Funding brief: The exploration of exceptionally daring new ideas is not yet really a focal point of the research agenda in Germany, as far as facing challenges and radically transforming common wisdom are concerned. This often requires to establish counterintuitive hypotheses as well as unconventional methodologies or technologies, and to focus on entirely new research approaches. The Volkswagen Foundation’s funding initiative ‘Experiment!’ tries to pave the way for fundamentally new research topics even though the outcome may be contingent. A concept failure as well as unexpected findings are an acceptable result.
Scope of Funding
The initiative addresses researchers in science and engineering as well as in the life sciences (including immediately neighboring disciplines in the behavioral sciences), who want to put a potentially transformative and risky research idea to the test. They are given the opportunity to demonstrate preliminary evidence for a concept’s potential during an exploratory phase which is limited to 18 months and up to 120,000 Euro. Towards the end of a grant the projects’ progress will be presented at the Foundation’s ‘Forum Experiment!’.
A short sketch is sufficient as an application. The foundation is taking a completely new path in the review process. First, the best matching approx. 120-140 proposals are pre-selected internally. An interdisciplinary jury of scientists evaluates only these anonymous ideas (double blind) and rejects qualitatively insufficient proposals. From the pool of proposals which meet the program requirements and the quality criteria the jury selects the most convincing applications (approx. 15-20 grants). Additionally, the same number of projects is drawn in a lottery (15-20 grants). In this way, ideas which are easily overlooked will get a chance, too. The lottery as a new selection element and the entire selection process will be evaluated.
Area of research: science and engineering, life sciences
Donor Name: Volkswagen Foundation
Funding name: Bold research ideas
Deadline: July, 10th, 2019, September, 15th, 2020
Funding details link: Click to view
Funding limit: up to 120,000 Euro (flexible use)
Project start date: Not Found
Project duration: up to 18 months
Eligible organization: As below
Eligibility: In principle, academic institutions located in other countries are also eligible for funding. Applications must, however, refer to a specific funding initiative. In such cases, concrete details must be supplied to show that a substantial cooperation with researchers in Germany has been agreed upon. Many of the Foundation’s funding initiatives require that the German research institute takes the lead with respect to the overall project responsibility.
Eligible Country: No Country Bar Found (Open to all regions)
Submission mail: Not found
How to apply: Interested applicant may apply through the website (Click to view).
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