Attracting and retaining particularly talented researchers in international competition: Starting in the fall 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 have already achieved a certain degree of academic independence (R3 level).

Funding goals

Due to their generous endowment, FWF ASTRA Awards offer researchers ideal conditions for conducting long-term research projects at a top international level, consolidating their individual research profiles, and acquiring 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
  • Career development: Supporting the consolidation of independent researchers’ academic careers and the achievement of the qualifications needed for academic leadership positions, especially senior faculty positions, based on a well-funded research project
  • Establishing long-term career prospects through the integration of researchers and their research fields, 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:  The date of the applicant's thesis defense or final examination must fall between a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 years prior to the submission deadline. 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 4 to a maximum of 8 years of relevant experience in arts-based research according to international standards.
  • Individuals who hold a tenured professorship or have accepted an appointment to a tenured professorship are not eligible to apply.
  • Researchers can submit a maximum of two applications to the ASTRA program and can only apply for an ASTRA Award once as the principal investigator.  When applying, please note that according to the definition of the target group, a certain degree of academic independence should already have been achieved. This can include the acquisition of competitive third-party funding in the postdoc phase, longer (at least 3 continuous months) research experience abroad, or publishing academic papers without previous dissertation supervisors.
  • Application guidelines are currently being developed and are expected to be available from August 2024.


  • 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 will take place in June 2025.


Currently no submissions

Inquiries and contact

Dr. Eva Lidia Wysocki
+43 676 83487 8503


Apr. 04, 2024: FWF Webinar: Focus on Career Programs (Women Only)

May 06, 2024: FWF Webinar: Focus on Career Programs (Women Only)

May 27, 2024: FWF Webinar: Focus on ASTRA Awards (for Research Service Staff)

May 29, 2024: FWF Webinar: Focus on ASTRA Awards (for Applicants)

Application portal

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