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Structure enabling interinstitutional collaborative research in ancient studies

By definition, the Berliner Antike-Kolleg (BAK) does not pursue its own research agenda. Unlike projects set up for a defined period for the purpose of investigating a specific topic, the structures of the BAK are available on a permanent basis to all scholars working in Berlin. The BAK works with Berlin researchers and visiting scholars in Berlin to identify research areas of relevance, explore their potential for longer-term projects and bring them to the mature proposal stage.

The BAK’s activities are concentrated primarily in the area of inter-institutional cooperation, its engagement in the past having shown that this is an area in which the BAK has significant location-specific strengths and one that has substantial value-adding considerations. These consist, first and foremost, in the continuation of collaborative research activity already underway and in the expansion of research fields whose investigation requires cooperation among institutions possessing complementary expertise.

A place where innovative research questions are debated and can be investigated without a pre-defined set of outcomes, the BAK gets its distinctive character from a variety of formats whose use strengthens linkages across existing structural boundaries. The Test Topics are a key element in this mix. In this pilot-project format, short-term funding is provided to researchers for the purpose of testing the viability of a research idea for a longer-term project while exploring the potential of the use of analytical methods from the natural sciences or digital technologies in the study of the ancient world.

The BAK has already demonstrated its ability to fulfil its function as an enabling platform through the acquisition of the Einstein Center Chronoi.