Science and research are currently booming. From the Mars mission to mRNA vaccines – today’s researchers are consistently delivering successful results. But excellent output is not enough to create trust. Science as a guarantee of expertise is increasingly being viewed as just one voice among many. What is causing this doubt? Resolving the confidence crisis: Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research Martin Polaschek and FWF President Christof Gattringer talk with experts from science and practice at the Alpbach Technology Talks on 26 August 2022.
Six months after the launch of the Quantum Austria Funding Initiative, the first research teams funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility NextGenerationEU are ready to get to work. The programme allowed the FFG to approve €20 million worth of funding for a comprehensive high-performance computing project, while the FWF is providing a total of €3 million to fund ten university research projects in Graz, Innsbruck, and Vienna.
In its most recent round of approvals, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has granted funding to a total of 147 new research projects throughout Austria. Twenty innovative research ideas in the 1000 Ideas Programme account for approximately €3 million worth of funding, and €8.7 million have been allocated to the START and Wittgenstein Awards. Fifteen researchers successfully applied for funding from the ESPRIT programme, and 11 women were awarded a Richter Grant. Eleven research teams made it into the final round for Clusters of Excellence funding.
Basic research is all about discovering new things. But for researchers, breaking completely new ground is not always without risks. The Austrian Science Fund’s 1000 Ideas Programme was created to support high-risk research at Austria’s research facilities. After the third call for proposals, 20 new projects have been selected for approximately €3 million worth of funding.
More and more regions in the world are suffering from extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis. The provision of drinking water is becoming a problem with far-reaching consequences in affected areas, necessitating innovative scientific approaches, models, and methods. Thus, 34 funding agencies, including the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), are calling on researchers to submit transnational projects as part of the European “Water4All” initiative.
The FWF Board endorsed the recommendation of an international jury and thus paved the way for eleven teams to compete in the final selection round for a “Clusters of Excellence” grant. The decisions on Austria’s future beacons of basic research will be made at the beginning of 2023.
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) 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 99 applicants, the jury chose six researchers in a very competitive selection process.
Since 2021, the FWF’s open access guidelines have been based on the principles of the international Plan S Initiative. The aim is to make research results more openly available. What experiences have FWF-funded researchers had so far with Plan S? Share your feedback with us in an online survey.
In a long-term study, independent experts at the University of Zurich scrutinised more than 10,000 funding decisions made by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). They found that the quality of proposals has continuously increased, that there is a fair distribution of funding odds across all disciplines, and that age and gender have no effect on the probability of receiving funding. Minimal distorting effects were found only for interdisciplinary research projects.
In the past year, 49 female researchers were selected for the FWF’s career development programmes ESPRIT, Hertha Firnberg and Elise Richter. At the FWF’s invitation, they and many other successful female researchers came together in Vienna’s Museum Quarter to receive their awards, and to discuss women’s careers in science.
At the second FWF Board meeting in 2022, applications amounting to roughly €26.7 million were approved out of a total volume of €98.5 million, resulting in an approval rate of 27.1 percent across all programmes. Out of 298 submissions, a total of 85 outstanding projects received FWF funding.
Its projects help lay the foundation for progress, innovation, and prosperity: The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is currently supporting 4,458 researchers in 2,588 ongoing projects throughout Austria—more than ever before. In 2021, the amount of funding awarded increased by five percent to €256 million. With “Emerging Fields”, a new programme of the excellent=austria Initiative is starting in 2022 for research proposals that have the potential to trigger a paradigm shift in their field. The FWF is doubling the support for science communication to boost confidence in science.
The FWF is continuing to roll out the excellent=austria Initiative: With “Emerging Fields”, a new funding programme is starting in 2022 for highly innovative, cooperative research projects that have the potential to trigger a paradigm shift in their field. Consortia of up to seven researchers and their teams have up to €6 million at their disposal. First projects will be approved at the end of 2023.
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) welcomes the priorities set by the Austrian federal government for the “Fonds Zukunft Österreich” and its endowment to the tune of €140 million per year until 2025.