Academies of Sciences and Humanities

two historic books in a library

The functions of the German academies of sciences and humanities include providing guidance and advice to policymakers and society as a whole relating to general and specific issues of science and the humanities, including emerging issues. They organise symposia and public events, with which they make a valuable academic contribution to the dialogue between research, society and industry. With opinions based on excellent expert knowledge, the academies support policymakers and the public in finding suitable answers to current issues and problems. In addition, a key mission of the academies is the coordination and support of long-term basic research projects and the development and cultivation of interdisciplinary dialogue.

Two examples of these academies are the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering.

  • Leopoldina – National Academy of Sciences
    The German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina was founded in 1652 and appointed as the German National Academy of Sciences in 2008. Today the Leopoldina provides academically sound advice to both policymakers and society as a whole and represents the German scientific community in international committees.
  • acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering
    acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering – represents the interests of Germany’s science and technology communities at home and abroad. As a working academy, acatech supports policymakers and society with expert scientific opinions in their respective fields and forward-looking recommendations.


Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities

students learning in library

The Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities is comprised of eight academies based in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Göttingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Mainz and Munich. The aim of the Union is to coordinate the basic research of the Union’s member academies and to support them in enhancing their profile at home and abroad. The member academies of the Union have elected more than 1,900 scientists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines as ordinary, corresponding and extraordinary members.

Facts and Figures

  • 8 academies in the Union
    (see list below)

  • more than 1,900 scientists and scholars

  • close cooperation with researchers
    and foundations abroad

  • annual budget of the Academies’ Programme (2013):
    approx. 57 million euros

Academies’ Programme

The Academies’ Programme (Akademienprogramm) is coordinated by the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. It is one of the largest German research programmes in the humanities, bringing together 150 research and publication projects of the academies under one umbrella. It involves a total of 150 projects with 200 working groups (2013). The projects consist of 22 dictionaries and 118 editions in the humanities, eight long-term studies in the natural sciences and two basic research projects in social sciences and cultural studies.

Research Budget

Image Research Budget

As part of their service role, the academies also administer the Academies’ Programme, which is funded equally by the German states (“Länder”) and the Federal Government with a total budget of 57 million euros (2013). As the individual academies of sciences are state institutions rather than federal institutions, their basic budgets are funded solely by their respective states.



Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften

Head Office


Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 2

55131 Mainz



work Phone
+49 6131 218528-0