[ Volkswagen Stiftung “Change of Course” | Research funding and Scientific Exchange ]


Event details

Date and time 28.05.2020  
Category Call for proposal

Many challenging fields of future research go beyond a single discipline’s body of knowledge overlapping, for instance, the life sciences on the one hand and mathematics, engineering, computer and natural sciences on the other. For visionary, ambitious and radically new solutions to future research questions, academic teams qualified across scientific disciplines are needed.
The Volkswagen Stiftung “Change of Course” call supports such interdisciplinary teams in:

  • gaining scientific experience across disciplines
  • implementing approaches from other disciplines.
  • positioning the team for interdisciplinary challenges
Examples of “Qualification Concepts”: lab work, lab rotation, research stays abroad, new teaching formats, MOOCs, workshops, summer schools, science communication.
The selected topic:
  • Can be chosen freely.
  • Must be interdisciplinary and under-researched.
  • Preference for life scientists aiming at acquiring knowledge and skills in the "hard" subjects.
  • Examples of eligible topics:
  • cognitive computing and neuro-inspired technologies;
  • immunophysics and immunoengineering;
  • nanotechnologies and new nonlinear optical methods for biomedical research;
  • molecular bioengineering and hybrid devices (via functional linkage with living cells);
  • bioelectronics, biofabrication and bio-inspired energy conversion.
Who can apply:
  • “Outstandingly qualified” scientists based at a university or research institute and holding a PhD.
  • Swiss-based applicants must partner up with a group leader/professor based in Germany (the PI).
  • Swiss-based applicants can receive funding only if the collaboration with the PI is new.
  • The team of applicants must be multidisciplinary.
Funding & Duration:
  1. Planning Grant: EUR 120’000 for 9-18-month
  2. Application for “Qualification Concepts”: no upper or lower limit.
Total duration: 3-4 years
Eligible costs:
  • Personnel (preferably for interdisciplinary work, research stays at another institution, temporary leave or discharge, jointly supervised PhD students).
  • Travel, Science communication measures, consumables, equipment, VAT, other.
  • Does NOT cover overheads.
  • The grant cannot replace institutes’ funding.
Deadline: 28 May 2020 at 24:00.
Number of grants awarded per call: 8 - 10.
Deadline for Qualification Concepts: any time after the first annual interim report.
For further information, please have a look at the call webpage, the guidelines (incl. application checklist at p. 5) and online application portal

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



research funding

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