26 European research sponsors for humanities projects and the EU Commission are combined in the "HERA - Humanities in the European Research Area" network. Their common objective is to promote the humanities in the European Research Area and in the EU Research Framework Programmes.
HERA funding guidelines
Transnational-European, interdisciplinary, publicly committed, application-oriented and focused on the promotion of young researchers – this is the common denominator of the projects funded by HERA. So far, there have been four HERA funding guidelines:
In 2009, on the topics "Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity" and "Humanities as a Source of Creativity and Innovation",
in 2012 on "Cultural Encounters",
in 2015 on "Uses of the Past", and
in 2017 on "Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe".
Since May 2019, twenty European joint projects, including 14 sub-projects from Germany, have been dedicated to the exciting topic of "Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe (2019-2022)". The research focuses on the core question of how societies create public spaces and how these affect the coexistence of individuals and groups. For example, "PUTSPACE" examines public transport as a field of conflict between different political interests and how it can contribute to the social integration of urban societies. Markets or food festivals are also places that bring different cultures together, as the "FOOD2GATHER" project shows. Up to 2022, the funded projects will develop analyses and problem-solving approaches in the humanities and social sciences with regard to socio-spatial issues, for example, in the fields of infrastructure policy, migration or urban development.
24 countries in the network have joined forces to promote public spaces, including the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The BMBF is funding the participation of researchers and institutions from Germany with around 3.2 million euros. In addition to the contributions of the 24 national sponsors, the EU Commission is also supporting "Public Spaces" with a contribution of five million euros. 20 million euros for 20 joint projects – an important contribution to transnational and interdisciplinary cooperation in the humanities and to the issue of living together in Europe.
In a nutshell: The HERA funding guidelines "Uses of the Past" and "Cultural Encounters"
Uses of the past
What influence does our understanding of the past have on shaping the present and the future? How do we – whether as individuals, institutions or societies – use or make use of the past(s)? These are the topics addressed by 18 groups that have been funded for three years under the HERA "Uses of the Past" funding directive since 2016, with a total budget of around 20 million euros. 12 groups have German participation. They place history in the contexts of jurisprudence, material culture and politics, focussing on historical sites and on identity processes. Read more about “Uses of the past” at the HERA website and in the call for proposals (PDF, German-language).
From 2013 to 2016, 18 groups researched cultural interdependencies within and outside Europe as part of the "Cultural Encounters" tender, including eleven projects involving researchers from Germany. The area covered ranged from musical careers in the Baroque period to experiences of war in World War I, to network analysis of indigenous peoples in the Caribbean and the characteristics of single women in Asian cities. Read more about “Cultural Encounters” at the HERA website.
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