About Us

The Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO) at Goethe University Frankfurt is a research institution which spans a number of different disciplines. Research and teaching at the IZO focus on an understanding of the contemporary cultures and societies of China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia and their historic roots, combining the perspectives of various subjects. The aim is primarily to strengthen interdisciplinary, theory-based research and work with original documents, which requires a high degree of proficiency in the respective languages. The Centre is an integral element of the internationalisation strategy of the Goethe University. Find out more about research activities at the IZO on the IZO Research page.

Board of Directors

Prof. Dr. Iwo Amelung

Managing Director

Sinology: Chinese History and Culture

Prof. Dr. Yonson Ahn

Deputy Executive Director of Korean Studies

Prof. Dr. Moritz Bälz, LLM.

Deputy Executive Director of Japanese law and its cultural foundations

Prof. Dr. Arndt Graf

Deputy Executive Director of

Southeast Asian Studies

Representation of the Scientific Staff

Dr. Clemens Büttner

Representation of the Scientific Staff

Holger Warnk, M.A.

Representation of the Nonscientific Staff

Xenia Wasserstein

Representation of the Students

Academic Coordination

Dr. Bertram Lang

Academic Coordinator

Dr. des. Mirjam Tröster

MEAS Coordinator
CEDITRAA project on Taiwan

Other IZO Researchers

Dr. Ruth Achenbach

Project Leader QuaMaFa & AspirE

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

Political Science with a Focus on Chinese and East Asian Area Studies

Prof. Dr. Zhiyi Yang  

Chinese Literature and Culture

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Storz

Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship with focus on Japan/East Asia 

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Michael Lackner

Chairman of the Advisory Board
Sinology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg

Prof. Dr. Gesine Foljanty-Jost

Political Science and Japanese Studies, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Prof. Dr. Harald Baum

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg 
Prof. em. Dr. Robert Kappel

GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg
Prof. em. Dr. Ulrich Kratz

Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz

Institute for Sinology, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Evelyn Schulz

Japan-Centre, LMU München
Prof. Dr. Yvonne Schulz Zinda

Asia Africa Institute, University Hamburg

Board of Trustees

Volker Gempt (Chairman)
President of the German-Japanese Society Frankfurt am Main e. V

Dr. Petra Kolonko
Former Political Correspondent for East Asia at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Norbert Noisser
Deputy Head of Department at the Hessian Ministry for Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development

Dr. Jurgen Ratzinger
Managing Director at the Frankfurt am Main Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the International business area

Prof. Dr. Heinz Riesenhuber
Former Federal Minister for Research and Technology, former member of the German Bundestag

Stephen Stocker
Former President, Chief Operating Officer and Representative Director of Takata Corporation, Japan

Gerhard Wiesheu
Member of the partner group B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. Holding AG, Chairman of the German-Japanese Economic Circle (DJW)

IZO Fellowship

The Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO) offers Fellowships for a duration of between one and three months to highly qualified external researchers. We welcome unsolicited applications as well as nominations from the extended governing board of the IZO.

Specific criteria for consideration and acceptance as an IZO Fellow are:

  • Relevant research related to East Asia in a field pertinent to the work of the IZO
  • Quality and relevance of the research project to be pursued under the IZO Fellowship
  • Significant contribution to one of the main research areas of the IZO
  • Thematic relevance to, or collaboration on, an ongoing or prospective IZO research project
  • Potential contribution to networking in the East Asian academic community

The primary purpose of the Fellowship is generally speaking to allow work on an individual time-limited research project which during the time spent in Frankfurt or immediately afterwards will lead to a publication in one of the IZO publication series. In addition, every Fellow is obliged to give a public lecture organised by, or with the assistance of, the IZO. Fellows will be present in Frankfurt during the entire duration of the Fellowship and will make themselves available for regular communication with the IZO. If it is required by the  IZO, a Fellowship may be awarded that facilitates primarily the collaboration on an ongoing or prospective joint research project and which does not necessarily result in a publication.

Detailed applications with reference to the above criteria and with a precise outline of a research project should be submitted to izo@uni-frankfurt.de.


Membership in the IZO is generally open to scholars interested in Asia. Student membership, which is renewed annually, is also possible for members of Goethe University. External researchers can remain associated with the Center as associate members.

Further details are regulated by the Center's rules and regulations. For questions and applications for membership (according to §3 of the regulations) please contact the coordinator of the center. 

Current Vacancies

There are currently no vacancies.

The IZO is looking for student or research assistants at irregular intervals. Unsolicited applications to izo[at]uni-frankfurt.de are possible.


IZO Coordinator:

Bertram Lang
Bockenheimer Landstr. 133, Neue Mensa R. 305, PO 20
D-60325 Frankfurt/Main
Tel. +49 (0) 69-798-23284, email: izo[at]uni-frankfurt.de

MEAS Coordinator (contact person for all study-related questions):

Mirjam Tröster

Rostocker Straße 2, SKW, 5th floor, room 05.B140
60323 Frankfurt/Main
Mailing address:

Sinology/MEAS, FB09 - Linguistics, Cultures, and Arts
Mirjam Tröster/SKW
60629 Frankfurt

Tel. +49 (0)69-798-28795, email: m.troester[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

Student Assistants:

Matthew Kwan-ho Lee (IZO), E-Mail: k.lee[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

John Droß, (IZO/MEAS), E-Mail: dross[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

Image credits (from top to bottom): David Guillin (Frankfurt Skyline by night), Bertram Lang, Association for Asian Studies (Clemens Büttner)