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30.8 million euros for coordinated programmes round off 2019

At the last FWF Board meeting in 2019, which took place from 25 to 27 November, applications amounting to approximately EUR 75.6 million were approved out of a total volume of EUR 301.1 million, resulting in an approval rate of 25.1 percent across all programmes. Out of 598 submissions, a total of 170 excellent projects received FWF funding.

Board meeting details

Representing the “backbone” of FWF funding, stand-alone projects once again accounted for the bulk of approvals. Out of  applications (including clinical research) amounting to a total of EUR 79.9 million, EUR 23.4 million were approved, which corresponds to an approval rate of 29.3 percent. In the area of international programmes, which are implemented jointly with international partner funding organizations, the applications amounted to EUR 36.9 million, and it was possible to give conditional approval  for EUR 9.3 million (approval rate 25.2%). In some cases, the decisions of the partner organizations are still awaited.

FWF career development

The FWF’s Schrödinger outgoing programme makes it possible for mostly young scientists to gain experience at top research locations abroad. Return phase funding counteracts brain drain and ensures that the knowledge and experience gained will benefit research careers in Austria. In the November meeting, 51.6 percent of all submissions were successful, with approved funding totalling EUR 1.1 million.

Once again, numerous scientists from other countries applied for a research grant in Austria to contribute their know-how here. In the Meitner incoming programme, the approved amount was EUR 1.6 million, which corresponds to a success rate of 34.3 percent.
The call for proposals under the Firnberg and Richter women’s programmes, which also represent central pillars of the FWF’s career development activities, resulted in a total application volume of EUR 17.8 million, of which EUR 5.1 million was approved (approval rate: 28.7%).

Coordinated programmes

This Board meeting also decided on the coordinated programmes, for which calls are published once a year. The Special Research Programmes (SFBs), research groups and doctoral programmes (extensions) fall under this heading. For the SFBs, a total of 16 draft proposals were submitted, of which four were approved totalling EUR 17.3 million, and one SFB was extended in the amount of EUR 3.2 million. The approved SFBs are:

  • F 77 “Advanced Computational Design”, coordinator: Michael WIMMER , Institute of Visual Computing and Human-Centered Technology, Technische Universität Wien
  • F 78 “Stem cell modulation in neural development and regeneration”, coordinator: Jürgen A. KNOBLICH, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA)
  • F 79 “Targeted protein degradation - from small molecules to complex organelles”, coordinator: Sascha MARTENS, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of Vienna
  • F 80 “RNAdeco: decorating RNA for a purpose”, coordinator: Michael F. JANTSCH, Center for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna
  • Extension: F 60 “German in Austria (DiÖ). Variation - Contact – Perception”, project lead: Alexandra N. LENZ, Department of German Studies, University of Vienna

In the area of research groups, the FWF received 39 applications for a total volume of EUR 55.1 million. The FWF Board approved three research groups for a total of  EUR 4.2 million. The approved research groups are:

  • FG 1 “STRONG-DM”, coordinator: Josef PRADLER, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • FG 3 “Das Tumor Micromilieu als Angriffsziel und Regulator von metallhältigen Krebsmitteln“, coordinator: Petra HEFFETER, Medical University of Vienna
  • FG 5 “Multiphotonen-Experimente mit Halbleiterquantenpunkten”, coordinator: Armando RASTELLI, Johannes Kepler University Linz

The Board also decided on extensions of doctoral programmes. Two projects received extension funding of EUR 6 million:

  • W 1259 “Atome, Moleküle und Licht”, project lead: Roland WESTER, Department of Ion Physics and Applied Physics, University of Innsbruck
  • W 1260 “Wiener Doktoratskolleg Computergestützte Optimierung”, project lead: Georg PFLUG, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of Vienna

PEEK – arts-based research

At its November meeting, the Board approved ten applications for PEEK projects. This showcase and pioneering programme is already enjoying a reputation among the artistic and scientific community that extends far beyond the Austrian borders. The most recent call was open from the end of February to the end of April 2019. A total of 55 applications for a total sum of EUR 20.8 million were received. Ten projects for a total sum of roughly EUR 4 million have now been approved. The review process once again involved the top level international PEEK Board, which nominates the international reviewers and then submits a funding recommendation to the FWF Board. These are the approved projects:

  • AR 567 “Post-Soviet Queerness, Archiving, and the Art of Resistance”, principal investigator: Maria Katharina WIEDLACK, University of Vienna, Department of English and American Studies

  • AR 568 “PERFORMING PRIMAL COMMUNISM - A REENACTMENT PROJECT”, principal investigator: Paul-Julien ROBERT, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Fine Arts

  • AR 574 “Unstable Bodies”, principal investigator: Wolfgang TSCHAPELLER, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna Department of Art and Architecture

  • AR 580 “FEMINIST HACKING: Building Circuits as an Artistic Practice”, principal investigator: Stefanie WUSCHITZ, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Education in the Arts

  • AR 581 “Neuromatic Game Art”, principal investigator: Margarete JAHRMANN, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Zentrum Fokus Forschung

  • AR 590 “ORI*botics: the Art and Science of Robotic Origami”, principal investigator: Matthew Raymond GARDINER, Ars Electronica Linz GmbH

  • AR 597 “Vibrant Matter”, principal investigator: Bernhard SOMMER, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Department of Architecture

  • AR 598 “Navigating Dizziness Together”, principal investigator: Ruth ANDERWALD, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Zentrum Fokus Forschung

  • AR 609 “DEMEDARTS Dementia. Empathy. Education. Arts”, principal investigator: Ruth MATEUS-BERR, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Department of Art Sciences and Art Education

  • AR 611 “FAR - Fashion and Robotics”, principal investigator: Christiane LUIBLE-BÄR, University of Art and Industrial Design Linz, Department of Space and Design

    Science Communication Programme

    The call for proposals for the Science Communication Programme (WKP), which ran from early July to mid-September 2019, produced 29 applications for a total sum of EUR 1.4 million. The goal of the WKP, which was introduced in 2013, is to convey the exciting findings and results of FWF projects to a broader audience. The applications were reviewed by an expert jury consisting of three national and three international experts. In its meeting in early November, the jury found six projects worthy of support. The Board supported this decision, granting a total of roughly EUR 270,000. These are the funded projects:

    • WKP 115 “Integrative Wissenschaftskommunikation: 'Science Ink’.” principal investigator: Helmut KLUG, University of Graz, Center for Information Modeling

    • WKP 126 “Technik-unterstützte Publikumsbeteiligung bei Live-Musik”, principal investigator: Fares KAYALI, University of Vienna, Department for Teacher Education

    • WKP 130 “K.U.R.T (Kurbelbasierter, gelenkschonender Rollstuhlantrieb)”, principal investigator: Margit GFÖHLER, Vienna University of Technology, Department of Engineering Design and Product Development

    • WKP 132 “Art 4 Science”, principal investigator: Eva Maria KÖNIG, St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung e.V. - Tumor Immunoediting

    • WKP 139 “Von Anfang und Ende der (H)EIS(s)zeit: Gletscher und Klimageschichte”, principal investigator: Andrea FISCHER, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research

    • WKP 143 “Virtuelle Experimente mit massiven Quantensystemen”, principal investigator: Markus ASPELMEYER, University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics - Quantum Optics, Quantum Nanophysics and Quantum Information

      Quality, fairness, transparency

      In addition to the highest scientific quality, internationality and fairness, the FWF also subscribes to maximum transparency. All approved research projects are presented in detail on the FWF website. They can be found at:

      In addition, statistics are provided for each Board meeting:

      FWF Board

      The FWF Board of Trustees is made up of the Executive Board of the Austrian Science Fund and expert reporters. The Board’s current term of office runs until October 2020. It is the primary task of the Board to decide on the funding of research projects. All members of the FWF Board can be found at:

      The Austrian Science Fund FWF

      The FWF is Austria’s central funding organization for basic research and arts-based research. Applying international quality benchmarks, the FWF provides funding for outstanding research projects and excellent researchers who work to generate, broaden and deepen scientific knowledge.

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