The Open Science Fellows Program was launched in 2016 year by Wikimedia Deutschland in collaboration with the Stifterverband. The program promotes opening up research and teaching in accordance with the principles of open science, a movement that enables researchers and society as a whole to access scientific research findings. The goal is to support scientists in making their own research more accessible.
The idea of improving access to science and research in accordance with the principles of open science is at the heart of the program, with transparency, reproducibility and comparability of scientific research as basic prerequisites.
In particular, exchanges and networking between individuals active in open science must be promoted in order to further advance the opening up of science and research. In addition, the program offers participants the opportunity to network with experts from various disciplines who will provide insights into their independent research practices.
Wikimedia Deutschland is working on making the entire body of human knowledge freely available to every individual. Our contribution to realizing this vision of the future is enshrined in our charter: the purpose of the association is to facilitate the disinterested creation, collection and dissemination of free content to promote education and equal access to knowledge. Besides supporting the various Wikimedia projects and their communities (e.g. Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikiversity), we also work with educational, academic and cultural institutions.
Around 3,000 companies, business associations, foundations and private individuals have joined forces in the Stifterverband to promote science and education. The Stifterverband secures an infrastructure of innovation through its funding programs, analyses and recommendations for action involving high-performing universities, powerful research institutes, and productive exchanges between business and science. Each year, the Stifterverband supports around a quarter of a million talented young individuals in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It also supports 645 foundations with a total of over €2.7 billion in funding.
The Volkswagen Foundation is an independent foundation incorporated under private law with registered office in Hannover. Its overall funding volume of around 150 million euros per year makes it Germany‘s largest private research funding foundation, and indeed one of the country’s largest foundations altogether. The Foundation provides funds only to academic institutions. Since it was founded more than 50 years ago, the Volkswagen Foundation has allocated more than 4.2 billion euros in support of over 30,000 projects. It is thereby one of the largest common benefit foundations under private law in all of Germany.