The preparation of recommendations and statements is organised by the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) with the help of committees and working groups. On average, about 40 to 45 topics and expert opinions are dealt with in parallel in the WR in corresponding working groups and steered by seven mainly standing committees.
The “Tertiary Education”, “Research” and “Medicine” committees in particular maintain a repository of topics; they coordinate their work closely and sometimes collaborate on specific topics. The committees, whose main task it is to provide expert opinions, such as the Accreditation Committee or the Evaluation Committee, also take stock at irregular intervals and make recommendations to the WR regarding an overall consideration of specific issues.
All committees are chaired by members of the Scientific Commission of the WR. The individual committees are composed of other members of the Scientific Commission, external experts, representatives of the federal government and the states (Länder) (representing the federal and state levels, respectively) as well as guests. The Federal Government and the states are not represented in the Excellence Strategy Committee.
In most cases, the working groups are also chaired by members of the Scientific Commission. In addition to members of the Scientific Commission and external experts, the federal government and the states (Länder) are represented in all working groups as full members with at least one person each.
When it comes to the composition of committees and working groups, aspects of diversity (gender, age, institutional and professional affiliation, internationality) play an increasingly important role alongside relevant professional science policy expertise and experience.
Since 2022, the Science and Humanities Council has named in the appendix of its recommendations, statements and position papers all contributors to the process of developing the recommendations and position statements in the working groups and committees, which is coordinated in the head office by the specialist departments (see submenu).