Attracting and retaining particularly talented researchers in international competition: Starting in July of 2024, the FWF will be launching a new career funding program called the FWF ASTRA Awards. This funding will help advanced postdocs in Austria make the leap to the top of their research field.

Target group

The funding program is aimed at successful, internationally visible researchers from all disciplines, including arts-based research, who already have experience with independent research work (R3 level).

Funding goals

The highly endowed FWF ASTRA Awards offer outstanding researchers the conditions they need to conduct long-term research projects at a top international level, consolidate their individual research profiles, and acquire the necessary qualifications for academic leadership positions.

ASTRA has the following key objectives:

  • Funding excellent, innovative research, including through the development or establishment of new research fields and/or approaches
  • Attracting and retaining internationally visible researchers to help increase the international attractiveness of Austrian research institutions
  • Supporting outstanding women researchers
  • Supporting the consolidation of the principal investigators’ academic careers and the achievement of the qualifications needed for academic leadership positions, especially senior faculty positions
  • Establishing long-term career prospects through the integration of researchers and their research fields at the research institutions, creating sustainable added value for both researchers and research institutions

Additional program-specific information

The program includes a number of measures for the advancement of women: Half of the FWF ASTRA awards are given to women; tenure package; career coaching and networking measures, child allowances

Funding period and funding amount

  • From €500,000 up to a maximum of €1 million for a period of five years
  • An additional €200,000 tenure package for women ASTRA principal investigators who are granted a position with a permanent employment commitment upon fulfillment of a qualification agreement (e. g. tenure-track position) or a permanent academic leadership position (professorship or equivalent position) within the first three years of the project term.


  • The applicant must have the academic qualifications needed to lead the proposed research project
  • Doctoral degree: Applicants must have a doctoral degree awarded at least 2 and not more than 9 years prior to September 30 of the year of submission. Possible exceptions are defined in the Application Guidelines (e.g. parental leave periods). In the field of arts-based research, researchers who do not hold a doctoral degree can also apply. The prerequisite for eligibility is proof of at least 2 to a maximum of 9 years of relevant experience in arts-based research according to international standards.
  • Individuals who already hold a tenured professorship (or an equivalent leadership position at a non-university research institution) at the time of application or who have already accepted an appointment to a tenured professorship are not eligible to apply.
  • Researchers can submit a maximum of two applications to the ASTRA program. For this reason, applicants should bear in mind that, according to the definition of the target group, they should already have experience in independent research work, i.e. have acquired competitive third-party funding after their doctorate, gained extended (at least 3 months of continuous) research experience abroad, or published academic papers without a dissertation supervisor.
  • For further details, please see the Application Guidelines.


  • Decision by the Scientific Board based on a recommendation by an international jury; recommendations are made on the basis of international peer review and a hearing
  • Half of the ASTRA Awards are granted to women.
  • Projects presented at the hearing that do not receive an ASTRA Award will be funded as 3-year Principal Investigator Projects with a maximum of €450,000 each (Merit Awards).

Application information

Proposals can be submitted during the application period using the online application portal elane

Number of eligible projects

Expected 18 award winners per call (depending on the FWF funding budget)

Funding institution

Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Further information

The formal announcement of the FWF ASTRA Awards takes place in June.


July 15, 2024 to Oct. 3, 2024 (02:00 pm Vienna local time)

Inquiries and contact

Dr. Eva Lidia Wysocki
+43 676 83487 8503

Application portal

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