Critique of the »research gap«
In the humanities, billions of Euros flow into third-party funding (Drittmittel). The number of project proposals has risen quickly over the past years, while success rates keep dropping and the number of permanent jobs decreases. On the basic level applicants have to prove that they plan to fill a »research gap«, no matter whether the gap is worth being filled or not. On the top level it is questionable whether establishing large research clusters will, in the long run, foster intellectual creativity or whether it will limit it – especially since many researchers spend a lot of time on applications for and the management of funds. Thus the essay advocates a large-scale shift from third-party-funding to the funding of permanent positions at German universities.
Kurz-Bio: Annette Vowinckel
ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam und Privatdozentin an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.