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Two universities, four non-university research centers – one aim

The Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) was founded in 2011 by six large Berlin-based institutions, each with its own traditions and distinct mission to serve society. Their collective aim was to create a new kind of inter-institutional research and education infrastructure and place it on a permanent basis.

The six founding institutions are:

The close cooperation between these founding institutions, all equal members of the BAK, is fundamental to the BAK’s structure and goals. It enables them to define and pursue a common strategy towards strengthening research on the ancient world in Berlin/Brandenburg as partners, without losing their own academic and organizational independence.

The Excellence Cluster Topoi already provided impressive testimony to the benefits that a supra-institutional framework can provide for the study of antiquity and the approaches specific to that form of research. The BAK builds upon the insights gained and the cooperative relationships forged in that temporary collaboration and develops them further in the form of a permanent inter-institutional research platform. Cooperation in managing collaborative research in ancient studies having proven successful, the foundation of the BAK on May 2011 was a logical next step in that it constituted the establishment of permanent basis for the cooperation, in the form of a structure facilitating the efficient use of the diverse resources available in Berlin.  

The collective initiative, undertaken by two universities and four non-university research institutions, presents one of the great innovations in the field of the study of antiquity. With this joint endeavor, the participating partners, who provide the basic funding for the BAK, have taken their cooperation to a new level.

From 2015 through 2018, the BAK also received funding from the Einstein Foundation Berlin. The foundation provided these funds, around EUR 1,200,000 in total, to further the research activity at the BAK and to establish the Einstein Center Chronoi (EC-C) within the existing structures. The EC-C officially took up its work on 01 January 2019. Since 2019, the BAK’s activities have been supported with funds from the Berliner Qualitäts- und Innovationsoffensive, a program of the Land of Berlin to improve the quality of education at Berlin universities.


BAK comprises four variously interlocked units:

Units of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg

Units of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg
Image Credit: Berliner Antike-Kolleg, Design: Agatha Küchler