At the initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Austria is investing EUR 107 million in funding from the NextGenerationEU Development and Resilience Plan to accelerate the development of quantum research and technologies. The aim is to enhance Austria's competitiveness and increase European cooperation in this strategic key technology sector. Funding is available for both basic research as well as the development of practical applications. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) are working closely together on the allocation of funding. Submissions are possible at the FWF from November 26, at the FFG from December 15.
In its latest tranche of funding, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has approved 176 research projects to the tune of EUR 57.7 million. Besides the projects in the established programmes, research projects with a specific transdisciplinary focus competed for funding for the first time as part of the #ConnectingMinds programme.
The researchers and the institutions in the race for “Clusters of Excellence” grants have been determined: 36 consortia with proposals amounting to more than one billion euros are taking part in the selection procedure for Austria’s future beacons of basic research. An overview of all the submissions is now available online—and highlights the areas of strength of cooperative cutting-edge research in Austria.
Austrian Minister of Science Heinz Faßmann and FWF President Christof Gattringer signed the new three-year financing agreement on 22 September 2021. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research has made a total of €806 million in funding between 2021 and 2023 available for groundbreaking basic research to researchers who are able to succeed in the FWF’s quality-based competition for funds.
Through its alpha+ Foundation, the FWF offers charitably minded people and organisations the opportunity to provide researchers with financial support. One of the foundation’s funding options is the Rückenwind funding bonus, which is available to internationally active researchers in the Erwin Schrödinger Programme. Six researchers have received funding recently as part of the second round of awards.
Innovation requires the courage to break new ground. Through the 1000 Ideas Programme, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) promotes high-risk research and exceptional research ideas at Austrian research institutions. As part of the second funding call, 22 ambitious projects will receive support.
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) also honours six other top researchers with the START Award
In addition to the Wittgenstein Award, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) also conferred this year’s START excellence awards. From a field of 102 applicants, the jury chose six researchers in a very competitive selection process.
The Weiss Prize, Austria’s highest research award in the field of meteorology, goes to Andreas Stohl of the University of Vienna. The award worth €300,000 given by the FWF on behalf of the Weiss Science Foundation will enable the meteorologist to study the transport of heat and water vapour in the atmosphere. This will allow new insights into the global effects (known as teleconnections) of climate anomalies such as the El Niño phenomenon and contribute to a better understanding of the processes that give rise to extreme weather events such as heavy precipitation or heat waves.
In recent years, a special endowment of the National Foundation has provided the funding for Young Independent Researcher Groups. The aim of this FWF funding programme is to help interdisciplinary teams of postdocs at the beginning of their careers gain experience in independent research. This funding has now expired, which means that the continuation of the programme in 2021 and in following years is uncertain. A look at two recently approved projects demonstrates the added value that can result from interdisciplinarity.
Since the end of April, highly qualified postdocs have been able to submit proposals to the ESPRIT career programme—year-round and in every discipline. A key focus of the programme is equal opportunities, which is evaluated by means of external scientific monitoring. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers about the new funding programme.
The “Clusters of Excellence” grants enable large teams to further develop especially promising research areas to a world-class level. Up to €7 million a year in funding is available to each cluster to strengthen collaboration among outstanding researchers across regional, disciplinary, and institutional boundaries. Researchers of all disciplines are welcome to apply, and initial information on the programme is available now online.
Applications amounting to roughly EUR 114 million, and an approval rate of 27.3 percent
Answers to global challenges such as the climate crisis require the knowledge and cooperation of researchers from all over the world. To enable even more researchers to produce new knowledge in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the FWF is supporting the international “Pathways to Sustainability” funding initiative of the Belmont Forum. Thirteen new research networks involving 37 countries can now get started—including two teams with Austrian participation.