Supporting GEOMAR

The “Society to Support GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel” (in the following shortened as “Society”) is a non-profit organization which was originally founded at the Institute for Marine Research (IfM) in 1987. Today, it is supporting GEOMAR in different areas.

Tasks & Goals

The Society is a non-profit association to support GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel to achieve its objectives. In particular this encompasses:

(A) To support research activities in the field of marine science and maritime meteorology as well as its dissemination.

(B) To provide training and support for young scientists.

(C) To provide support for the library, for working equipment and rooms, the research vessels and the aquarium of GEOMAR.

(D) To organize events on maritime issues and related challenges.

(E) To promote national and international contacts.

Why does a large institute as GEOMAR with a budget of millions of euros need support of a small society with regular revenues of only a few thousand euros a year?

The aim of the Society is not to overcome limitations in the institutional budget of GEOMAR, but to help where formal, budgetary difficulties limit the work of the institute and where valuable support can already be obtained with small additional resources.

If you would like to support GEOMAR on a regular basis you may join our "Förderverein" which was founded in 1987. 

In addition, donations to support specific activities of GEOMAR that are not or not adequately covered by the funding for the institute are very welcome. Please contact Julia Schätzel (+49-431-600-2265, or foerderverein(at) for further details.

Core Activities

The core activities of the Society, supported by membership fees and donations, are as follows:

Otto-Krümmel Award
In support of young scientists, the Society founded the Otto-Krümmel Award. The prize is aimed for students with outstanding bachelor's degrees and is endowed with 1,000 euros.

Support for research at GEOMAR and the presentation of scientific results
Students, graduate students, PhD students who actively contribute to research at GEOMAR but who are not (yet) employed at the institute, as well as former project scientists whose funding has expired, may receive support by the Society to present their research results at scientific conferences or to carry out joint publications with colleagues from abroad. Assigned donations can also be used for individual research tasks.

Support for scientific events, symposia, meetings, working group meetings at GEOMAR
The Society can provide support for the meetings to a limited extent. Please note, that e.g. expenses for catering in general cannot be reimbursed due to the non-profit nature of the Society.

Insurance for embarked participants on expeditions
If employees or guests of the institute participate in expeditions as part of research projects, the statutory insurances which exist through the employer do often not cover all potentially arising risks. Due to legal limitation of the public employer, the Society and the shipping companies provide an additional insurance for expeditions.

For this additional insurance by the Society which is offered for all ships and stations except RV SONNE, RV METEOR, RV MARIA S. MERIAN, RV ALKOR, RV ELISABETH MANN BORGHESE and RC LITTORINA, it is required to provide a notification of the number of participants to the ship coordination of GEOMAR. A form is available from the website of the ship co-ordination, also more detailed information. For compensation, the Society expects a donation of € 0.20 per day and participant.

Public relations
The Society can support public events (e.g. the public talks during the “Kieler Woche” or presentations during the Open Days). The public aquarium of GEOMAR has a high public visibility. Dedicated donations for the aquarium can be used for the maintenance and improvement of the animal population. Finally, the Society also supports purchase and sale of advertising articles for the institute in order to expand public awareness.



At present, the Society has about 100 members including the following companies: Bornhöft Industriegeräte GmbHBriese SchiffahrtHydro-Bios Apperatebau GmbHMBT-Meerestechniksepflutech GmbHOffcon GmbH and Fördesparkasse Kiel.

The annual contribution for individual members is deliberately low, presently at EUR 25.00. We would like to encourage employees of the institute as well as external interested parties, to sign up as a member of the Society. Of course, complementary donations are also welcome.  As the Society is a non-profit organization, membership fees and donations are tax-deducible.

On the board of the Society are currently serving:

  • Chair: Dr. Peter Gimpel
  • Deputy chairs: Prof. Dr. Hermann Bange, Dr. Thomas Müller
  • Treasurer: Dr. Christian Zwanzig
  • Secretary: Julia Schätzel

Flyer of the society for download
(in German, as of 09/2022)