Charter of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin

Article 1
Purpose of the Society

(1) The Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin (hereinafter referred to as the "Kolleg") performs a service to advanced study by giving recognized academics the opportunity to carry out research work of their own choosing in Berlin. It promotes cooperation between researchers, particularly between researchers from different countries and disciplines, and between them and other figures in intellectual life. It gives special emphasis to promoting young researchers.

(2) The Kolleg cultivates relations with its former Fellows and promotes limited-term projects, especially if they are connected to former Fellows or serve to attract future Fellows.

Article 2
Name, Seat, Non-profit Status, Accounting Year

(1) The society bears the name "Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study Berlin" and has its seat in Berlin. Its name is entered in the Register of Societies.

(2) The society is non-profit; it does not primarily pursue economic purposes of its own. No person may benefit from outlays foreign to the purpose of the society or through disproportionately high payments. The funds must be used solely for purposes that are in accordance with the Charter. The members receive no share of profits and no other payments from the funds of the society. Resigning members have no claim on the society's assets. In the event that the society is dissolved or its tax-privileged purposes cease, its assets will devolve upon the Ernst Reuter Foundation for Advanced Study (hereinafter referred to as "Foundation"), which must use them directly and exclusively for tax-privileged purposes.

(3) The accounting year is the calendar year.

Article 3

(1) Ordinary members of the society are the Presidents or Chairmen of

  • the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn-Bad Godesberg,
  • the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in Bonn-Bad Godesberg,
  • the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Bonn-Bad Godesberg,
  • the Freie Universität Berlin,
  • the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
  • the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in Berlin and Munich,
  • the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) in Berlin,
  • the Technische Universität Berlin,
  • the German Rectors' Conference (HRK),
  • the German Council of Sciences and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat).

Further ordinary members may be admitted by decision of the Members' Assembly.

(2) The ordinary members pay no contributions.

(3) A member wishing to resign from the Society must submit notice in writing to the Director. The period of notice is six months before the end of a calendar year.

(4) On the recommendation of the Director, the Members' Assembly has the authority to elect as supporting members individuals or corporate bodies with legal status who guarantee to make substantial contributions either once or on a regular basis to the Society or to support the Society in any other way. Paying members have a deliberative vote in the Members' Assembly.

Article 4
Organs of the Society
The organs of the Society are the Members' Assembly, the Director and the Academic Advisory Board.

Article 5
Members' Assembly

(1) The Members' Assembly determines the guidelines for the work of the Kolleg. It sets the annual budget. It receives the Director's annual report and the annual accounts and approves the acts of the Director. It appoints an auditor who examines the annual accounts.

(2) The Members' Assembly elects the Director, the Academic Advisory Board and the Permanent Fellows and Long-Term Fellows (Article 9) of the Kolleg in accordance with the following provisions.

(3) The ordinary Members' Assembly is convened each year by the Director. The invitation to the meeting, together with the agenda, must reach the members at least four weeks before the meeting.

(4) The Director may convene extraordinary Members' Assemblies in accordance with Paragraph 3, 2nd sentence. He is obliged to convene a meeting if three members so request.

(5) The Members' Assembly elects a chairperson and a secretary to take the minutes of each meeting.

(6) The Members' Assembly constitutes a quorum if at least one third of the members are present in person and at least two thirds of the votes are represented. Resolutions should be unanimous and can be passed only with a majority of votes. The same applies to elections. Decisions may be voted upon in writing, providing no member immediately objects.

(7) Ordinary members who are prevented from attending a Members' Assembly may vote by proxy through another ordinary member. No member may cast more than three votes.

(8) Members of the Academic Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of the Foundation (Article 2, Para 2) are invited to the meetings of the Members' Assembly. They have deliberative votes.

Article 6

(1) The Director of the Society is the head of the Kolleg (Rector). In collaboration with the Secretary (Article 11), he is responsible for the day-to-day business of the Society and for preparing the annual budget.

(2) If the Director is prevented from carrying out his duties, he is to be represented in academic matters by the Permanent Fellow of the Kolleg (Article 9) who is most senior in age, and in business matters by the Secretary, unless he himself or the Members' Assembly makes another arrangement.

(3) The Director is elected for a period of five years by the Members' Assembly with the agreement of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation (Article 2, Para 2). The Director cannot be voted out of office except for serious reasons. Reelection is possible. If he is not elected from among the Permanent Fellows of the Kolleg, the Director-elect is to be appointed a Permanent Fellow; this appointment is not limited by the term of his office as Director. If the new Director is not elected in time or if the new Director takes up office at a later date, the former Director stays in office for the respective period.

(4) The Director confers regularly with the other Permanent Fellows on the academic work of the Kolleg, the appointment of Fellows and the invitation of guests. His aim should be consensual decisions.

Article 7
Academic Advisory Board

(1) The Academic Advisory Board advises the Director on all academic matters within the Kolleg. The Director consults the Board in particular regarding all recommendations for the appointment of Fellows.

(2) The Academic Advisory Board consists of
a) at least six but not more than eighteen German and foreign academics elected by the Members' Assembly for a period of three years; their number must be divisible by three; only one immediate reelection is possible.
b) three figures from public life delegated by the Board of Trustees of the Foundation (Article 2, Para 2) from among their members for a term of office to be determined by the Board of Trustees.
The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation is invited to the meetings and has a deliberative vote.

(3) The members of the Academic Advisory Board are recommended by the Rector and elected by the Members' Assembly.

(4) Notwithstanding Paragraph 2 a), one third of the first members are to be appointed for a period of two years, one third for three years and one third for four years, so that the period of office of one third of the members will end after two years and another third in each successive year.

(5) Fellows of the Kolleg may not belong to the Academic Advisory Board. If a member of the Advisory Board resigns before his period of office has expired, a successor is to be appointed for the remaining period of office.

(6) The Academic Advisory Board elects a chairperson from among its members.

(7) Meetings of the Academic Advisory Board are to be convened by the Director in accordance with Article 5, Para 3, 2nd sentence. The Permanent Fellows (Article 9) of the Kolleg and the Secretary may attend the meetings unless the Board decides otherwise; they have deliberative votes. Minutes are to be taken of the meetings. There may be written ballots for resolutions in accordance with Article 5 Para 6, 4th Sentence.

(8) Membership of the Academic Advisory Board is honorary.

Article 8

(1) Established researchers or, in some cases, other figures from intellectual life may be appointed Fellows of the Kolleg depending on the number of places available. They are not members of the Society in the sense of Article 3.

(2) Fellows are appointed by the Rector generally for a period of one year, except where Article 9 applies. Immediate reappointment is possible; a further appointment, however, requires a secret ballot by the Academic Advisory Board with a two thirds majority in favour.

(3) Appointments will take into account the international nature of research. The aim is to achieve a balance between younger and older researchers.

(4) The Rector discusses intended appointments with the Permanent Fellows. The Academic Advisory Board comments.

(5) The Fellows are not subject to any instructions regarding their work at the Kolleg.

(6) The Fellows are to live and work in Berlin. As far as means permit, the Kolleg will provide them with facilities and funds for research trips and assistants. Funds may be provided by the Kolleg to pay them a salary (grant) and/or compensation for the costs they incur during their stay in Berlin. Agreements on this matter are to be settled with the Rector and put in writing.

Article 9
Permanent Fellows

(1) Upon the recommendation of the Rector, in consultation with the Academic Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of the Foundation (Article 2, Para 2), the Members' Assembly may appoint Fellows for a longer period.

(2) Limited-term appointments (Long-Term Fellows) are agreed for three to five years. Long-Term Fellows' primary responsibility is to pursue their chosen research projects in Berlin, thereby furthering the tasks of the Kolleg. Material conditions are agreed in accordance with Article 8.

(3) Non-residential Permanent Fellows are released from the duty to reside in Berlin. Their primary responsibility is to cooperate in the Kolleg's research work (Article 6 Para 4). They are appointed for a limited term, as a rule five years. A payment agreement with them determines what payment they will receive for this cooperation and the extent to which they pursue their own research work at the Kolleg.

(4) In exceptional cases, Fellows can be appointed for an unspecified period (Permanent Fellows). The Permanent Fellows' responsibility is to pursue their chosen research projects in Berlin and to cooperate in the Kolleg's research work (Article 6 Para 4).

Article 10

The Rector may invite guests to the Kolleg for short stays of up to six months. Paragraphs 3, 5 and 6 of Article 8 apply to them.

Article 11

(1)The Secretary is appointed by the Members' Assembly on the recommendation of the Rector. The position is full-time. He must have completed an academic training.

(2) The Secretary carries out the administrative business of the Kolleg on his own responsibility in accordance with the Rector's guidelines. He prepares the meetings of the Kolleg's organs and committees and carries out their resolutions.

Article 12
Final Provisions

(1) This Charter takes effect on 11 June 1980.
Insofar as individual conditions require the agreement or participation of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation (Article 2, Para 2) for resolutions or committees, these come into effect to this extent on the day following the establishment of the Foundation.

(2) Amendments to the Charter require the unanimous agreement of the Members' Assembly. They require the agreement of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

(3) In the event that the Society is dissolved, Paragraph 2 applies.