Research means exploring new horizons. It is often unconventional approaches that lead to groundbreaking innovations. Through the 1,000 Ideas Programme, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) specifically supports high-risk research in Austria. The submission period for the second call starts on 16 November 2020.
The declared aim of the 1,000 Ideas Programme is to enhance the innovative power of Austrian basic research by enabling researchers at Austrian research institutions to implement visionary ideas. “If you don’t go beyond what you already know and think outside the box, you’ll never discover anything new”, explained the chair of the jury, James W. Kirchner of ETH Zürich. He encouraged researchers to “explain creative ideas in a clear and understandable manner—for experts from other disciplines as well—and submit your proposals”.
“Formulate your big & bold ideas too!”
A crucial factor in receiving funding through the 1,000 Ideas Programme is that the research idea must exhibit a high degree of scholarly and transformative potential. This can definitely involve challenging conventional understandings of the respective discipline and—in the best case—can represent a major advance in the specific field. The programme enables researchers to implement particularly original or high-risk project ideas which cannot be funded as part of other funding programmes. The international jury saw this kind of high potential in Karin Albrecht-Schgör’s project. The cell biologist specialising in immunology is a researcher at the Medical University of Innsbruck who is currently pursuing a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of cerebral malaria—and received funding as part of the first call. “The 1,000 Ideas grant allowed us to verify the research idea. Now we can start generating the first data”, Albrecht-Schgör was pleased to say. Her advice for those interested in submitting to the 1,000 Ideas Programme: “You should dare to formulate your big & bold ideas. Courage really pays off here”.
Submission period: 16 November 2020 to 18 January 2021
The project proposals submitted in anonymous form to the 1,000 Ideas Programme will be evaluated in a double-blind procedure by a 20-member international jury under the chairmanship of James W. Kirchner. The FWF Board will then decide on the awarding of funding based on the jury’s recommendations. The selected researchers will receive up to €150,000 per project for a maximum of 24 months. The submission period for the second call of the 1,000 Ideas Programme starts on 16 November 2020 and ends on 18 January 2021.
During the first call of the 1,000 Ideas Programme, researchers submitted around 300 project proposals. In the end, 24 projects at twelve universities and research institutions received funding to the tune of €3.4 million. Approximately three million euros in funding is available as part of the second call.