Creating conditions for innovative research


Digital Humanities
The Digital Humanities are understood as the totality of all approaches that simplify or enhance working in the humanities by researching, developing and applying modern information technologies. They also facilitate new forms of collaboration among researchers and innovative research approaches. Developments in modern information and communication technologies thus create new prospects for research.

In 2011, the BMBF published the call for proposals "Guidelines for funding research and development projects in the eHumanities". The aim of this funding measure is to fund projects in the humanities and qualitative social sciences that – while according computer science equal significance – develop examples for innovative research approaches in these disciplines. The following projects were launched in 2012:
Digital Humanities - list of projects

Since 2006, the BMBF has been funding TextGrid - Virtual Research Environment for the Humanities, an innovative research infrastructure project for the humanities and social sciences (10 project partners, coordinator: Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen). The short film "Virtual Research Worlds: New Technology in the Humanities" provides an overview of the results of the joint project.

With the joint projects DARIAH-DE and Clarin-D, the BMBF is additionally participating in the European DARIAH and Clarin projects, which are designed to effectively strengthen infrastructures in the humanities across Europe. The DARIAH-DE project supports and expands the use of digital methods in the humanities by creating virtual research environments in the humanities and by linking existing digital resources, among other measures. In the Clarin-D project, linguistic data, tools and services are made available to the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences within an integrated, interoperable and scalable infrastructure.


Social and economic data
The aim of this funding priority is to create an internationally competitive infrastructure that enables researchers to make use of social and economic data collected by public authorities easily and in a manner that meets data protection requirements. The projects create institutional, technical and methodical means of access to official statistics and process-produced data for economic and social scientists. In the first funding phase, data service and research data centres were set up with data providers such as statistics offices, the Federal Employment Agency, the German statutory pension insurance scheme Deutscher Rentenversicherungsbund and academic institutes. These centres provide anonymised microdata sets (scientific use files), workstations for guest researchers and controlled remote data processing. The German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten, RatSWD,, established in 2004, advises the BMBF on measures to improve data infrastructure.

soeb – data on socio-economic development in Germany
The joint project soeb combines a wealth of quantitative and qualitative social and economic science data and makes them available as an evaluation in the form of a report, creating a comprehensive image of the German production and social model in its European context. The report assists the Federal Government in identifying comprehensive changes to ways of working and living and in counteracting undesirable societal developments in education, work and social security. So far, two reports have been produced: soeb 1 (2005) and soeb 2 (2012). Work on the third report (soeb 3) began in the autumn of 2013.


"eHumanities II"      Bekanntmachung vom      

"eHumanities"      Bekanntmachung vom     


  • Projects

    [PDF - 63.3 kB]

    01.05.2012 - 30.09.2020 (URL:

Contact Persons

  • Dr. Maria Böhme

    • Telephone: +49 228 3821-1925
    • Fax: +49 228 3821-1500
    • Email Address:
  • Johanna Puhl

    • Telephone: +49 228 3821-1765
    • Fax: +49 228 3821 1500
    • Email Address:


A video about TextGrid and DARIAH: Digital Knowledge Spaces: Virtual Research Laboratories in the humanities






A video about TextGrid: Virtual Research Worlds