START Programme

Target group
outstanding young researchers of any discipline with two or more years research experience as Postdoc

Researchers should be given the long-term and extensive financial security to plan their research and to build up or consolidate their own research groups thereby qualifying themselves for senior research positions (especially as university professors within Austria or abroad).


  • the doctoral degree must have been completed (award of certificate) no less than two years and no longer than eight years before the deadline for submission of applications. Extensions to this period may be allowed in case of eligible career breaks (see guidelines).
  • excellent research proposal and exceptional international track record
  • scholarly/scientific independence must be proven, applicants should already have acquired competitive third-party funds independently since earning their doctorate 
  • in addition it is desirable that candidates have completed a research stay abroad of at least one year

6 years, an interim review after 3 years decides on continuation

Minimum 800.000 € up to maximum 1.2 Mio. €


Via the FWF’s electronic application portal (elane)

  • Estimated date of start of the next call for proposals: beginning of July 2021
  • Estimated end of the next call for proposals: 20th September 2021
  • in English


  • decisions are taken by the FWF Board based on recommendations of the International START-/Wittgenstein-Jury; recommendations are based on an international review process and a hearing
  • 18-19 June 2021
  • awarded by the Federal Minister for Science

about 6 grants

Please note that the FWF is currently working on a redesign and enhancement of the START programme and thus is planning – depending on the development of the FWF’s budget – to launch future calls in a modified version.  Additional information will be provided in a timely manner via the website and the newsletter of the FWF.


Electronic application portal