The WIN-Kolleg is divided into different sub-programmes with a duration of usually five years, which comprise several scientific projects. These projects are managed independently by the funded early career researchers.
With the support of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities has initiated an unique grant programme that offers funding opportunities to the best young researchers throughout the state: the WIN-Kolleg. Since 2002, the academy has been funding interdisciplinary projects for early career researchers, thereby opening up special scope for research and enabling exchange with academy members. In this way, the Heidelberg Academy contributes to making Baden-Württemberg even more attractive as a location for young scientists and as a starting point for visionary scientific projects. Membership in the WIN-Kolleg is limited in time to active participation in one of the ongoing research projects.
Since its foundation, six subprograms have been carried out on different focal topics. Calls for proposals for the topic-specific subprograms are issued at irregular intervals (approximately every two years). Researchers can apply with projects on the call topic. Scientists in an early stage of their scientific career after their doctorate are eligible to apply. Applicants must be working at a research institution in Baden-Württemberg and must not have been appointed to a tenured professorship at the time of application.
Currently, research is being conducted in the 7th sub-programme on the topic "How Do Collectives Decide?" and in the 8th sub-programme on the keywords "Stable - Unstable".