Culture in Rural Areas in Germany Focus of New BMEL Funding Initiative

Up to €400,000 for projects in cultural studies, regional studies and related fields to investigate the role and significance of art and culture in rural areas in Germany.

Acknowledging the importance of cultural activities for the development and thriving of rural areas, this funding call by Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL – German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture) supports research projects that address the particular contribution such activities make to life in rural areas.

The thematic focus of the programme is on the following areas:

  1. Basics: Ideas of Rural Identity and Rural Culture.
  2. The Culture Factor in Rural Areas.
  3. Cultural Actors and Networks in Rural Areas.
  4. Administration and Funding of Culture in Rural Areas.

Projects must be designed to make concrete recommendations for policy development or rural development practice.

To be considered for funding projects must address rural areas as they are defined by Thünen Institute (TI). The focus is particularly on rural areas in less prosperous areas. Projects should ideally cover different areas in different federal states.

Interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers from cultural studies and regional studies with expertise in qualitative and quantitative as well as ethnographic or artistic research methods are particularly encouraged.

The call is part of the German government’s Rural Development Programme (Bundesprogramm Ländliche Entwicklung – BULE).

Eligible for funding are institutions of higher education and non-educational research institutions, as well as other types of institutions for research and the dissemination of knowledge in Germany.

Funding is provided in the form of a non-refundable grant on the basis of project-related eligible costs. The funding period is set for spring 2023 to spring 2026, with a maximum project duration of three years. The maximum funding amount is €300,000 per grant recipient. In justified cases, an additional €100,000 may be granted.

Initially, applicants only submit a short outline proposal. Following the review of all proposals, BMEL will then invite shortlisted projects to submit their formal funding application.

The deadline for the submission of outline proposals is 3 January 2022.

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)