The Volkswagen Foundation (VWS) is not a subsidiary of the respective company, but an independent, non-profit Foundation under private law with its head office in Hannover. According to its statutes, the VWS supports the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. By its initiatives and programmes the VWS fosters and raises public awareness of a number of research developments, subjects and methods. Some of its programmes aim for structural improvements, for example in the fields of international cooperation and university education in Germany. Funds granted by the VWS must not be used to cover budgeted costs. Researchers from abroad may also apply for support. It is assumed that foreign institutions cooperate with German partners.
Currently VWS subsidies for projects in connection with and relating to foreign countries are obtainable for the following fields:
- Knowledge for Tomorrow—Cooperative Research Projects on Sub-Saharan Africa
- Between Europe and the Orient— A Focus on Research and Higher Education in/on Central Asia and Caucasus
- Europe and Global Challenges
- Post-doctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutes in the U.S.
- Post-doctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutes in Germany
- Brief information (half-yearly)
- Impulse für die Wissenschaft (in German, annual)
- Crossing Borders (twice a year)
- Annual Report