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With the Ladenburg Research Networks format, the Foundation sets out to address important trends in society at the interface of humans, technology and the environment and to deal with issues characterized by supposedly insurmountable conflicts of goals. At present, there seems to be a trend among the media and the political sphere toward providing simple solutions for complex phenomena. However, this can have long-term consequences in view of the often large number of actors involved on the part of science, business, politics, society and the media. In the Ladenburg Research Networks, the scientists address such developments and conduct research on them in an interdisciplinary network.

As a rule, the Foundation funds the research consortium works for a period of three years. Under the leadership of a scientific coordinator with the function of a spokesperson, a research topic is worked on by several working groups at various scientific institutions in Germany and abroad. The members of a research network are granted a high degree of freedom, determine their research program independently and meet regularly at the Foundation.

The Foundation primarily finances positions for doctoral candidates and covers travel expenses; material funds can only be approved to a very limited extent. Funding for basic equipment and overheads cannot be applied for. The research networks are open to scientists from all disciplines.

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