How to apply

Applying for EFI funding

Who can apply for EFI funding?

All FAU professors (W1-W3) are entitled to apply for funding within the Emerging Fields Initiative, as well as highly qualified lecturers (Privatdozenten/innen), heads of junior research groups and habilitation candidates.

The application is submitted by a project coordinator and at least one other applicant. They are expected to be high achievers in their field, depending on their career level, and to have excellent qualifications in the relevant area of research. The projects have to be in line with the general goals of the EFI, i.e. only projects with an innovative approach, above-average potential for development and strategic significance for FAU will be considered.

The Emerging Fields Initiative focuses on five goals that are decisive in the selection of the EFI projects:

  • promoting innovative, potentially risky research projects at FAU
  • increasing FAU’s reputation as a leading institution for top-level research
  • consolidating FAU’s unique profile
  • enhancing FAU’s attractiveness for national and international researchers and research partners
  • supporting new ideas that are likely to attract third-party funding

How does the application process work?

The project coordinator submits a declaration of intent followed by a preliminary proposal in English by the set deadlines. The preliminary proposal follows a set structure; it includes a brief summary of the prospective EFI project and a description of the scientific vision, the level of innovation, the risk and the future significance of the project. In addition, the proposal should set out the current status of research, as well as indicating how the project relates to the key research priorities and strategic development of FAU. An outline of the planned budget should be included, and the research profiles of all applicants should be attached, detailing their most important publications.

The evaluation process

If the preliminary proposal is approved, the applicants are requested to submit a full proposal of approximately 20 pages in length (EFI full proposal) in English, which is then forwarded to three external and partly international reviewers, who may not all be based in Germany. Project coordinators may suggest or reject specific reviewers. All proposals are checked for impartiality by F3. The decision on the reviewers is made by the Executive Board.

If the external reviews are predominantly positive, the team filing the application is given the opportunity to present and discuss their EFI proposal in front of the Executive Board and the external Advisory Board, followed by a discussion. A recommendation is given on the basis of the full proposal, the external reviews, the presentation and the discussion with the applicants. The final selection is made by the Executive Board of the University and the deans of the faculties at FAU.