Leibniz Summer School, July 7th-16th, 2016

The Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, the Leibniz Endowed Professorship at the University of Hanover, and the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Gesellschaft, commemorate the tercentenary of Leibniz’s death by organizing a joint Leibniz Summer School in Leibniz’s hometowns. The School will be open to Master students, PhD candidates and recent PhDs, and will be held in Leipzig and Hanover in the week preceding the X. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress. It will consist of two successive sessions.

The first session of the School will take place in Leipzig, from Thursday, the 7th of July, to Tuesday, the 12th of July, 2016. On Sunday (July 10th) we will have an excursion to terra mineralia, an extraordinary exhibition of minerals, gemstones, and meteorites at the Freudenstein Castle in Freiberg, Saxony. Freiberg is an old silver mining town. In Freiberg, one century after Leibniz, Abraham Werner developed new concepts in geology and mineralogy, and the participants can thereby acquire a new perspective on Leibniz's ideas and achievements in mining and earth history.

The School is open to students who are completing their Master degree and have a special interest in the thought of Leibniz; to PhD students, whose dissertation is about any aspect of Leibniz’s work or the cultural and scientific environment of Leibniz’s times; and to post-doctoral researchers who have obtained their PhD degree within no more than 5 years, whose main field of research is Leibniz studies.

The five days of the Leipzig session of the School are dedicated to an intensive series of lectures and discussions on various aspects of Leibniz’s philosophical and scientific activity, given by leading experts in the field.
The six professors lecturing at the School are:

The second session of the School will take place in Hanover, from Wednesday, the 13th of July, to Saturday, the 16th of July, 2016. This session is the Second International School for PhD Candidates Doing Research on Leibniz, and will be open only to PhD students working on Leibniz or related fields. The four days of the Hanover session of the School are dedicated to a detailed discussion of the dissertations of the participants, and will be led by Donald Rutherford, Maria Rosa Antognazza, and Justin Smith. Further information.

The organizers of the School will take care of the accommodation of all the participants in both Leipzig and Hanover, of the morning and afternoon tea/coffee breaks as well as lunches during the days of the School. Limited funds are available to cover the travel expenses to Leipzig and Hanover from abroad. Please specify your financial needs in the application form.

PhD students may apply to participate in both sessions of the School, and the organizers will also provide transportation from Leipzig to Hanover in the late afternoon of July 12th.

Applications may be submitted electronically by January 1st, 2016. The outcome of the evaluation process will be communicated by February 1st, 2016.
Deadline extended: late-coming applications will be accepted until January 31, 2016. The final decision will be taken by the end of February, 2016.

  • Master students should provide:
    • a letter of intent explaining their interest in Leibniz;
    • a Curriculum Vitae;
    • a letter of recommendation by their supervisor.
  • PhD students should provide:
    • a letter of intent explaining their interest in Leibniz;
    • a Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications (if any);
    • a five-page exposé of their dissertation, as well as the names of their supervisors.
  • Post-doctoral researchers should provide:
    • a letter of intent explaining their interest in Leibniz;
    • a Curriculum Vitae, including a list of publications;
    • a writing sample (a paper or a chapter of the dissertation).

The relevant documents may be written in English, French, or German. All the lectures and discussions of the School will be in English, and the applicants are requested to be able to explain their views on Leibniz in this language.

For questions concerning the School, please contact

The organizers

  • Vincenzo De Risi (co-director of the Leipzig session of the School)
  • Jürgen Jost (co-director of the Leipzig session of the School)
  • Herbert Breger (editor of Studia Leibnitiana and representative of the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Gesellschaft)
  • Wenchao Li (Leibniz Professor in Hanover)
  • Donald Rutherford (director of the Hanover session of the School)