Interdisciplinarity, innovative research approaches and networking are the focus of this funding programme operated jointly by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

The successful cooperation between the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) to foster excellent junior research in Austria is about to embark on its second phase by issuing the second call for proposals for Young Independent Researcher Groups. Funded by the Österreich-Fonds - and, if necessary, by additional funds from the FWF – this programme focuses on promoting interdisciplinary postdoctoral teams.

Interdisciplinarity, innovative research approaches and networking opportunities for internationally outstanding young scientists are the main aspects of this successful research funding programme. Co-operation across the boundaries of science disciplines is particularly conducive to innovation and makes it possible to solve complex social problems.

In this call, the Young Independent Researcher Groups programme addresses researchers whose academic age is bracketed between one and no more than five years after receiving their doctorate. This well-proven format brings together teams of postdocs to work on a complex and innovative topic, with each providing input from their respective disciplines. The call for proposals for the Young Independent Researcher Groups is scheduled for spring 2019, envisaging funding for some five or six Young Independent Researcher Groups.

Opportunities for up-and-coming aspirants

The Young Independent Researcher Groups close an essential gap in the Austrian research landscape by enabling postdocs to carry out an independent research project in Austria soon after their PhD and at the same time fund their own livelihoods from the project's budget. This funding model provides the young researchers with the essential experience of cooperating closely with other researchers in the national and international research environment.

In addition, the Young Independent Researcher Groups make Austria a more appealing research location for postdocs from abroad and open up new research opportunities for exceptionally talented young scientists. 

Mix of disciplines, cooperation, networking

Young Independent Researcher Groups enable three to five early-career researchers from different scientific disciplines to work as a team. These researchers have to come from a minimum of two different research institutions or two organisational units of one institution. This format strengthens cooperation and promotes networking in the science world. The raising of the eligible academic age to at least one year after receipt of a doctorate makes it possible for talented young scientists to gain postdoctoral experience first on their own, thereby strengthening their independent research performance. This experience can then be shared to enrich cooperation in the Independent Young Researcher Group.

As in the first call for proposals, the Young Independent Researcher Groups are designed to furnish new insights, particularly in the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies, which can be obtained only through a multidisciplinary approach. In addition, the FWF and the Austrian Academy of Sciences are aiming for a women’s share of at least 40 percent with the objective of achieving the most balanced participation possible between men and women researchers. This is designed to effectively counteract the high drop-out rate of female researchers during the delicate career transition from the doctoral to the postdoctoral phase.

Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW)

The Austrian Academy of Sciences has the statutory mission to “promote science in every respect”. Founded in 1847 as a learned society, the OeAW has today over 770 members, 28 research entities and 1,700 staff dedicated to innovative basic research, interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of new insights with the aim of contributing to progress in science and society as a whole.

The Austrian Science Fund FWF

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria’s central funding organisation for basic research. Applying international quality benchmarks, the FWF provides funding for outstanding research projects and excellent researchers who work to generate, broaden and deepen scientific knowledge.


The Austrian Science Fund FWF
Marc Seumenicht
Head of Public Relations and Science Communication | | @FWF_at |

Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW)
Sven Hartwig
Head of Public Relations and Communications
+43-1 515 81 – 1331

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