Division Leibniz Competition
Leibniz Association
Chausseestraße 111
10115 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 / 20 60 49 - 33 or -32

Funding Line 2: National and international networking

Children and their world: knowledge and interpretations of the world in textbooks and children’s books between 1850 and 1918

Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), Braunschweig

Children have a distinctive view of the world, and yet their world is always shaped and influenced by the society in which they grow up. Which ideas about the world surrounded children and young people 100 years ago, in an age of both increased nationalism and advancing globalisation? Seven research institutions and libraries have now joined forces to explore this question in a wide-ranging research project headed by the Georg Eckert Institute. In order to explore the worlds of children in the period 1850-1918 and the ideas that influenced them, the researchers will be analysing those written sources accessible to children in an age without television, radio or the internet: over 7,000 school textbooks and books for children and young people. The research team will be making use of innovative methods from the digital humanities and employing new ways of combining hermeneutical approaches with information science and technology.

Period: 1. May 2014 - 31. January 2018
Final report (in German only) (PDF)

Scientific infrastructure for art-historical monuments in East Central Europe

Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe - Institute of the Leibniz Association (HI), Marburg

There is still a lack of information about the history of art in East Central Europe. Adequate research based publications and scientific data bases are rare. Therefore, three leading academic institutions in Germany (HI Marburg, GWZO Leipzig, Bildarchiv Foto Marburg) and departments of the academies of sciences in Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary work together in this project. Its purpose is to create a scientific infrastructure on the web, which will be far more than a simple picture database. Based on a transnational scientific approach and on current research, the project’s aim is the proper description and classification of art-historical phenomena. It focuses on about 4,000 works of art and architecture which are especially relevant to scientific research. Beside the digitalisation of archival images there will be new material produced through image campaigns which finally will be added to the “Europeana” and to the “Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek” [German Digital Library].

Period: 1. July 2014 - 31. March 2018
Final report (in German only) (PDF)

An imperial town in a time of transition – Life, environment and decline of early byzantine Caričin Grad

Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum - Leibniz Research Institute for Archaeology (RGZM), Mainz

Caričin Grad in today’s Serbia was established in circa 530 AD under the reign of the emperor Iustinian and experienced a short-lived flourishing until its vanishing during the turbulent beginnings of the early medieval age in the 7th century. The city remains and its hinterland remained undisturbed from later encroachments and offer a unique situation for international and interdisciplinary investigations: What did it take to build a city on the brink of Antiquity to the Medieval Ages? How did life change due to the establishment of an urban structure in a previously predominantly rural environment? The project will address questions concerning social, environmental and economic history and provide insights concerning the economy of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Eventually, a reconstruction of Caričin Grad in particular and the concept of ’city’ in general as interdependent parts of environment and society - human ecology - will evolve and provide a new perspective on history.

Period: 1. January 2014 - 31. December 2017

Project Website
Final report (in German only) (PDF)

SowiDataNet - Research data network for social and economic sciences: Infrastructure for the self-archiving and distribution of quantitative research data of the social and economic sciences

Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS), Mannheim

The SowiDataNet project aims at the creation of a research data network for the social and economic sciences. The core of the network will be a web-based, independent infrastructure, which allows a low-threshold self-archiving, documentation and distribution of research data. This service will be oriented to the specific needs of the scientific community. The main focus will be laid on quantitative data from the social and economic sciences and therefore on two specifically empirical oriented scientific disciplines. An integration of data bases from different sources has the advantage that research data can be archived and documented according to unified standards. Centralising data bases from different sources also enables an integrated search option for research data, whereby the possibilities for data reanalysis will be facilitated.

Period: 1. April 2014 - 31. December 2017

Final report (in German only) (PDF)

IDCAR - International Diffusion and Cooperation of Authoritarian Regimes

GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien (GIGA), Hamburg

Research on the international diffusion and cooperation of authoritarian regimes is an important new research field, which is still in its infancy. The existing literature is highly fragmented and only loosely connected to concepts developed in broader political science and diffusion studies. By bringing together leading international scholars in a common framework of research and exchange, the IDCAR network seeks to overcome this lacuna. The network aims at a sequence of thematic conferences, joint panels at international conferences, publications in high-standard journals, a scholarly exchange program, the compilation of new datasets, and the systematic generation of future research projects.

Period: 1. July 2014 - 30. June 2019

The political economy of education policy: Insights from a public opinion survey

Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich (ifo)

To better understand the political economy of education policy and obstacles to reform, Ifo will conduct an annual public opinion survey in Germany. Exploiting controlled randomisation of information provision in the survey, the seven modules of the proposed research project will investigate important questions of education policy. These include effects of imperfect information on policy preferences, comparative aspects between Germany and the U.S., subgroup heterogeneity, perceived vs. actual situations, age and preferences, voter preferences and party positions, and teacher opinions. The project will create a lasting cross-disciplinary network with the Program of Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University to achieve thematic leadership on this important topic.

Period: 1. January 2014 - 31. December 2017

Project website
Final report (PDF)

Effectiveness of youth employment programmes

Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Essen

This project analyses the effectiveness and optimal design of youth employment programmes. These programmes – such as skills training, entrepreneurship training, wage subsidies – are of crucial policy importance against the background of high and increasing rates of youth unemployment worldwide. The project comprises three work packages: (1) meta-analysis of the universe of impact evaluations of youth interventions, (2) a set of particular evaluations in specific countries, (3) methodological advances in measuring outcomes. The project brings together a network of international partners uniquely qualified to conduct this research: the World Bank, the International Labour Office ILO, the Inter-American Development Bank IDB, GIZ – German Society for International Cooperation, and RWI.

Period: 1. July 2014 - 30. June 2018

Ubiquitous working: Challenges and opportunities for the networked world

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim

Increased networking and virtualization allow the separation of work from the workplace. From the universal presence of work grows a ubiquity of work - Ubiquitous Working (UW). An interdisciplinary research network with a focus on microeconomics will deal with the theoretical and empirical issues surrounding the opportunities and challenges of UW. To this end, a broad and unique database will be created and used on different levels in order to examine the different dimensions of UW from the perspectives of the disciplines involved.  An essential part of the research project is networking activities that support joint research and promote exchanges between the involved partners.

Period: 1. April 2014 - 31. October 2017

Final report (in German only) (PDF)

DNA damage responses in aging

Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Jena

Accumulation of DNA damage, as observed in aged human tissues, is one of the molecular causes of aging. Cells respond to DNA damage by activating checkpoints that prevent the contribution of damaged cells to tissue homeostasis by induction of cell death (apoptosis), cell cycle arrest (senescence) or self-digestion of the damaged cells (autophagy). Induction of a DNA damage response (DDR) prevents cancer formation by eliminating genetically instable cells. However, when a growing number of cells in aging tissues accumulates DNA damage, the induction of the same responses can also lead to loss of tissue maintenance and tissue atrophy. The main aims of our current proposal are to delineate the functional influence of the DDR on cellular and tissue aging at different levels and will be studied within a network of collaborating Leibniz Institutes (FMP, IUF, LIN). We hypothesize that specific inhibitors of central players of DDR can be developed for future therapies to promote healthy aging.

Period: 1. March 2014 - 28. February 2018

Project Website
Final report (PDF)

Role of proteostasis in cellular aging

Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Berlin

Many aging-related human diseases including Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease are caused by the accumulation of defective or aggregated proteins or even entire organelles. The project conducted in collaboration with three other Leibniz Institutes is based on the hypothesis that alterations in protein homeostasis underlie aging-related disorders. By combining studies at the system level in vivo with biochemical and NMR-based structural studies and with high throughput small molecule screening we will unravel key mechanisms involved in cellular protein homeostasis (i.e. autophagy, lysosomal proteolysis, protein aggregation) and their contribution to aging-related diseases ranging from aging-induced memory loss to osteoporosis. Furthermore, together with our partners in Berlin and at other Leibniz Institutes the proposed collaborative network will place the Leibniz association at the forefront of aging research with the ultimate goal of developing novel strategies to support healthy aging.

Period: 1. June 2014 - 31. May 2017

Final report (PDF)

The decline of cognitive function in normal aging

Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN), Magdeburg

Normal aging impairs cognition, including learning and memory. We believe that this impairment is due to subtle changes in synapses in vulnerable areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, the focal point of a network of cortical areas that are associated with memory function. In this project we want to pursue the hypothesis that alterations in synaptic protein homeostasis significantly contribute to the cognitive decline during aging. To this end we have identified key processes contributing to alterations in synaptic protein content during aging, including glia-synapse interactions, protein trafficking and degradation as well as transcriptional control of neuronal excitability.

Period: 1. January 2014 - 31. December 2017
Final report (PDF)

(Reverse) Proteomics as novel tool for biodiversity research

Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften – ISAS – e.V. (ISAS), Dortmund und Berlin

Biodiversity research today is more important than ever before: On the one hand, humans have been intervening in nature for decades, thus strongly reducing biological diversity. On the other hand, it is still unknown how many and which species actually exist on earth. Presumably, no more than ten percent of all species are classified to date. The dominating classification method on genome basis – the so called DNA barcoding – has many benefits, but also some serious drawbacks, so that biodiversity research needs reliable novel tools to complement the barcoding approach. One such method is the “Reverse Proteomics” approach that will be developed in the scope of this project. Instead of scanning genomes for marker genes, the method searches for specific protein profiles. The genomic and the proteomic approach will perfectly complement one another and thus lead to a faster and more reliable species classification.

Period: 1. July 2014 - 31. December 2017

Final report (PDF)

The role of microplastic as vector of microbial assemblages in the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea (MikrOMIK)

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW)

The severe accumulation of microplastic (particles smaller than 5 mm) in the marine environment has been recognised by the scientific community, but its ecological consequences are by far not understood yet. The joint project MikrOMIK is aiming at a comprehensive analysis of microplastic in the Baltic Sea, focusing on the microbial populations colonising the plastic. Applied methods will encompass the fields of molecular and infection biology, microbiology, chemical analytics, bioinformatics, ecology, physical oceanography, and modelling. Milestones of MikrOMIK are: (I) a first-time analysis of the distribution, potential sources, and sinks of microplastic in the Baltic Sea; (II) the determination of the role of microplastic as vector of specific microbial populations and their functions; (III) the assessment of health risks for the littoral states of the Baltic Sea, emanating from microplastic as a vector for pathogenic microorganisms.

Picture: Microplastic particle and fiber, respectively, at the beach of Warnemünde (Rostock)

Period: 1. April 2014 - 31. December 2017

Final report (PDF)