Project grants are an important program of the Marsilius Kolleg and an essential complement of the fellowships. Marsilius projects emerge from the intensive dialogue and collaboration of the fellows within the Kolleg. Thus academic collaborations of the fellows can be transformed into long-term research consortiums. Therefore, Marsilius projects are an important component of the Marsilius Kolleg’s strategy to initiate a research network between the sciences and the humanities.
Existing activities within Heidelberg University and the Rhine-Neckar research area helped to reduce the initial phase. To speed up the development of the Marsilius Kolleg, the University has predefined the Marsilius Projects “Human Dignity” and “Perspectives of Ageing” within its proposal for the Excellence Initiative. These projects started together with the first class of fellows.
Two further projects arose as a result of intensive discussions of the Marsilius Kolleg Fellows: A project on “The Global Governance of Climate Engineering" was approved in 2009, and a project on the "Ethical and Legal Aspects of Total Genome Sequencing" will begin in March 2011. Both projects were approved by the Rectorate at the recommendation of the selection committee and two external reviewers suggested by the Leopoldina Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
All Marsilius projects deal with problems of theoretical and practical relevance, requiring contributions from both the humanities and the sciences.