Call for Applications: Emergency Preparedness for Cultural Heritage under Threat

21.05.2019 - Article

The Prince Claus Fund and Gerda Henkel Foundation have a Joint call for papers for its dynamic programme.

The Inventorying of the Library of the Monastery of San Augustin in Quito, Ecuador.
The Inventorying of the Library of the Monastery of San Augustin in Quito, Ecuador.© Conservartecuador


Since its establishment, the Gerda Henkel Foundation has supported international cooperation projects and has promoted cross-border research in the historical humanities. The“Patrimonies”funding initiative considers projects that focus on the preservation of historical cultural heritage first and foremost in crisis regions and, in some cases, should for the first time enable scientific research in the fields of history, archaeology, and art history.

In this context, the Foundation supports measures that make a contribution to preserving cultural heritage, augmenting scientific infrastructure, educating young scientists and establishing networks in science, politics and society in the regions in question. The programme is not officially announced, but is being developed step by step in collaboration with selected partners. As an operationally geared programme, by supporting smaller projects “Patrimonies” offers an opportunity, on the one hand, for fast and flexible responses to emergencies and acute threat to cultural heritage and, on the other, for larger projects to be developed with appropriate lead times.

The funding provided should be brought to bear primarily in the regions in question. In all projects receiving funding, partners from the countries in question must either be the applicants or closely involved in the research work as cooperation partners. This aims to ensure that all projects take into account local circumstances and concentrate on the specific requirements of the region. The Foundation can make a contribution to strengthening regional scientific structures especially by offering training and further education for academics and specialists.

Geographical focus

The programme is international in focus and is intended to be active first and foremost in crisis regions as well as in countries which do not have the capacity to preserve their own cultural heritage themselves.

Moreover, the “Patrimonies” programme is intended to have a preventive function wherever possible. The Foundation aims to be active in those countries and regions where preservation measures, owing to threatening political and armed conflict, for instance, are urgently necessary or expected to be necessary in coming years.


The following measures are supported:

  • Preservation, restoration, and research on endangered buildings and objects
  • Digitisation, conservation, documentation and research on material sources
  • Documentation and research on collections of oral sources
  • Training and further education for young scientists, particularly in the field of archaeology, history, art history, historical construction research/monument preservation
  • Training and further education of specialists for measures accompanying research (e. g. restorers, curators, geo-physicians)
  • Trips/workshops to prepare projects and collaborations and for training purposes
  • Site management and building measures (in individual cases)

Training and further education are primarily supported in the context of emergency measures or for the purpose of forming academic networks.

Funding can only be provided for projects where there is scientific guidance (except in cases where only material resources are provided).

Information must always be provided on the current condition of the cultural assets to be studied, the type of threat, planned protective measures and medium and long-term perspectives on access to the assets for international researchers and the public.

The following shall not be funded (among others):

  • Projects that focus exclusively on research work and seek only to result in academic publication
  • Projects that do not envisage significant involvement of fellow scholars from the relevant regions initially described
  • Publications unrelated to previously funded projects
  • Database projects with no recognisable research approach
  • Conservation/cataloguing of collections on folklore, literature and music
  • Exclusively linguistic projects (research into threatened languages)
  • Film projects
  • Exhibitions
  • Collections of modern art
  • Purchase of collections/libraries
  • Establishment of research institutes
  • Measures aimed exclusively at equipping/improving the infrastructure of museums or research institutes
  • Events unrelated to a funded project

 Type of the funding

 Funding may include:

  • Material aid, including costs for conservation and restoration work
  • Personnel costs, preferably for service contracts and scholarships
  • Grants to support the costs for research and training residencies
  • Travel expenses

The amounts for fees, allowances, and special service contracts are based on local conditions and need to be calculated by the research partner. Scholarships are also based on local conditions and are granted up to the limit of the Foundations regular scholarships rates.

More information on the call can be found  here, the deadline for statements of interest is 21 June 2019 .

© Gerda Henkel Foundation

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