and in organizing the seminars.
The Wissenschaftskolleg regards the common lunches offered every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and the common dinner on Thursday to be an important part of community life. Participation in the meals is obligatory for Fellows; the lump sum for meals (currently 325 €/month) will be withdrawn from the Fellow’s bank account.
In the Agreement with the Rector, Fellows consent to the residence obligation and declare their willingness to take part in the Kolleg’s scholarly events, in particular the Colloquia and the common meals. They inform the Secretary by e-mail about their travel plans for professional or private reasons. One-time absences that will take longer than one week or total absences of more than 30 days over the course of the academic year require the prior consent of the Rector.
Fellows have the possibility to invite guests for joint scientific or scholarly work. The Wissenschaftskolleg contributes to the costs of the invitations – for a maximum of 14 days over the entire academic year – by providing accommodations for the guests and by inviting them to the common meals at the Wissenschaftskolleg.
Fellows are asked to provide the library, in advance or upon their arrival at the latest, with a copy of each of their most important publications, especially those listed as recommended reading in the brochure “Fellows’ Projects”, so that these works may be available to other Fellows. The Wissenschaftskolleg library collects works that Fellows have published during their stay at the Wissenschaftskolleg or that are based on their research here. To this end, Fellows are requested to send us copies. These publications should contain acknowledgement of the support received from the Wissenschaftskolleg.
After the end of each academic year, the Wissenschaftskolleg publishes a yearbook, for which the Rector requests that each Fellow submit a short report on his or her work and stay at the Kolleg.