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Inaugural Lecture of the new Leibniz-Professor Stefan Th. Gries on April, 19 2017


The Leibniz-Professor in the summer semester 2017 Prof. Dr. Stefan Th. Gries will hold his inaugural lecture on the topic "On the ole and use of quantitative methods in linguistics" on April, 19 at 5 pm in the...

We cordially invite all those interested to the inaugural lecture and the following reception.

After an adress of welcome by the rector of Leipzig University Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking and a laudation by the director of the Leibniz-Programme Prof. Dr. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, Prof. Dr. Gries will hold his inaugural lecture on the following topic:

"On the role and use of quantitative methods in linguistics"

Linguistics has always been a very varied and heterogeneous discipline in the sense that, arguably, anything having to do with language can be perceived at least partially as being related to, or part of, linguistics.

Prof. Gries will begin with a brief sketch of how the field of linguistics has evolved over the last 30-40 years to highlight the changes in how language is now studied from both from a theoretical and a methodological view. With regard to the former, much of linguistics has become much more cognitively or psycholinguistically oriented than previously; with regard to the latter, linguistics has become a discipline that relies much more on observational data as well as quantitative/statistical methods.

Prof. Gries will then discuss a variety of case studies that showcase the potential of observational
data studied with quantitative methods for a range of linguistic areas; these include applications on the coming-into-existence of words and other fixed expressions, the relevance/import of spelling in internet discourse, the change of language over time, the learning of language by foreign language learners, and lastly, the application of linguistics in legal settings.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 - 17:00 - Bibliotheca Albertina

More information on the Leibniz-Professorship at the Research Academy at Leipzig University

Science Café on 10 March 2017 with Leibniz-Professor Vincenzo de Risi: "Leibniz and the Universality of Reason"


The next Science Café will be held on 10 March 2017 at 7pm on the topic "Leibniz and the Universality of Reason". We cordially invite you to meet and discuss with our Leibniz-Professor Vincenzo de Risi and his guests.

We cordially invite you to meet and discuss with our Leibniz-Professor Vincenzo de Risi and his guests. Prof. Dr. Michael Kempe (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek Hannover) and Prof. Dr. Eberhard Knobloch (TU Berlin).

The notion of the universal reason was theoretically grounded on several claims of Leibniz’s philosophy, such as that the common essence of all substances (monads) is reason. Such a claim also grounded many intellectual projects in Leibniz’s life, as the possibility of a characteristica universalis and his studies on mathematics, logic and language, and was embodied in various activities of Leibniz's political life: from the attempt at a reunification of the Churches, to the foundation of academies of science and the fostering of the circulation of knowledge. We would like to explore how all these different aspects may come together to form a distinctive rationalist trend toward the age of Enlightenment.

The Science Café at the Research Academy Leipzig allows for academic exchange in an informal and comfortable atmosphere and offers interested parties access to academic discourse.

New Website


From now on, the Research Academy Leipzig is to be reached at our redesigned webpage at a new address. Doctoral researchers, Postdocs and university teachers may access all information on our offer at

With the launch of the new website, our former representation at the website of Leipzig University (former and the website of Competence School ELSYS (former will go offline and their content will be displayed clearly on the new website. From now on, the registration for our workshops will also take place at

If you would like to share your opinion, wishes or ideas on the new website, please send an email to ral(at)

Seminar „Junge Wissenschaft und Praxis“, 19th and 20th December


This years Seminar on the topic "Scientific Methods in the Digital Age - Science meets Humanities in the Context of Modern Digital Techniques" will again take place on Schloss Machern as a 2-day-workshop addressing...

Current developments in research give rise to an intensive methodical discourse which is often in a simplifying manner connected with the term “big data”. In fact, the scientific interaction which is evolving around new techniques of information and data analysis and processing runs much deeper and touches much more of scientific methodical grounds than the fashionable term referring merely to large quantities suggests. A key question in the interdisciplinary scientific discourse addresses the opposition of hypothesis driven versus data driven research. This concerns for example the issue whether guiding questions for a scientific project arise out of the given material or whether they are a priori chosen and determine the process of approaching material. How does the researcher arrive at guiding hypotheses out of given material? How are they tested? How does one arrive at interpretations and explanations?

Confirmed speakers at the symposium will be:

  • Christoph Kleine, Institute for the Study of Religions, Leipzig Univ.
  • Manfred Laubichler, Developmental Evolution Lab, Arizona State Univ.
  • Richard McElreath, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
  • Olivier Morin, Minds and Traditions Research Group, MPI for the Science of Human History, Jena
  • Sebastian Schüler, Institute for the Study of Religions, Leipzig Univ.
  • Peter Stadler, Bioinformatics, Leipzig Univ.

To create an inspiring atmosphere for a truly free exchange of ideas all participants are invited by the Research Academy to stay overnight at the ‘Hotel Kavalierhaus’ right next to ‘Schloss Machern’ and enjoy full board sponsored by the Heinz Nixdorf – Hanns Martin Schleyer Stiftung.

Find more information and the registration link here.

Pursuing a Doctorate in Leipzig - A Guide for Doctoral Researchers


As a result of intense work, it is our pleasure to release the new guide for doctoral researchers ‘Pursuing a Doctorate in Leipzig’, a joint project of the PromovierendenRat and the Research Academy Leipzig.

This extensive brochure provides a lot of helpful information concerning the beginning of a doctoral project, meant to facilitate the introduction into this important qualification phase for doctoral students and those interested in pursuing a doctorate.

First published as a bilingual guide, this third edition has undergone major improvements and updates. It is an important pilot project acting as example for similar initiatives at other universities.

The printed version can be purchased for a protective fee of 2 Euros directly at the PromovierendenRat or the Research Academy. Please turn to us if you are interested. The digital version of the brochure is available for free download here.