The main goals of FWF’s international activities are to help increase the number of international research collaborations and strengthen Austria's international visibility as a research location.

Cutting-edge research requires close global cooperation based on equal parts international competition and international collaboration. In addition to outstanding researchers and internationally renowned research institutions, the complementary conditions offered by a variety of national funding instruments are key to strengthening international cooperation.

  • A nationwide funding organization for basic research in Austria, the FWF’s funding portfolio provides researchers in Austria with optimal opportunities to work together with their international colleagues.
  • As a stakeholder in research policy with close ties to the Austrian scientific community, the FWF’s international funding activities make an important contribution to shaping science on a global level.
  • Procedurally, the FWF supports the development of international standards, and its administrative procedures are aligned with successful international funding models.

The dynamic development of research on a global level plays an important role in this context; the position of Europe and the integration of basic research funding in the European research area are among the FWF’s key focuses. The FWF is very active internationally and its programs support the internationalization of Austrian research.

Generally speaking, international involvement in FWF projects is not limited to specific international programs alone; individual collaborations with international partners are an important aspect of the FWF’s programs. Over half of all ongoing FWF projects involve international participation.

Multilateral activities and funding opportunities

Please see our funding portfolio for an overview of all current ERA-NET programs the FWF is involved in.

The ERA-NET program is an instrument of the European Commission’s 6th or 7th Framework Programme. It is intended to strengthen cooperation and improve the coordination of subject-specific research activities at the national or regional level. Networking among national funding organizations encourages mutual exchange and the development and implementation of joint measures. For the FWF, participation in this program represents an opportunity to play a formative role in the development of transnational funding programs in association with European partner organizations, enabling Austrian researchers to participate in international research programs.

Bilateral activities and funding opportunities

Please see our funding portfolio for an overview of all bilateral and multilateral funding opportunities (country-specific collaborations).

The FWF's goal is to support long-term research collaborations administered jointly with international partner organizations to coordinate funding for transnational research projects. For this purpose, the FWF has a number of cooperation agreements with international partner organizations. These agreements aim at the joint funding of closely integrated, usually bilateral research projects that require funding both on the Austrian side and in the partner country. This results in an international division of labor allowing all research partners to benefit from each other's complementary expertise. Taking a bottom-up approach, the FWF’s calls are as broad and thematically open as possible, giving a majority of the Austrian research community the opportunity to participate.

More cooperation in Europe: Science Europe

The umbrella organization of European research funding and sponsoring organizations, Science Europe, was founded in 2011. Currently 47 member organizations from 27 countries belong to Science Europe and are actively contributing to the creation of the European Research Area (ERA).

Science Europe has its own office in Brussels, fulfilling an important requirement for maintaining ongoing contacts with the European Commission as well as other European stakeholders.

One key aspect of Science Europe’s work is its cooperation in several working groups, where experts from the member organizations work together to discuss and develop successful models focusing on different science policy topics. These topics include, for example, promoting open access, developing the ideal framework conditions for international cooperation between researchers, and exchanging ideas on issues like scientific integrity or gender and diversity aspects. Science Europe also monitors developments in research policy and funding activities at the EU level and develops joint positions on these and other relevant topics.

The FWF has been a member of Science Europe from the very beginning and is represented by experts in all working groups that relate to the FWF’s activities.

More collaboration at the global level: Global Research Council

The Global Research Council (GRC) is a voluntary association of the presidents and chairpersons of research and research funding organizations from around the world. The group represents most public research and research funding not directly supported by governments and aims to strengthen international cooperation in research and between research funding organizations. Through regular preparatory conferences held around the world and its annual meeting, the GRC provides a forum for discussing current issues arising from globalization and the internationalization of science and of research funding. Results are then incorporated into joint recommendations.


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