The Hertie Foundation’s activities in the areas of “Neuroscience” and "Democracy" pursue the following aims:

  • Democracy training
  • Support for the acquisition of new knowledge in the field of neuroscience
  • European integration

The foundation works at operational level and provides funding. Only projects that support the foundation’s defined aims will be considered for funding. If you would like to apply for funding from the foundation, please check first whether your project falls within one of our areas.

Funding guidelines

§ 1 GHS’ funding activity

1. Within statutory purposes, GHS provides support in the areas of neuroscience, European integration and education for democracy.
2.  GHS provides both operating and promotional support. Activities are prioritized in accordance with the Executive Board’s strategic decisions on GHS’ programmatic orientation.
3. GHS supports only projects whose results are accessible to the public.
4.  In accordance with the purposes of the foundation, projects with domestic and foreign charitable institutions and project operators can be supported.

§ 2 Principles of support

1. GHS exclusively promotes exemplary and innovative projects within their defined areas of funding. In particular, it ensures start-up financing of such projects. A funding period of five years should not be exceeded.
2.  The requested funding must not replace any contributions from the beneficiaries’ actual funding bodies, especially not those provided by the government.  Precautions have to be taken to ensure that third party donors are not compelled to reduce their contributions accordingly. Projects and activities already underway can only be supported in exceptional cases.
3.  Funds are allocated for specific purposes, generally in the form of a non-repayable grant. The granting of general, unspecified grants is excluded. Grants can typically only be awarded to institutions and bodies, but not to individuals. The institution or agency should have a  seat or a permanent establishment, or at least one representative  in the European Union.
4. The applicant must indicate whether the respective grant application has also been presented to another institution for decision. If so, specify the name of the institution the application has already been submitted to in this or similar form.

§ 3 Negative list

The following general requests are excluded from eligibility unless they are associated with a specific funding program sponsored by GHS:
• Grants for printing costs of publications
• Translation work
• Bridging budget gaps
• Requests for reimbursement of individuals participating in congresses, conferences     
• and training
• Acquisition, completion or maintenance of collections of all kinds
• Preservation of monuments and construction
• Individual grants outside GHS’ own scholarship programs

§ 4 Application

1. Applications may only be submitted in writing. The application process is informal unless special provisions are provided for individual priorities and GHS programs. The latter is especially true for scholarship programs and research funding.
2.  Each application requires a description of the project (project outline) including the following information:
• Applicant info
• Scope of project, project goals and content
• Rational for  project’s special funding suitability
• Information on project’s suitability as model , innovation, transferability and sustainability of the Project scope and sequence
• Project costs broken down by types of costs (human resources, travel and materials as defined by  § 7 of this guideline)
• Explanation of funding (Follow-up financing, if required)
• Short report by independent expert, if required.
3.  National foundations and corporations are required to document eligibility for tax benefits in accordance with § 51 ff., tax code (valid notice of exemption); other applicants have to declare that the funds are used exclusively for the purposes specified in the application.

§ 5 Application Assessment

1.  GHS verifies the application’s substantive compatibility with foundation purposes and defined funding areas. Furthermore, the feasibility of the proposed project is examined, inter alia, with regard to organizational and financial aspects.
2. GHS reserves the right to have projects and funding proposals appraised by external experts. Experts are selected from different disciplines, universities and institutions according to the requirements of individual applications 
3.  GHS’ decision-making is unencumbered by outside interests; there’s no entitlement to receive a grant. GHS is not subject to the principle of equal treatment. There is no right to appeal.
4.  GHS will make a reasonable effort to decide about project applications in a timely manner and inform the applicant accordingly.

§ 6 Grant Award

1. Grants are awarded by written notification of approval. A project contract may substitute for an approval notice particularly in the case of larger projects. Any other commitments or prior notifications of resolutions of the governing bodies do not remain binding. Approval may be linked to the fulfillment of certain conditions.
2.  Cooperation with partners in operational projects is governed by contractual agreements.

§ 7 Grants

The following grants can be applied for:
1.  Personnel costs
Authorized personnel funds are used for employee compensation including non-wage labor costs (e.g. employer contributions to statutory social insurance).  For each person hired, an employment or service contract has to be drawn up. The grantee has all the rights and obligations arising from the employment or service contracts. Fees are to be paid out from material resources.
2. Travel expenses
Project-related trips are to be financed from funds approved for this purpose. For domestic and international travel, the day and overnight rates are generally settled according to the Federal Travel Expenses regulations for civil servants.
3. Material Assets
Material assets are to be used for the acquisition of necessary equipment and mobile assets in addition to consumable supplies. The purchase of a device or multiple functionally connected  devices of more than € 5,000 are to be listed separately at the application stage or approved later provided approval is obtained before purchase. 
4. As a rule, procurement must at least be based on two offers. Equipment and tangible goods that are purchased with granted funds shall become the property of the grantee. Proper accommodation and maintenance of equipment is to be ensured. Ongoing costs of the equipment (operating costs) such as maintenance, repair, spare parts, etc. are assumed by GHS only within the scope of the approved budget. Fees, allowances and scholarships are also to be financed from material resources.

§ 8 Call-up plan

1. To request already approved funds, the applicant has to file a call-up plan indicating current needs and project progress to ensure the continuous implementation of the project for the grant period. Personnel funding is to be requested on a quarterly basis. To call up funds, applicants must use the form “call-up plan” provided by GHS which will be sent along with the approval notice.
2. After examination of the call-up plan by GHS, the funds will be transferred to grantee’s account in accordance with the dates specified. GHS may request that the grantee establishes a separate account with his financial institution that is used exclusively for handling the GHS grant.
3.  Approved funds that are not claimed within three months of the end of the project will be forfeited.

§ 9 Use of funds

1.  Economic purpose
The funds authorized by GHS are to be used economically and prudently.
2. Allocation
Appropriations are allocated for specific purposes according to established cost categories. Larger deviations and all material reclassifications are subject to approval by GHS. The grantee is responsible for the purposeful use of funds. Claims arising from the grant can neither be transferred nor seized.
3.  Funding period
Funds authorized by GHS are not tied to financial years. Upon request, the funding period indicated in the approval notice may be extended. Based on an application for continued funding, GHS approves additional resources that are required as part of the extension or continuation of a project.
4.  Deadlines
Approved funds have to be used within 6 months of release at the latest (§ 8).
5.  Funds not used in a timely manner
GHS is to be informed without delay about requested funds which were used in a timely manner. 
6. As a rule, unspent funds are to be returned immediately to GHS but no later than when submitted along with documentation of intended use.

§ 10 Reporting, documentation of intended use, project completion

1.  Reporting
After the end of the approval period, grantee must submit to GHS a final summary report on the endeavor and achievement of project objectives within three months or on the date disclosed at the time of approval. The form of the final report shall be agreed with GHS. In the case of multi-year endeavors or projects, grantee will generate interim reports in accordance with approval requirements. Beyond that, GHS can also arrange for an evaluation tailored to the specific project. Furthermore, grantee is obliged at any time to supply information on the status of the project or endeavor at the request of the foundation. In addition, the grantee is to report on his own initiative events that materially change the schedule of implementation.
2.  Purpose of use
The use of funds is to be accounted for by using the forms "costs compilation" and "purpose of use" provided by GHS. Evidence of the purpose of use is to be provided immediately, but no later than three months after completion of the project. Cleared funds must be supported by auditable documentation. The documents and other records are to be stored carefully in accordance with the statutory retention periods (currently 10 years).

GHS is entitled and reserves the right to examine at any time the intended use of funds by accessing books, records and other documents or by having them inspected by an authorized representative (use of funds audit). The grantee is subject to a reporting requirement. Upon request by GHS, the grantee will generate interim use of funds documentation, usually at year end or after expiry of a one-year funding period.

If upon examination of the interim evidence of use documentation it has been established that the grantee has failed to call up funds in a timely manner, GHS has the option to defer payments under the call-up plan. Funds that are unused or not legally required for the implementation of the project must be repaid immediately. In the case of co-financing by third parties, GHS is entitled to review all the documents.

§ 11 Public Relations

GHS is eager for the grantee to communicate the project plans it has financed by fostering active relations with press and public. All publicity-generating activities concerning the project must include a reference to GHS support, typically by including the GHS logo. All activities need to be agreed upon with GHS’ PR unit as early as in the design phase. GHS reserves the right to make the grantee’s project and its own funding decision the subject of a public announcement. For this purpose, grantee shall make available to GHS informative text and photo images upon request.

§ 12 Right to cancel

The GHS reserves the right to revoke the approval and recover the amounts paid if the conditions for approval are not sufficiently respected, in particular if funds are not used appropriately or proof of use of funds has not been furnished.The right to revoke the approval also applies if funding measures have not commenced within one year after receipt of the approval notification.

§ 13 Recognition of directive

By submitting the signed release plan, the grantee agrees to the provisions of this directive and all other conditions for approval which were declared before approval notification was sent.

As of March 10, 2009