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Emerging Fields Initiative

Innovative ideas in focus

FAU is one of Germany’s leading research universities, boasting a large number of outstanding academic approaches and perspectives. Moreover, as a full-spectrum university, it brings all disciplines together under one roof in a way that is extremely conducive to interdisciplinary collaborations.

Image: FAU

Image: FAU

FAU offers perfect conditions for stimulating innovative ideas, which often span different fields of research.

Emerging projects – which can involve an element of risk – are an important catalyst for progress in science, research and teaching. Despite their great potential in terms of future development and success, regular funding is not always an option for these projects, at least not in their early stages.

FAU launched its Emerging Fields Initiative (EFI) to support emerging projects in 2010. EFI aims to promote outstanding, preferably interdisciplinary research projects at an early stage and in a flexible and non-bureaucratic way.

By applying for EFI funding, renowned FAU researchers can put visionary ideas into practice, allowing them to react more effectively to upcoming research challenges. A strict selection process guarantees the high quality of the projects, approaches and researchers funded within the scheme.

Parkinson patient

Analysing the gait of a Parkinson’s patient (Image: Kurt Fuchs)

This internal funding scheme for research excellence contributes to FAU’s reputation as a leading university, making it even more attractive to the best researchers. A further goal of the EFI is to strengthen FAU’s unique profile, increase FAU’s attractiveness for excellent researchers both from Germany and from abroad and expand FAU’s strategic alliances with key partners.

A total of 24 innovative projects have been implemented to date thanks to EFI funding. During the last round of applications, particularly well qualified lecturers (Privatdozenten/innen), heads of junior research groups and habilitation candidates were able to apply for the first time and over 150 researchers at FAU in 31 networks submitted a project application. Seven new projects have now been selected to receive funding worth a total of about 3 million euros during the next two years.