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

Funding line 1: Innovative projects

Abitur examination practices and essays, 1882 to 1972

German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), Frankfurt am Main

This project is meant to be a decisive contribution to a research inquiry with educational-historical relevance, one that examines the functions and modes of function of school examinations and their respective transformations.  A corpus of German Abitur essays will be compiled.  A longitudinal analysis of this corpus will compare different regions over an educational-historically relevant period; this comparison will examine not only the essay question topics, but also what the pupils wrote and how the teachers commented upon and evaluated the essays.  The methodology will adopt a praxeological approach along with an eHumanities process adapted to fit the project.  The annotated corpus will be made available to scholars of various disciplines for their later research use.

Period: 1. July 2016 – 30. Juni 2019

Electronic high performance components for applications between 500 and 1000 GHz

Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenz-technik, Berlin

To date, the frequency range above 500 GHz is almost unused, since suitable components for signal generation and amplification are missing. The available RF output power declines rapidly with frequency. At 500 GHz, only a few mW can be generated with today's integrated circuits, which considerably limits the range of applications. The goal of this project is to develop electronic components based on indium phosphide (InP) hetero-bipolar transistors that exhibit record power generation capability above 500 GHz and hence open up the spectrum between 500 and 1000 GHz to scientific and industrial applications such as high-resolution imaging radar for robotic applications, material quality control, low radiation medical imaging and high-bitrate wireless links. We realise InP transistors in a unique transfer substrate technology, which enables a high ratio of active device area to parasitic capacitance, resulting in high RF output power capability and geometric scalability beyond 1 THz.

Period: 1. January 2016 – 31. December 2019

Political economy of agricultural policies in federal systems

Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Halle an der Saale

The general objective of FEDAGRIPOL is the comparative analysis of the formation and development of agricultural policies at sub-federal level from a political economy perspective. More specifically, the project aims at explaining the behaviour of regulators (i.e. ministries, governments) at the level of EU member states and Russian provinces with respect to the choice of agricultural policy instruments and their implementation. The project fills important gaps in understanding the choices of EU member states and Russian oblasts in implementing the agricultural policy framework decided upon at the higher level. Thus, results of FEDAGRIPOL will better inform analyses of the incidence of agricultural policies for agricultural development and structural change in the EU and the Russian Federation.

Period: 1. April 2016 – 31. March 2019

Project Website

The lexicon of spoken German

Institute for the German Language (IDS), Mannheim

Modern dictionaries of German are usually based on the written language that is represented in large electronic text corpora. The aim of the project “Lexicon of Spoken German” is to design and compile the first dictionary of spoken German. As a prerequisite, lexical phenomena that are typical for spoken German are analyzed on the basis of the corpora of spoken German available at the Institute for the German Language. The dictionary will be available online and extensible. It covers the lexical units and properties typical for spoken German as it is used in conversations in private and institutional contexts.

Period: 1. July 2016 – 31. August 2019

Project Website

Silicon granulate self-crucible process

Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth (IKZ), Berlin

At the Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth a novel technique for the growth of dislocation-free single-crystals for the photovoltaic and the semiconductor industry has been invented and patented: the silicon granulate self-crucible method. The method has the potential to combine the advantages and avoid the disadvantages of the established methods, in terms of the costs, the achievable crystal quality and crystal diameter. The feasibility was already shown for small crystal diameter at laboratory scale. The objective of this project is to develop a stable growth process for crystals with large, industry-relevant diameter by means of experiments and numerical simulation and to prove the applicability of the material for high-efficiency solar cells and semiconductor devices.

Period: 1. July 2016 – 30. June 2019

Effects of science competitions for students: Two sides of a coin? The WinnerS project

Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at Kiel University (IPN)

Obtaining qualified staff in STEM-subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is of fundamental importance for business and science in Germany. Science competitions are a key element in preparing qualified students in science. They aim to spark interest as well as identify and systematically support the most talented students. However, not much is known about the effects of competitions on participants’ further development. Thus, the current project aims to investigate which factors determine success or failure in science competitions as well as the influence of success or failure on students’ further cognitive and affective development and on their career choices.

Period: 1. January 2016 – 31. December 2018

Agro and Paper Industry Waste to Bulk Chemicals. Levulinic Acid and Furfural as Platform Chemicals

Leibniz Institute for Catalysis Rostock (LIKAT)

The production of chemicals is currently based on increasingly scarce fossil resources. Cellulose and lignocellulose, in the form of agro waste or waste from the paper industry, are renewable feedstocks. A major challenge is their selective conversion into platform chemicals which are the building blocks for more elaborate chemicals. These reactions are totally different when compared to those needed for the conversion of fossil resources. Consequently, they require further development to allow their implementation. We want to establish levulinic acid (LA) and furfural as new platform-chemicals. One task is the development of a method for the production of LA from small cellulose fibers originating from a waste stream of the paper production. Furthermore, new routes are proposed from LA and furfural to existing or new base chemicals. To achieve this we will design and prepare new catalysts.

Period: 1. March 2016 – 31. August 2019

Electron dynamics and charge correlations studied by ultrafast soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy

Max-Born-Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI), Berlin

Photoinduced electron transfer represents a basic ultrafast process changing the electronic structure of molecules. However, direct experimental insight into transient electronic structure and, in particular, correlations between valence electrons has remained scarce. We propose to develop and implement soft x-ray absorption spectroscopy to sensitively probe electron dynamics and interactions, based on a tabletop laser-driven generation scheme for ultrashort soft x-ray pulses up to photon energies of 600 eV. This approach will be demonstrated in optical pump/x-ray probe experiments on molecular model systems and on crystalline lithium materials to unravel transient electronic structure and correlations at the atomic level.

Period: 1. February 2016 – 31. January 2020

Institute Website 

Economic Growth Impacts of Climate Change (ENGAGE)

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

The IPCC 5th Assessment Report shows large knowledge gaps about socio-economic impacts of climate change, especially changes in economic growth. This prevents the integrated assessment of impacts, mitigation and adaptation. ENGAGE aims to move towards closing these gaps by (a) developing a sound conceptual and empirical understanding of channels through which climate impacts affect growth, (b) estimating economic damages from selected impacts in a changing climate and socio-economic environment, in particular with regard to long-term growth effects, (c) exploring how the inclusion of growth effects changes the integrated assessment of selected impacts and mitigation strategies. This comprehensive approach will contribute to the next generation of integrated assessments for climate policy advice.

Period: 1. March 2016 – 29. February 2020