The research center is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the amount of almost ten million euros, at first for a period of six years. The new research center will be collaborating closely with the Center for Area Studies of Freie Universität Berlin, as well as with the university's various art and cultural studies institutes. Additional research partners will be the House of World Cultures and the Goethe Institute.
The funding covers up to ten visiting scholars annually. The first fellows are from Thailand, China, Marocco, the USA, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, and Germany.