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Press Release No. 31 | 4 July 2012
Peter Strohschneider Elected Next DFG President

Munich-based Professor of German Medieval Studies to Succeed Engineering Scientist Matthias Kleiner as of 1 January 2013 / Elected by General Assembly in Dortmund

Peter Strohschneider has been elected the next president of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The professor for German medieval studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich was elected for a period of three years to the top office of Germany's central research funding organisation at its General Assembly in Dortmund on Wednesday, 4 July 2012. Strohschneider will take up office on 1 January 2013 and succeed engineering scientist Professor Matthias Kleiner, who has been at the head of the DFG since 2007 and will leave office at the end of the year after serving two three-year terms.

The General Assembly of the DFG elected Peter Strohschneider from a pool of three candidates, which also included Professor Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus (University of Bielefeld, chemistry) and Professor Martin Lohse (University of Würzburg, pharmacology). All three candidates were nominated for election by the DFG Senate at the recommendation of the selection commission.

The DFG's 56-year-old president-elect is a well-known and respected figure within research, academic self-governance and policy circles. Born on 3 October 1955 in Stuttgart, Germany, Peter Strohschneider studied history and German studies (as well as law, sociology and political science) from 1975 to 1982 at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), where he subsequently gained his doctorate in 1984 and went on to complete his habilitation thesis in Medieval and Early Modern German language and literature in 1991. After taking a position at Dresden University of Technology in 1992, Strohschneider was appointed to the Chair for German Medieval Studies and Early Modern Studies in 1993. He has taught German medieval studies at LMU since 2002.

Strohschneider's research interest is focussed on the history and theory of pre-modern textuality, the courtly song, narrative forms of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, and medieval cultural studies. A former guest professor of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, Strohschneider was appointed a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 2010. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg), and will take up the Dagmar Westberg Guest Professorship for Humanities at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main in the coming winter semester.

Peter Strohschneider has had close ties to the DFG since his habilitation fellowship in the period 1989-1991. From 1997 through 1999, he was the co-spokesperson for the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) "Institutionality and Historicity" at Dresden University of Technology – the first CRC for humanities in the new German states. From 2000 to 2002, he was the spokesperson for the DFG European Research Training Group "Institutional Orders, Writing and Symbols", based in Dresden and Paris. From 2003 to 2011 he conducted research at the CRC "Pluralization and Authority in the Early Modern Period" at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

In 2005, Peter Strohschneider was appointed a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities, the most important scientific advisory board of the German federal and state governments, where he served for six years. As the Council's chairman from February 2006 to January 2011, Peter Strohschneider worked closely with, among others, DFG presidents Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker (until the end of 2006) and Matthias Kleiner to implement the first phase and prepare the second phase of the Excellence Initiative to promote top-level research at universities.

In his role as a member of the selection committee for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's "Alexander von Humboldt Professorship," the advisory board of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen, the board of trustees of the Deutschen Museum in Munich, and as the chairperson of the board of trustees of the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) and in numerous other offices, Strohschneider has made significant contributions to academic self-governance and science organisations, and will continue to do so in the future.

Peter Strohschneider is married with three children.

Further Information

Media contact:

  • Marco Finetti,
    Head of DFG Press and Public Relations,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2230,

A photograph and comprehensive curriculum vitae of the DFG's next President is available online: