International Max Planck Research School "Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities"


Academic Coordinator, IMPRS

Sophie Schwarzmaier

The new International Max Planck Research School “Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities” (IMPRS-KIR) has opened at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in September 2022. The graduate school is a joint project of the MPIWG with Berlin’s Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, and Technische Universität as part of the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge.

The School aims to train prospective PhD students in the history and philosophy of science, technology, and medicine (HPSTM) in the analysis of knowledge, its resources, and the multiple interplays between the two categories. Key to its agenda is a "historical-political epistemology," an approach highlighting how knowledge is shaped historically by a great variety of sources—political systems, technological infrastructures, material objects, social interaction, and media technologies.

Dissertations will reshape the field of history of knowledge at the intersections of HPSTM with regional and global studies, science and technology studies (STS), all fields of history, media studies, museum studies, archaeology, art history, literary studies, philology, environmental studies, and digital humanities research. Students will be trained to apply innovative methodologies to their research. They will become experts who can bring a much-needed comparative perspective, reflection, and historical depth to the shaping and sustaining of knowledge societies around the globe, within a wide spectrum of occupational fields including journalism, social media, art, museum and archive curatorship, and science and education policy.

The IMPRS-KIR is governed by the Principal Teaching Faculty consisting of nine professors from all four partner institutions involved. It is represented by the Speakers, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schäfer (MPIWG) and Prof. Dr. Viktoria Tkaczyk (HU), together with the Co-Speaker Prof. Dr. Christine von Oertzen (MPIWG/HU). They promote and preside over the establishment of the new Research School.

The IMPRS-KIR will fund a total of 15 doctoral positions, with the first cohort having started to work at the Institute on September 1, 2022 (see list further below).


The next Call for Applications is scheduled for mid-October 2022.

It will be posted on the MPIWG career page and will be available for download here.

Please see the FAQs below for detailed information about the recruitment process, the research agenda of the IMPRS-KIR, and its Principal Teaching Faculty.


For further inquiries about the new PhD program and the recruitment process, please contact Sophie Schwarzmaier:

For questions about the application portal, please contact Tanja Neuendorf:


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