On behalf of the Federal Government and the states (Länder), the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) issues statements on the admission of new institutions to the Leibniz Association. It also gives its opinion on the expansion of existing Leibniz Institutes to include “major strategic specialities”. In both cases, this is based on a scientific evaluation, the results of which are summarised in a technical evaluation report.
In addition to appraising the scientific quality of an institution or a special status, the WR comments on its supraregional significance and structural relevance for the research and higher education system.
The Joint Science Conference (GWK) initiates the respective procedure for the inclusion of institutions in the joint Federal Government/states (Länder) funding (Leibniz Association). Since a modification of the overall procedure in 2014, the Leibniz Association has had the task of commenting on the institutional fit of an institution and the added value that can be expected from integration into the Leibniz Association in the context of this procedure.
The task of the WR is to classify the funding eligibility of the proposals into the following categories along three dimensions (scientific quality, supraregional importance, structural relevance for the research and higher education system): excellent, very good, good, insufficient – as well as to draw up a priority list of proposals on this basis. It also assesses whether a research topic being addressed is important from a scientific or science policy perspective and cannot be addressed appropriately at universities, so that anchoring it within the Leibniz Association promises substantial added value for the research and higher education system.