The excellence initiative excellent=austria, launched earlier this year, is one of Austria’s most comprehensive funding programs for basic research. Five Clusters of Excellence were awarded millions in funding in the first round. The initiative has now passed an international evaluation of its selection procedure with flying colors. Based on these positive results, the FWF is preparing the second call for Clusters of Excellence. Funding for this round was announced by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) in the spring.
As previously announced, the FWF will be switching the Elise Richter program (incl. Elise Richter PEEK) to PROFI funding mode starting October 1, 2023.
As previously announced, the FWF will be switching its Program for Arts-Based Research (PEEK) to PROFI funding mode starting October 1, 2023.
In the third approval round of 2023, the FWF funded 91 new research projects with a total volume of €38.2 million at research institutions throughout Austria. This includes €10.9 million for the FWF START Awards and the FWF Wittgenstein Award. Fourteen researchers were successful in obtaining funding from the ESPRIT program, and five female researchers were selected for Elise Richter grants. A list of all newly funded projects is now available online.
Austrian Science Fund (FWF) selects eight additional top researchers for the START Award
In addition to the Wittgenstein Award, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) also presented this year's FWF START Awards. A total of eight researchers were chosen in the highly competitive selection process, out of a total of 126 applications.
With nominees named by the scientific community, winners selected by an international jury of experts, and an endowment that exceeds all other individual funding awards in Austria, the FWF Wittgenstein Award is unique in every respect. Next week, the stage will be set once again for the 2023 winners of the FWF Wittgenstein and FWF START Awards.
The FWF makes its funding decisions based on international peer reviews. Previously, two reviews per proposal were required up to a requested funding amount of €400,000. Due to inflation and the resulting higher costs, the FWF is increasing this amount to €450,000 as of July 1, 2023.
The FWF is gradually shifting the administration of all its funding programs to the new PROFI mode. Clinical Research is the next program to make the switch, starting in July.
alpha+ Foundation of the Austrian Science Fund FWF receives donation of €4.5 million
The Weiss Award, Austria's largest privately financed research award in the field of meteorology, goes to Bernadett Weinzierl from the University of Vienna. Administered by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the award of around €400,000 from the Weiss Science Foundation will enable physicist Bernadett Weinzierl to better detect and research microplastics in the atmosphere.
The FWF responds to inflation and increases funding for salaries in ongoing FWF projects for the year 2023. Researchers receive additional funding for personnel costs in both ad personam as well as PROFI funding mode. With this step, the FWF is helping to compensate for inflationary losses, especially for young researchers (two-thirds of all FWF-funded researchers are younger than 36 years old).
The FWF has been gradually converting the administration of its funding programs to the new PROFI mode since 2019. The goal is to make the funding process easier for researchers and their institutions, while still ensuring autonomy in the application process. As of May 31, 2023, the FWF’s international programs will now also be available in PROFI funding mode.
Austria's basic research community is growing, and with it the funding provided by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Investments increased again in 2022, reaching €273 million, and 743 projects were funded at Austria's research institutions. Currently, 4,842 scientists and scholars are conducting their research with FWF funding, and their discoveries help lay the foundations for progress, innovation, and prosperity. The FWF Distinguished Professor program, the third pillar of the excellence initiative excellent=austria, will start in 2023. The Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) will be providing the FWF with €1.124 billion for the 2024 to 2026 budget period.