The STIFTUNG MICHAEL was founded in 1962 by Dr. Fritz Harzendorf, a well known journalist and editor. The name of the STIFTUNG is the first name of the founder's son who suffered from epilepsy. The STIFTUNG MICHAEL has been officially acknowledged as a private non-profit organisation; it does not receive any government subsidies. The Stiftung Michael is legally based in Heidelberg; its office is located in Bonn / Germany.


Epilepsy is the most common chronic disease of the central nervous system. 3-5% of the population suffer from epilepsy in their lifetime - but usually only temporarily. Approximately 500,000 people in Germany have an active epilepsy. Among these are approximately 200,000 children under the age of 16 years. About 25% of all epilepsy patients remain seizure-free for longer than 3 years.
Epilepsy is the most discredited prejudices through illness. Their frequency and their stigma let epilepsy become a socio-medical problem of the first rank.


The STIFTUNG's main aim is to support scientific research on the most effective treatment methods as well as the causes of all illnesses associated with seizures, and to fight against the individual and social consequences of epileptic diseases.


The STIFTUNG MICHAEL has following main objectives:


i.e. providing information through publications on epilepsy and its social problems by creating of brochures to reduce prejudice and educate about epilepsy in childhood, youth, school, career choice, job training, sports, driving license, family planning ans pregnancy.


i.e. training of medical doctors from Germany and other countries, and of social workers in the specific field of epileptology - for example by holding regular seminars in epilepsy


i.e. awarded to physicians and other persons working in the field of epilepsy for optimizing a comprehensive supply structure


i.e. stimulation of international epilepsy research through the MICHAEL PRIZE and the organization of the MICHAEL FORUM – a biennial meeting of the MICHAEL PRIZE winners for an exchange of experiences and information on new research projects.


The „Practical Seminar for Epilepsy“ in Gargnano

is an annual 3-day training course for doctors interested in epilepsy. Doctors under 32 may receive funding. more...

Stipends for further training as a Specialist Epilepsy Assistant/Specialist Counsellor

at the Bethel Department of Training and Counselling. This funding is intended for members of non-medical health professions.

Information material about epilepsy

Suitable for patients, consultants and doctors. Topics include: epilepsy among school children and adolescents, epilepsy in pregnancy, social support for families, sports, mobility and career issues. more...

Individual funding for people with symptomatic epilepsy

In cooperation with the Berger-Landefeldt-Stiftung.

Support for the „Social Work with Epilepsy“ conference

It is organized every two years by the Social Work with Epilepsy society (Sozialarbeit bei Epilepsie e.V.) The relevant collective report can be obtained free of charge from the STIFTUNG MICHAEL / MICHAEL FOUNDATION.