If we want to offer future generations prosperity, well-being and an intact environment, we will have to change many things about the way we live and do business. This will require not only research findings, but also new, practically oriented research and problem-solving approaches. If we combine the knowledge generated in laboratories and research institutions with practical expertise from the very beginning, robust solutions can be developed quickly. Transdisciplinary researchers deliberately seek out this form of cooperation in order to actively shape social transformations and stimulate technical and social innovations.
The FWF’s #ConnectingMinds program offers researchers the opportunity to involve practitioners in the development of a research project right from the start. These practitioners work on concrete solutions and practical applications and include representatives of NPOs/NGOs, associations, public administration, companies, healthcare organizations, or educational institutions. Their experiences, perspectives, and suggestions make projects more relevant to society and increase the knowledge gained.
First call in high demand
The first round of the #ConnectingMinds program, launched in 2020, already demonstrated the scientific community’s high level of interest in transdisciplinary research approaches. Of the 56 teams that took part in the call, five consortia prevailed in the multi-stage selection process and convinced the international jury of their proposals. In addition to researchers from Austrian universities, these included experts from organizations such as Caritas, Pro Mente, and Vier Pfoten.
For the current call, the FWF is supporting innovative projects with funding provided by the Fonds Zukunft Österreich as part of the thematic groups EU Missions (topics: cancer, climate, cities, soils, waters), Sustainable Food Systems, and Building(s) Tomorrow.
The call consists of two stages. During the first stage from November 7, 2023 to February 13, 2024, teams of two to five researchers will have the opportunity to apply for a #ConnectingMinds workshop. If their application is approved, the researchers, together with other project participants, including practitioners, can use the workshop to further develop and advance their idea and the planned research process for a #ConnectingMinds project.
In the second stage in the fall of 2024, the researchers can then submit their proposal for a #ConnectingMinds project, with more specific details of the proposed research based on the results of the workshop.
Financed with funds from the Fonds Zukunft Österreich
The #ConnectingMinds program rounds out the FWF’s funding portfolio in the field of transdisciplinary research. The projects are characterized by the fact that they are fully financed by the FWF using funds from the Fonds Zukunft Österreich. This financing model allows participants to investigate new approaches purely for the sake of generating knowledge, without having to rely on co-financing from a project partner. The main objectives are to jointly solve complex, socially relevant issues and to promote collective learning.
Information event: Focus on: the #ConnectingMinds program
The FWF is holding a webinar in English on the #ConnectingMinds program on Thursday, December 7 at 10:00 am.
Find out more and sign up for the event here: FWF information event on the #ConnectingMinds program as webinar