Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Cultures of Research”


The new Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Cultures of Research” is an international centre for advanced studies at the at RWTH Aachen University. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and offers international fellows from the humanities and social sciences, as well as fellows from the natural, life, and technical sciences, a free space to develop their own research and to exchange ideas with each other. The international centre is positioned where the fields of history, philosophy, and sociology of science and technology interface with science and technology. The focus of the centre’s work is on the manifold research cultures of the sciences, their commonalities, differences, and how they are transformed through interdisciplinary discourse.

The four research areas of the centre are (1) Complexity, Lifelikeness & Emergence, (2) Emerging Computational and Engineering Practices, (3) Histories and Varieties of Science, (4) Expanded STS.

For the 2021-2022 academic year the international center offers junior- and senior fellowships up to twelve months

  • on transformations in science and technology for scholars from the humanities, social sciences, and STS;
  • on understanding complex systems for scholars from science, in particular, material, bio, neuro and information science, engineering, mathematics, and logic;
  • on mediating and representing complexities and complex findings in science and technology for scholars from the arts, art history, science journalism, scientific illustration.

The Call for Fellows can be found here.

Application FAQs

Overall research line

The international centre will be dedicated to the manifold research cultures of the sciences, their commonalities, differences and transformations. The question at the focus of its interdisciplinary discourse will be how the orientation of the sciences around complex systems and societal challenges like climate change, the energy revolution, biologisation and sustainability is changing research, and how the epistemic and participative complexity of researching is increasing as a result. It will investigate this shift in researching from a historical and a contemporary perspective, cooperating with international fellows from the humanities, as well as the social sciences, natural sciences, life sciences, and technical sciences. The discourse revolves around the science philosophical premise that, through complexity requirements and through digitalisation as the facilitation of studying complex systems (simulation, artificial intelligence, machine learning), the forms of recognition and thus the findings of research are currently undergoing profound change. The consequence is that new cultures of (transdisciplinary) research are emerging, and that science and technology are closely intertwined (engineering of science/science of engineering).


The Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Cultures of Research” is part of the RWTH Aachen University, which is a University of Excellence and whose student body of 47,000 makes it one of the largest technical universities in Europe. With over fifty professorships and ten institutes from the humanities and social sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is an integral part of the interdisciplinary culture of teaching and research at RWTH Aachen University. The RWTH Aachen University is located at the border to Belgium and The Netherlands (Euregio). The center has a close collaboration with the STS institutes of the University of Maastricht and Liège and the Julich-Aachen Research Alliance (JARA BRAIN) at the Research Center Julich, a close-by research campus with more than 5,000 researchers.



Ana de la Varga

Geschäftsführung Käte Hamburger Kolleg


+49 241 80 25494