Georg Eckert Research Award

The recipient of the Georg Eckert Research Award

The Georg Eckert Research Award for 2016 was presented to Dr Anja Kirsch for her dissertation Weltanschauung als Erzählkultur (Ideology as Narrative Culture), which examines the relationship between religion and socialism in civic studies textbooks from the GDR. The work closely studied the role of narratives in the construction of a socialist memory culture. Anja Kirsch made four research trips to the GEI in Braunschweig whilst writing her dissertation, which she completed at the Faculty of Philosophy and History at the University of Basel and which has been published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in their series Critical Studies in Religion/Religionswissenschaft.

Dr Anja Kirsch

Anja Kirsch completed a master’s degree in religious studies, history and German studies at the University of Hanover in 2004.

She has since worked at Jena University and Trinity College Dublin and now works at the University of Basel where one of her roles is as coordinator of the joint doctoral programme of the universities of Basel and Zurich. She was awarded her doctorate by the University of Basel with her work titled ‘Weltanschauung als Erzählkultur. Zur Konstruktion von Religion und Sozialismus in Staatsbürgerkundeschulbüchern der DDR‘ (Ideology as Narrative Culture: On the construction of religion and socialism in civic studies books in the GDR).

During the winter semester 2016/17 Anja Kirsch deputised for the assistant professor in the Institute for Religious Studies at the University of Bern.

Her research interests include the relationship between religion, secular movements and politics; religion and criticism, from religious doubt and atheism to modern critique of religions; and religions and narratives, from textbooks to modern mass media.

 Kirsch, Anja. Weltanschauung als Erzählkultur: zur Konstruktion von Religion und Sozialismus in Staatsbürgerkundeschulbüchern der DDR. Critical studies in religion, Religionswissenschaft, Volume 2. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016.

This year‘s award for young academics was awarded to Anna Heym for her master’s thesis on the subject of digital educational media, which investigated the factors influencing the strategies employed by textbook publishing companies. Her work examined the economic aspects behind the production and development of digital educational media; she evaluated the textbook in its economic context, analysed the strategic orientation of textbook publishers and attempted to gauge future developments in the field of digital educational media.

Anna Heym

Anna Heym gained her MA in book studies and information management from the University of Mainz in 2014. She currently works in the university’s media centre where she directs the project ‘Lehrideen vernetzen’ (Networking teaching ideas).

Press release

Research Prize

The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Member of the Leibniz Association, makes a biennial research award, sponsored by the Braunschweig-based educational publisher Westermann, for excellence in academic work in the field of international research into educational media. The award, next due to be made in 2018, is for academic work which engages with aspects of textbooks and other educational media used in schools which relate to cultural, political or didactical issues, learning theory approaches, educational practice or the sociology of knowledge.  

Research Award

The award is endowed with 5,000 euro, 2,500 euro of which comprises printing costs for the publication of the work in the GEI’s book series Eckert. Die Schriftenreihe. Studien des Georg-Eckert-Instituts zur internationalen Bildungsmedienforschung (Eckert. The book series. Studies by the Georg Eckert Institute on research findings in international educational media), published by V&R unipress of Göttingen. If the work has already been published, the part of the award intended for printing expenses may instead be granted as a scholarship for the conduction of research at the Georg Eckert Institute or used to subsidise a conference. The award may be shared among more than one winner if this is felt to be appropriate.

The award will be made to a monograph, doctoral thesis or post-doctoral work of outstanding academic quality or to an equally exceptional work by more than one author, in which case the prize will be awarded to the editor or editors. We will accept entries from authors directly as well as nominations by third parties.

Award for young academics

A special award for young academics, endowed with 500 euro, is offered for an outstanding M.A. thesis. The prize can be shared by two laureates. These works must be entered along with two expert views on their quality. The winner of the Georg Eckert Award for Young Academics will receive the opportunity to publish his or her work online on the GEI’s information portal for research into educational media in schools,


An independent panel of international respected academics will select the winning entry or entries. There is no right of legal appeal against the panel’s decision. The award ceremony will take place in the autumn of 2018. If you have any questions on the award, please send an email to or call +49 (0)531/59099-331.

Call for applicants

The call for applications for the Georg Eckert Award 2018 will go online on this website in the spring of 2017. For any questions regarding the prize please contact or by telephone: +49 (0)531/59099-331