Volkswagen Foundation: Inviting applications for ‘bold research ideas’ to pave the way for fundamentally new research topics even though the outcome may be contingent.

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

Other important link:
Apply: Click to view
Proposal Form (Form): Click to view
About: Click to view
FAQ: Application (Click to view) and Experiment (Click to view)

How to apply: Interested applicant may apply through the website (Click to view).

Visit all Funding opportunities: Click to view
Visit all funding categories:  Click to view

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