Established in 1907, the Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung serves the specific purposes of supporting academic research in Hamburg and of disseminating academic learning. As an independent non-profit making organization it draws its means from the proceeds of its own assets as well as from individual donations and endowments.

The foundation focuses on the funding of small and medium-sized research projects, which tend to be neglected by public organizations. Projects to be considered must meet high academic standards and be noticeably connected to Hamburg – by way of the researchers’ professional affiliation with research institutions of Hamburg (click here for further information).

In cooperation with the Edmund Siemers Foundation (Hamburg) the Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung has been awarding the "Kurt-Hartwig-Siemers-Wissenschaftspreis" (endowed with € 50.000) for outstanding research and academic excellence since 1970. Its main purpose is to support post-doctoral students of the University of Hamburg at the initial stage of their academic career. In addition, the Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung awards the "Werner-von-Melle-Preis" (endowed with € 10.000) to excellent doctoral dissertations submitted to the University of Hamburg. Doctoral theses submitted must have a distinct social dimension. The award is designed to encourage outstanding young scholars to pursue their academic careers. Both prizes are awarded biennially in alternate years.

On the occasion of the Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung’s centenary in 2007, the Board of Trustees initiated a publication series celebrating important "Patrons of Science" who have promoted academic life in Hamburg. Individual biographical monographs honour distinguished donors of the last century and commemorate their financial commitment and the service they have paid to academic and the scientific community of Hamburg. Twenty-seven volumes have already been published by Hamburg University Press and Wallstein Verlag, three of them are available in English translation. The series is ongoing. Online versions are available on the Hamburg University Press website (open access). For further information regarding the project and the print editions click here and here.

With the publication series "Scientists in Hamburg", the Hamburg Scientific Foundation honors those figures who have been supported by her. Their research work has increased the reputation of the University of Hamburg. Up to now, seven biographies have been published by Wallstein Verlag, i.e. Erwin Panofsky (click here), Rahel Liebeschütz-Plaut (click here), Ernst Cassirer (click here), Emil Artin (click here), Carl Meinhof (click here), Bruno Snell (click here) and Martin Warnke (click here).

In its third book series "Artists in Hamburg", the Foundation portrays personalities who have set important artistic impulses in Hamburg - after all, its founder Werner von Melle as Hamburgs "Minister of Culture in the best sense" attempted to institutionalize artistry in his hometown. Currently two volumes on Otto Czeschka (click here) and Rosa Schapire (click here) has been published.