Digital themed week on the rare disciplines: science communication, development of study programmes, support for early career researchers

25. February 2021

The current status and perspectives of the rare disciplines in the German and European research system will be the focus of a digital themed week from 8 to 11 March.
Themed days organised jointly by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provide impetus and practical examples for science communication, development of study programmes and support for early career researchers. Perspectives from the Netherlands, Poland and France will round off the extensive programme.

The event is the highlight of the “Rare Disciplines weeks at German universities” and “Rare Disciplines: Visibly innovative!” programmes. Through the joint initiatives, the BMBF and HRK have supported universities in making the achievements of the rare disciplines for science and everyday life more visible and in intensifying networking within the rare disciplines and beyond disciplinary boundaries.

Background: “Rare Disciplines weeks at German universities” and “Rare Disciplines: Visibly innovative!” initiatives

As part of the Rare Disciplines weeks, 17 projects at 26 university locations throughout Germany were given the chance during the 2019/2020 winter semester to draw attention to the rare disciplines with innovative events and campaigns, both within and across universities, as well as in dialogue with the general public.

19 projects were successful in the early career researcher competition “Rare Disciplines: Visibly innovative!” and have become a talking point in the current winter semester thanks to new communication and networking strategies. The spectrum of contributing disciplines ranges from ancient oriental studies, biomathematics and Christian archaeology, to public health, the history of technology and administrative science. The developed project formats are equally diverse. The events on offer range from specialist conferences and workshops, exhibitions, readings and concerts, through to digital offerings such as blogs, podcasts and video series, which draw attention to the unique features of the rare disciplines.

Both initiatives incorporate aspects that are crucial to the further development of the rare disciplines and to which the HRK and BMBF have been committed for many years: networking, communication and support for early career researchers. “The creativity and diversity of the project ideas and event formats is impressive,” says HRK President Prof Dr Peter-André Alt. “It is key that the disciplines actively present their potential and invite people to learn more and exchange ideas. This is something we want to encourage.”

Registrations for the digital themed week are open until 4 March 2021 at

Further information: