The “Journalist in Residence” fellowship also allows the recipient to “sit in” on one or more research projects of a partly inter-institutional character. In addition to the two universities, the list of Topoi partner institutions includes the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German Archaeological Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. English and German are both spoken within the Cluster, though English is the main language needed.
Topoi researchers investigate correlations between spaces and knowledge systems in the cultures of the Near East and the Mediterranean, from early, advanced civilizations to late antiquity and the early middle ages. Subjects range from archaeological and geoscientific study and reconstruction of ancient landscapes to the political and social organization of spaces and its reflection in images and texts to theoretical constructions of spaces in ancient philosophy and mathematics.
Since its inception in 2007, the Cluster has received funding from the German Universities Excellence Initiative. In 2012, funding was extended for an additional five years. With the founding of the Berliner Antike-Kolleg in 2011, the outstanding interdisciplinary work conducted at Topoi was more firmly established.