Herzog Ernst and Hiob Ludolf Fellowships at the Gotha Research Campus of the University of Erfurt, Gotha (Germany)

Kristina Petri's picture
September 30, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, Geography, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Intellectual History, Religious Studies and Theology

The University of Erfurt is once again advertising Herzog Ernst and Hiob Ludolf research grants for the Gotha collections in 2023, primarily in the Gotha Research Library. During their stay on site, the fellows will be affiliated to the academic institutions of the University of Erfurt in Gotha.


The Gotha Research Library, located in Gotha’s Friedenstein Castle, holds a remarkable collection on early modern and modern cultural history. After Berlin and Munich and alongside the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, it houses the most significant collection in Germany of historical sources from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. To these were added in 2003 the Perthes Collection Gotha from the holdings of the Justus Perthes Gotha publishing house, established in 1785. It is considered one of the most significant cartographic collections worldwide.

The library – under the direction of Dr Kathrin Paasch – keeps and catalogues these sources, which are part of a European cultural heritage. The library collection encompasses c. 700,000 prints, of which about 350,000 are early modern. Additionally, it holds c. 11,500 manuscript volumes containing a considerable collection of manuscripts, autographs, and literary remains pertaining, among other things, to the cultural history of early modern Protestantism, as well as a collection of some 3,500 oriental manuscripts – the third largest of its kind in Germany. Moreover, the library provides a remarkable collection of letters by German emigrants to America.

The Perthes collection with its collection of maps, cartographic library, and the press archives offers a unique collection in situ. The cartographic collection is comprised of c. 185,000 maps from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century, produced by Perthes and other cartographic printers throughout the world. The cartographic-geographic library comprises 120,000 volumes, a genealogical-statistical book collection, as well as a complete exemplar of the Almanach de Gotha, produced by the Perthes publishing house. The press’ archive, with 800 linear metres of archival material, includes, inter alia, the editorial archive of Petermann’s Geographische Mitteilungen, a collection of the press’ specimen copies, as well as 1,650 copper plates.


The Gotha Research Centre (FZG), founded in 2004, is a central academic body of the University of Erfurt. Its main objective is to conduct and facilitate international interdisciplinary research projects in the field of cultural and intellectual history of the modern period, in close cooperation with the institutions and their holdings at Friedenstein Castle. Current research projects include e. g. work on the numismatic collections, the ducal finances and on Eastern European-Ottoman-Persian mobility dynamics. In addition, the Research Centre offers a rich programme of (guest) lectures, conferences, and colloquia. Our goal is to serve as a platform where scholars from all over the world can conduct research and discuss their ideas and work in progress in a challenging and congenial atmosphere. The Gotha Research Centre is headed by Prof. Martin Mulsow.


The Centre for Transcultural Studies / Perthes Collection (FKTS/SP), newly established in 2021, is also a central academic body of the University of Erfurt. It sees itself as a platform for interdisciplinary research on the becoming of today's global world. Its research is oriented towards the Gotha collection contexts since the end of the eighteenth century and focuses in particular on the Perthes Collection. The centre pursues independent as well as cooperative research projects, among others on the cartography of the oceans and the maps of Africa and Asia. It works closely with national and international scholars and strives for close cooperation with academics from the global south. The FKTS/SP is headed by Prof. Iris Schröder.


The programme aims at promoting academic research through the use of the resources of the Gotha Research Library and of the associated historic collection of the Justus Perthes Gotha Publishing House. Its academic orientation intends to carry on the universal spirit of the library itself and its diverse resources. In this sense, the programme has an open thematic and disciplinary character. The holdings of the Thuringian State Archive of Gotha, which is located in the Perthes-Forum, as well as collections held by the museums of the Schloss Friedenstein Foundation can be included in the research project, too. Still, the following focal points are emphasized and applications should reflect the clear-cut fields of the Research Library:

  • The ducal court in Gotha as an example for European court culture
  • History of science and cultures of knowledge as global history, history of transfer, and entangled history, 16th to 20th century
  • History of European literature, particularly 16th to early 19th century
  • History of publishing and book trade
  • Early Modern and 19th-century study of Classical religions, history of Protestantism, and Islam
  • Philosophy and history of the German and European Enlightenment
  • Heterodoxy, dissidence, and subversion
  • History of the humanities, e.g. numismatics, oriental studies, philology
  • History of natural science, e.g. alchemy, astronomy, physics and botany
  • History of spatially oriented disciplines, 16th to 20th century, e.g. ethnology, geology, geography and statistics
  • History of cartography and imperial history
  • Cartography and “critical geopolitics”
  • History of objects and the historical study of material culture
  • Collection and museum studies

For short term academic engagement with the resources held in Gotha, the following fellowships will be awarded from 1 February 2023 onwards:

  1. Herzog Ernst Fellowships for Ph.D. students (€ 1,300 per month, plus a family allowance of € 100 per month if applicable);
  2. Herzog Ernst Fellowships for Postdocs (€ 1,800 per month, plus a family allowance of € 100 per month if applicable);
  3. Hiob Ludolf Fellowships. These are aimed at established national and international senior scholars who wish to spend a research stay in Gotha. They receive reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs of up to € 1,500 per month.

Two short-term grants from the "Thüringer Programm zur Förderung von Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen und Nachwuchskünstlerinnen" will also be awarded within the framework of this call for applications, including a staggered family allowance. Applications from qualified female academics (not only) with children are therefore particularly welcome.

In 2021, the University of Erfurt was once again awarded the berufundfamilie / family-friendly university audit certificate and was thus distinguished as being particularly family-friendly. When accompanied by young children, we will happily assist in finding appropriate child care.

Depending on their focus, the fellows are connected to the Gotha Research Centre or to the Centre for Transcultural Studies / Perthes Collection. They join the academic community on the Gotha Research Campus, and present their projects to the public. In addition, they submit a short report on the findings gained from the Gotha collections after completing their studies. For the duration of the fellowship we expect you to reside in Gotha.

Applicants are requested to enclose the following documents with their application:

  1. Application form for Herzog Ernst Fellowships or cover letter stating the desired period for Hiob Ludolf Fellowships
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. A brief outline of the project (3–5 pages) including a statement why it is necessary to do research in Gotha (indicating the holdings to be consulted). It is recommended to contact the Gotha Research Library in advance (bibliothek.gotha@uni-erfurt.de).
  4. Copies of relevant certificates (for Herzog Ernst Fellowships only)
  5. A list of publications, where applicable
  6. Signed consent to the processing of personal data.

The application documents must be submitted in full and in one single PDF file (max. 5 MB) in the above order by e-mail to herzogernst@uni-erfurt.de. For the Herzog Ernst Fellowships, two recent letters of recommendation regarding the proposed project are also required (both experts should be named in the application form); these are to be submitted by the reviewer him- or herself by e-mail by the deadline.

Applications can be submitted in German and English until 30 September 2022, quoting the keyword “Herzog Ernst Fellowship” or “Hiob Ludolf Fellowship at the Research Campus Gotha”. Applications can also be submitted in encrypted form. Information on this can be found below.

If you are interested, you are cordially invited to contact the Centre for Transcultural Studies / Perthes Collection (fkts.gotha@uni-erfurt.de) and/or the Gotha Research Centre (forschungszentrum.
gotha@uni-erfurt.de) in advance of your application.

Please direct any queries concerning the application itself to: herzogernst@uni-erfurt.de

You can find more information at: https://www.uni-erfurt.de/forschungszentrum-gotha/stipendien/


The University of Erfurt's mail system generally works with transport encryption. Please ensure that you also use transport encryption when sending e-mails. If you would also like to encrypt the content of your e-mail, please use the e-mail address bewerbung@uni-erfurt.de instead of the above e-mail address. For this e-mail address, you will find the certificate with the key for sending the encrypted e-mail at https://www.uni-erfurt.de/universitaet/arbeiten-an-der-universitaet/stel.... If you do not make use of the option of encryption via certificate, no encryption of the content of your e-mail can be guaranteed.

When submitting your application documents in electronic form, you are deemed to have given your consent to check the e-mail and its attachments for harmful codes, viruses and spam, to temporarily store the necessary data and to conduct further correspondence (unencrypted) by e-mail.

By submitting your application, you also consent to the further processing of your personal data within the scope of and for the purpose of the application procedure. This consent can be revoked at any time in writing or electronically without giving reasons. Please note that revocation of consent may mean that the application can no longer be considered in the current procedure.

For further information on data protection in accordance with Article 13 of the EU Data Protection Regulation (EU-DSGVO), please refer to the information sheet on the homepage of the Gotha Research Centre (“Data protection information for applicants“).

Contact Info: 

Kristina Petri, M. A.

Forschungszentrum Gotha der Universität Erfurt

Schloßberg 2, 99867 Gotha

Phone: 0049 361 737 1712