Success Story: ‘Dr. Gottfried and Dr. Vera Weiss Science Foundation’

The ‘Dr. Gottfried and Dr. Vera Weiss Science Foundation’ is a perfect example of a successful partnership between a research patron and the FWF.

What are the objectives of the foundation?

To enable researchers working at an Austrian research, educational, or equivalent institution to carry out a research project or a research stay at a highly recognised educational or research institution in Austria or abroad. The prize is awarded once a year and alternates between the fields of anaesthesia and meteorology. The funding recipients make the knowledge gained during these study visits and research projects readily available to the public in a form appropriate to the topic in the interests of the common good.

Why was the FWF brought in by the foundation’s trustee?

  • The FWF has the expertise to cover both disciplines (meteorology and anaesthesia) and thus ensure a uniform procedure.

  • The FWF has many years of experience in and the relevant funding programmes for the two funding types mentioned by Dr. Weiss in the will (‘study visit at a highly qualified institute’ and ‘prize for exceptional scientific achievements’).

  • The use of public calls for proposals as part of the award of funding ensures that news of the prize reaches all relevant Austrian research locations and that the most highly qualified applicants are granted funding.

  • The international network of the FWF guarantees that the study visits abroad only take place at the most outstanding research institutes in the world.
  • The FWF offers its assistance free of charge; therefore, the entire income from the assets of the foundation goes towards research.

How is the cooperation between the FWF and the foundation organised?

  • The FWF acts in the name of and on behalf of the Weiss Foundation. The cooperation is based on a long-term trust agreement.

  • The duties of the FWF are:

    • Issuing the annual call for proposals for the prize, alternating between meteorology and anaesthesia; applications for Stand-Alone Projects or Erwin Schrödinger Fellowships can be submitted according to the regular guidelines
    • International review of the submitted project proposals on the basis of international reviews
    • Preparation of the FWF Board’s recommendation for one or several prize winners
    • Supporting services (monitoring the use of funds, reporting)
    • Official announcement of the prize and public presentation of the prize winners

  • The duties of the foundation are:

    • Management of the assets, which primarily consist of real estate (apartment buildings in prime locations in Vienna), as well as optimisation of the income from the assets
    • Legally binding notification to the FWF of the annual prize amount
    • Approval of the FWF’s funding recommendation within a period of four weeks

You can find the description of the funding programme, information on the current call for proposals, as well as the link to the application guidelines at