IMPRS - Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities

History and archaeology

The IMPRS-KIR is an international PhD program based in the history and philosophy of science, technology, and medicine. It is a collective undertaking by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (MPIWG), Freie Universität Berlin (FU), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), and Technische Universität Berlin (TU).

Doctoral students earn their degrees from one of Berlin’s universities. At the same time, they enjoy the excellent research infrastructure of the MPIWG.


Key to the IMPRS-KIR’s agenda is a “historical-political epistemology,” an approach that unravels the political entanglements between knowledge and resources from a global and long-term perspective.

A central goal of the IMPRS-KIR is to identify how resource regimes have evolved in different periods and places and what kinds of knowledge have contributed to the identification, development, and use of material and immaterial resources. At the same time, it traces how knowledge depends on resources ranging from political systems to technological infrastructures, material objects, social interactions, and media technologies.

Projects examine the physical and material preconditions that enable, sustain, and limit knowledge in and across different times, cultures and spaces; knowledge as a resource itself that needs to be shared and protected; and long-term developments in resource economics.

Contact Information
Chair: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schäfer (MPIWG),
Prof. Dr. Anke te Heesen (HU),
Prof. Dr. Christine von Oertzen (MPIWG/HU)
Coordinator: Sophie Schwarzmaier
International Max Planck Research School
“Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities”
Boltzmannstr. 22
14195 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 200549401
Deadlines: January 15, 2024 (start in September 2024)
Places: 5
Scholarships: Each position comprises a public sector contract of 3,5 years (possibility of extending once by six months)