In a long-term study, independent experts at the University of Zurich scrutinised more than 10,000 funding decisions made by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). They found that the quality of proposals has continuously increased, that there is a fair distribution of funding odds across all disciplines, and that age and gender have no effect on the probability of receiving funding. Minimal distorting effects were found only for interdisciplinary research projects.
In the past year, 49 female researchers were selected for the FWF’s career development programmes ESPRIT, Hertha Firnberg and Elise Richter. At the FWF’s invitation, they and many other successful female researchers came together in Vienna’s Museum Quarter to receive their awards, and to discuss women’s careers in science.
At the second FWF Board meeting in 2022, applications amounting to roughly €26.7 million were approved out of a total volume of €98.5 million, resulting in an approval rate of 27.1 percent across all programmes. Out of 298 submissions, a total of 85 outstanding projects received FWF funding.
Its projects help lay the foundation for progress, innovation, and prosperity: The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is currently supporting 4,458 researchers in 2,588 ongoing projects throughout Austria—more than ever before. In 2021, the amount of funding awarded increased by five percent to €256 million. With “Emerging Fields”, a new programme of the excellent=austria Initiative is starting in 2022 for research proposals that have the potential to trigger a paradigm shift in their field. The FWF is doubling the support for science communication to boost confidence in science.
The FWF is continuing to roll out the excellent=austria Initiative: With “Emerging Fields”, a new funding programme is starting in 2022 for highly innovative, cooperative research projects that have the potential to trigger a paradigm shift in their field. Consortia of up to seven researchers and their teams have up to €6 million at their disposal. First projects will be approved at the end of 2023.
In its first tranche of funding in 2022, the FWF is helping to launch 166 projects to the tune of approx. EUR 52 million out of a total volume of EUR 207.5 million in applications. This corresponds to an approval rate of 25 percent across all programmes. Grants have been awarded for the second time in the new ESPRIT career programme, thus providing support to 16 researchers. In addition, 13 projects in the field of arts-based research will now receive a total of five million euros in funding.
Scholars and scientists directly affected by the war in Ukraine can be included in ongoing FWF research projects throughout Austria with immediate effect. The FWF will allocate one million euros as funding for such crisis support. All researchers currently leading FWF projects are encouraged to involve Ukrainian colleagues in their scientific work.
Science and scholarly research is predicated on being open to the world, and on exchange and peaceful cooperation. As a funding organisation, the FWF will do everything in its power to help researchers maintain their cooperation with Ukrainian colleagues throughout this difficult period. In so doing the FWF will continue to promote peace and democracy in the future.
More fundamental knowledge to create more efficient electronics, more stable quantum computers, or to better understand the molecular mechanisms of heredity—the FWF’s “Special Research Programmes” programme enables teams at different research institutes to work together to investigate a central research question. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is providing a total of €15 million in funding to four new Special Research Programmes, involving numerous teams from Austria and Germany. The aim is to promote further collaboration and closer networks among leading researchers.
Research data management is an integral part of good research practice. For that reason, a data management plan (DMP) has been required for all FWF-funded projects since 2019. Starting in 2022, a new DMP template is available.
Answers to global challenges such as migration require the knowledge and cooperation of researchers from all over the world. This is why the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is a partner in the “Integrated Approaches to Human Migration/Mobility in an Era of Rapid Global Change” funding initiative of the Belmont Forum.