Wassertropfen fällt auf gelb-blau-beleuchtete Wasseroberfläche und verursacht konzentrische Kreise

In its latest tranche of funding, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has approved 176 research projects to the tune of EUR 57.7 million. Besides the projects in the established programmes, research projects with a specific transdisciplinary focus competed for funding for the first time as part of the #ConnectingMinds programme. Five teams were successful in the two-stage decision-making process and will now receive a total of approx. EUR 4.6 million in funding to put their research ideas into practice. The doc.funds.connect programme also celebrated its debut, thanks to which five new doctoral programmes will each receive EUR 1 million in funding. What’s more, two new corona research projects are being launched in Graz and Vienna.

Over the next few weeks, a number of new research projects will get started at Austrian research institutions. In its latest tranche of funding, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is helping to launch 176 projects worth a total of EUR 57.7 million in grant money. In all, 772 applications amounting to EUR 240.4 million were submitted, the approval rate by Euro was thus 24.0 percent.

Representing the “backbone” of FWF funding, stand-alone projects once again accounted for the bulk of approvals. Out of applications (including clinical research) amounting to a total of EUR 111.7 million, EUR 29.4 million were approved, which corresponds to an approval rate of 26.3 percent. In the area of international programmes, the final decisions of the partner organisations are still awaited in some cases. The career programmes play a central role in the FWF’s funding portfolio. In the “Schrödinger” outgoing programme, 34.6 percent of all submissions were successful, with approved funding totalling EUR 0.8 million. In the “Meitner” incoming programme, the approved amount was EUR 5.8 million, which corresponds to a success rate of 23.6 percent.

At its autumn meeting, the FWF Board also had to once again reject excellently rated projects totalling EUR 13.8 million as “approved but not funded” due solely to insufficient funds.

You can find all the newly approved research projects online at: https://pf.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-finder

You can find all the statistics on the FWF Board’s latest funding tranche online at: https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/about-the-fwf/funding-statistics/

Focus on transdisciplinary research through #ConnectingMinds

The programme aims to support teams working on cooperative research
projects which combine scientific and societal knowledge in order to meet the social, technological, ecological, and economic challenges that lie ahead. In the two-stage application process, eleven research proposals out of 56 applications qualified to move on to second decision-making stage. Of these, five projects received funding totalling EUR 4.6 million from the FWF, thus enabling researchers at Austrian universities to work closely together with experts from organisations such as Caritas, Pro Mente, or Vier Pfoten.

Transdisciplinary research project: “Caring Robots/Robotic Care”

Principal investigator: Sabine Theresia Köszegi (Vienna University of Technology)
Project partners: Caritas Wien, Vienna Museum of Technology
Funding amount: €1.1 million | Project duration: 5 years

Transdisciplinary research project: “Open Innovation Nursing Lab”

Principal investigator: Manuela Hödl (Medical University of Graz)
Project partner: Caritas Graz-Seckau
Funding amount: €0.6 million | Project duration: 5 years

Transdisciplinary research project: “COwLEARNING for sustainable beef and dairy supply”

Principal investigator: Marianne Penker (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna)
Project partners: Ernährungsrat Wien, Vier Pfoten, Land schafft Leben, Netzwerk Kulinarik, Rinderzucht Austria
Funding amount: €1.1 million | Project duration: 5 years

Transdisciplinary research project: “Co-designing perinatal mental health support in Tyrol”

Principal investigator: Jean Lillian Paul (Medical University of Innsbruck)
Project partners: Frühe Hilfen Tirol, Österreichische Liga für Kinder- und Jugendgesundheit, Eltern-Kind-Zentrum Schwaz, Innocence in Danger, Pro Mente Tirol, Elternbildung Tirol, Krankenhaus St. Vinzenz Zams, and other partners  
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 5 years

Transdisciplinary research project: “Unlocking the Muse: Transdisciplinary approaches to understanding and applying the intersection of artistic creativity and Parkinson’s disease”

Principal investigator: Matthew Pelowski (University of Vienna)
Project partners: ParkinsonsNet, De Nieuwe Creatieven (Netherlands)  
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 5 years

You can find further details on the #ConnectingMinds projects receiving funding here (only available in German)

Debut of doc.funds.connect programme: Cooperative doctoral education between universities of applied sciences and universities

The doc.funds.connect programme, which is awarding grants for the first time, promotes collaboration between the institutions and enhances the research capabilities of universities of applied sciences. In cooperation with the Christian Doppler Research Association (CDG), the FWF Board has now approved five doc.funds.connect projects to the tune of EUR 1 million each. 25 researchers will be able to complete their several years of training in highly innovative research fields in Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna, and Wiener Neustadt.

Doctoral programme: “doc.hci – Designing Meaningful Human-Technology Relations”

Participating partners: University of Salzburg, University of Applied Sciences Salzburg
Coordinator: Alexander Meschtscherjakov (University of Salzburg)
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 4 years

Doctoral programme: “Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence”

Participating partners: University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, University of Linz
Coordinator: Ulrich Bodenhofer (University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria)
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 4 years

Doctoral programme: “MatureTissue”

Participating partners: University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, Vienna University of Technology
Coordinator: Andreas Teuschl (UAS Technikum Wien)
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 4 years

Doctoral programme: “PAIR – Pre-clinical Ion Beam Research”

Participating partners: University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Medical University of Vienna, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Coordinator: Dietmar Georg (Medical University of Vienna)
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 4 years

Doctoral programme: “Doctoral School for Dependable Electronic-Based Systems”

Participating partners: University of Applied Sciences Joanneum, Graz University of Technology
Coordinator: Christian Vogel (UAS Joanneum)
Funding amount: €1 million | Project duration: 4 years

You can find further details on the doc.funds.connect projects receiving funding here. (only available in German)

Two more urgent funding projects on the corona pandemic approved

As an immediate response to the corona pandemic, the FWF initiated the SARS-CoV-2 urgent funding programme—a fast-track procedure for research proposals that deal with the prevention, early detection, containment, and research of SARS-CoV-2 and especially rely on international cooperation. At the latest FWF Board meeting, two more urgent funding projects have now been approved:

Christian Gehrke

Institute of Economics
University of Graz
“Agent-based economic epidemiology”

Patrick Mellacher, Helene Hinterreither und Christian Gehrke (v.l.n.r.) untersuchen ökonomische und epidemiologische Folgen des Coronavirus unter verschiedenen Politikszenarien.

Agent-based models (ABM) have proven to be a particularly useful method to study contemporary complex phenomena. Epidemiological ABMs have played an important role in explaining and predicting infection dynamics during the current COVID-19 crisis. However, ABMs are still only finding isolated use in the field of economic epidemiology, which considers health-related and economic effects together. One of these models has been developed by Patrick Mellacher at the Graz Schumpeter Centre of the University of Graz. A team headed by Christian Gehrke will now expand this model and apply it to new questions: How does the modelling of increased epidemiological complexity affect policy recommendations? What dynamics are associated with “corona scepticism”? What socio-economic impacts does a pandemic have, especially on the situation of women?

Lea Ann Dailey

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Vienna
“Inhalation of natural products against lung infections”

Lee Ann Dailey (li.) und Ulrike Grienke (re.) untersuchen die Bioverfügbarkeit von Naturstoffmischungen gegen Influenza, SARS-CoV-2 und Pneumokokken nach inhalativer Gabe.

Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the most frequently occurring contagious diseases and the third most common cause of death globally. The lack of effective treatments, drug resistance, and imminent threats of pandemics highlight the need for the development of therapeutic anti-ARI agents. Antiviral natural products can serve as promising starting points for the development of multifunctional antiviral drugs. Preliminary data indicate that pulmonary delivery of natural product mixtures can achieve higher compound concentrations in the lung directly at the site of infection. The aim of this project is to investigate the bioavailability of natural product mixtures with efficacy against influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and pneumococci following oral and aerosol administration.

FWF Board

The FWF Board of Trustees is made up of the Executive Board of the Austrian Science Fund and expert reporters. It is the primary task of the Board to decide on the funding of research projects.

All members of the FWF Board can be found at:

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