How to apply

Applying for EFI funding

Who can apply for EFI funding?

All FAU professors are entitled to apply for funding within the Emerging Fields Initiative. With each new round, all professors receive a letter from the FAU President specifying the details of application; in addition, the Executive Board may contact individual researchers in order to initiate research activities that the Board considers particularly attractive and strategically important.

Each application must be borne by at least three FAU professors who have already established their reputation as top researchers. In addition, the topics of the majority of the project groups must be based on FAU’s Major Research Areas. The application has to be submitted by the project co-ordinator, who must be an internationally leading researcher in their specific field. 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 receive funding.

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
  • increasing FAU’s attraction 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 designated co-ordinator initiates the application process by submitting a non-binding declaration of intent, followed by a two-page preliminary proposal to be submitted to the Office of Research Strategy (F3) before a specified deadline. The preliminary proposal follows a set structure; it includes a short summary of the prospective Emerging Fields project and a description of the academic vision and the potential future significance of the field. The proposal must also state the names of the participating researchers and outline the contributions to be made by possible external partners.

On the basis of this preliminary proposal and in close collaboration with the Emerging Fields Office, the Vice President for Research then compiles a dossier which assesses the academic excellence of the participating researchers. Subsequently, the Executive Board and the external EFI Advisory Board (eAB) review the preliminary proposal and the dossier.

The external EFI Advisory Board

The EFI Advisory Board (eAB) consists of ten renowned experts from various fields of research. It can be expanded to include specialists depending on the proposed topics and is chaired by the Vice President for Research. The following are members of the EFI Advisory Board:

The evaluation process

EFI Evaluation Process (Image: FAU)

EFI Evaluation Process (Image: FAU)

If the preliminary proposal gets a positive review, the applicants are asked to submit an approximately 20-page full proposal and to give a presentation in front of the EFI Advisory Board and the Executive Board. The full proposals that are approved by the boards are forwarded to three international reviewers. Based on these reviews and the EFI’s goals, the Executive Board decides which projects to award funding in consultation with the deans of FAU’s faculties.