Inclusion of People with Disabilities and Alternative Career Paths

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) places great emphasis on an inclusive funding procedure in which people with different backgrounds (career breaks due to chronic illness, disabilities, or caring for children or family members) can participate on an equal footing. The FWF’s funding programmes are designed to also provide the best possible support for researcher careers that do not follow a traditional straight-line progression.

All applications are basically subject to the general application and review criteria of the individual funding programmes. To offer all applicants equal opportunities in the competition for funding right from the beginning, career breaks due to disabilities or chronic illness or delays due to other causes can be explicitly mentioned in the application. Researchers have the possibility in their academic CVs to explain any justified career breaks (for instance, due to parental leave, caring responsibilities, or long-term illness) and any deviations from linear career paths (due to disability and chronic illness) in their academic CVs and thus also make them visible to the international reviewers. Thus, it is possible for any disability or chronic illness or any necessary career break or delay to be adequately taken into account in the overall evaluation of the application in terms of the applicant’s career to date and their publication record. In cases of doubt, the decision-making bodies of the FWF shall decide whether the applicant’s research qualifications are adequate.

In addition, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) also offers people with disabilities, chronic illness, or difficult life circumstances assistance with the application process. Where necessary, please contact the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) (Office for Gender Issues) if, due to your own specific situation, you have any further questions concerning the application process.