Completed projects

BKGE | Projekte | Samuel von Brukenthal-Scholarship

The History and the Culture of the Germans in Romania

Portrait Brunkenthal

Portrait Brunkenthal

Topic of the Project

The „Samuel von Brukenthal” scholarship for postdoctoral studies and research on the culture and history of the Germans in Romania
is awarded by the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe at Oldenburg (BKGE), a research institute of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany affiliated to the University of Oldenburg, together with the George Bariţiu Institute of Historical Research and the Center for Transylvanian Studies at the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca within the scope of the EU-project “Social-humanistic sciences in the context of globalisation: development and implementation of the program for postdoctoral studies and research”.
The aim of the postdoctoral scholarship is to encourage and support comparative and interdisciplinary scientific research in history, art history, history of literature, European ethnology and sociology focusing on the culture and history of the Germans in Romania as well as their interaction with other ethnic and cultural groups in the country.
The focal point of the research will be the historic experience of the Transylvanian Saxons, the Banat and Sathmar Swabians, the Germans from Bessarabia, Bukovina and Dobrudja with regard to both the changing political affiliations of their respective regions and their interaction with the neighbouring Romanians, Hungarians, Jews, Roma and other ethnic groups in a multi-confessional and multi-ethnic territory. The positioning of German minorities as relatively small but privileged groups within the medieval and early modern estate-based societies could generate innovative scientific approaches. With regard to modern history, the research questions will focus on the situation of the Germans as an ethnic minority in a (newly-built) nation state.
Further research topics such as the relation between religion and nation, the artistic and cultural development, the change of group identities, or the establishment and positioning of elites may be investigated by using comparative approaches that take connections and relationships throughout Europe into account and thus leave the traditional frame of reference of national history.
The scholarships will be granted to outstanding postdoctoral researchers of the history of Eastern Europe and related disciplines.
The post-doctoral scholarship is named after governor Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803). As a politician, versatile scholar, art collector and, not least, founder of the Brukenthal National Museum in Hermannstadt/ Sibiu, he contributed to Transylvanian’s re- putation as an important European cultural landscape during the Baroque period and the era of Enlightenment.

Description of the Project

Over the last years only a few major investments in the field of academic and public education have been made. Even less were based on a partnership between representative public institutions and NGOs or foundations. With support of structural EU social funds for the support and development of graduate education, the Romanian Academy has engaged in a series of projects to bridge these gaps. Built around the EU-POS-DRU project, ID 61104, The Social-Humanistic Sciences in the Context of the Globalized Evolution: the Development and the Implementation of the Post-Doctoral Studies and Research Program, financed by the EU and the Romanian Government, this initiative, conceived around the key words Civilization – Society – Cultural Heritage – Globality, aims at creating an advanced and open educational social and academic platform focused on the preservation of traditions and on modern creativity. In institutional partnership with the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna), the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), the Federal Institute for the Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (Oldenburg), the Deutsche Denkmalakademie (Frankfurt am Main-Romrod-Görlitz), the Babeş-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca), New Europe College (Bucharest) and the Institute for National Minorities (Cluj-Napoca), and in public partnership with the Mihai Eminescu Trust (London-Sighişoara-Viscri), Freedom House (Washington- Bucharest) and Patrimonium Transsylvanicum (Cluj-Napoca), the project supports the institutional development of advanced studies in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage under the patronage of the Romanian Academy and the active supervision of some of the most distinguished Romanian and European figures in these fields such as: Ionel Haiduc, Peter Schreiner, Paolo Odorico, Gilles Veinstein, Matthias Weber, Thomas Wünsch, Konrad Gündisch, Ulrich Andreas Wien, Harald Roth, Alexandru Vulpe, Şerban Papacostea, Victor Spinei, Andrei Pleşu, Vasile Puşcaş, Vintilă Mihăilescu, István Horváth, Nicolae Edroiu, Ioan-Aurel Pop or Marius Porumb.
The Institute of History „George Bariţiu” of the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca (Institutul de istorie „George Bariţiu” Cluj-Napoca al Academiei Române) had the main responsibility for the first application and selection process (July 1st, 2010 - September 20, 2010),
cf. http://

The Second application and selection process (September 25, 2010 - December 15, 2010) will be organized under the auspices of the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa) at the Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg.

Results of the Application Process

(by November 15, 2010)

During a first selection process three scholarships - beginning on October 1st, 2010 - have been attributed to:

  • Dr. Adinel Dincă for his project on „Forms and Functions of Literacy in late medieval Hermannstadt/Sibiu - the Use of Writing in a pre-modern Law Community” (24 months);
  • Dr. Ottmar Traşcă for his project on „The ‚Deutsche Volksgruppe’ [German Ethnic Group] in Romania, 1940-1944” (18 months);
  • Dr. Zsolt Simon for his project on „The Finances of Transylvanian Saxon Towns in the Late Middle Ages” (12 months).

In the course of the second selection process the following candidates have been approved for interviewing on the base of the experts’ evaluation and rating of their application dossiers. The interviews will take place on December 11, 2010, at Intitutul de istorie George Bariţiu, str. Kogălniceanu 12-14, 400084 Cluj-Napoca (Romania):

  1. Dr. Attila Verok for his project on „Book-culture and Literary Culture of the Transylvanian Saxons in Early Modern Times” (24 month);
  2. Dr. Marco Bogade for his project on „Strategies of Representation of the Transylvanian Patriciate from 14th to 16th Century” (8 month);
  3. Dr. András Balógh for his project on „The Intercultural History of German Literature in Southeastern Europe in 20th Century” (12 month).


Dates for the second application process

  • September 25th, 2010 - October 15th, 2010: Submission of the application dossier via e-mail to both of the following addresses: and For the topic the applicant has chosen as well as two copies in print to both institutions: 1) Academia Română, Filiala Cluj, str. Str. Mihail Kogălniceanu, nr. 12-14, et. 5, camera 507, RO-400084 Cluj-Napoca, Rumänien and the one responsible for the topic: 2) Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa, Johann-Justus-Weg 147 A, D-26127 Oldenburg, Deutschland.
  • October 15th, 2010 - November 15th, 2010: Evaluation and assessment of the application dossier by international experts. Afterwards, the dossiers will be examined and approved by the research coordinator and the education coordinator of the project, who will support the entire evaluation process. Preliminary results will be announced on November 16th, 2010.
  • November 17th, 2010 - November 24th, 2010: Agree or disagree within three days and response within four days. On November 25th, 2010 the final results of the assessment will be announced. Applicants qualified will be officially invited to an interview; at the same time the exact date and location for the interview will be announced. Applicants, who will be disapproved during that phase of the competition cannot apply again.
  • November 24th, 2010 - Decmber 1st, 2010: Interview at the institution that is coordinating the topics. Final results will be announced not later than five days after the day of the interview. The qualified applicants will become active associated researchers at the Romanian Academy and/or the partner organisation on January 1st, 2011.
Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte des östlichen Europa
Johann-Justus-Weg 147a | 26127 Oldenburg
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