In its first meeting of the new year, the FWF Board approved five Clusters of Excellence as part of the excellent=austria funding initiative, with an investment volume of €81 million. The Clusters of Excellence are among Austria’s largest research networks and will be focusing on the key topics energy storage, quantum technologies, global health, the future of knowledge, and Eurasian cultural heritage. With the additional funds from the participating research institutions, a total of €135 million in funding is available to the Clusters of Excellence. An interactive overview of the new Clusters can be found at excellentaustria.fwf.ac.at.
In addition, numerous other basic research projects were also approved for funding. Principal Investigator Projects (including Clinical Research), the core element of FWF funding, account for the largest share of approvals. €26.5 million out of a total application volume of €95.8 million was approved for funding, resulting in an effective approval rate of 27.6%. Despite this relatively high approval rate, many highly worthy research projects had to be rejected at this FWF Board meeting due to the FWF’s tight funding budget. Demand for funding in this top segment continues to grow and the FWF Executive Board is concerned that the FWF’s future budget won’t be enough to meet this demand in the 2024 to 2026 funding period. Negotiations with the Federal Ministry on the future budget are currently underway.
A total of €42.3 million in funding was requested for International Programs, which are carried out jointly with international partner funding organizations. €11.7 million was approved on a conditional basis. In some cases, the decisions of the partner organizations are still pending.
Career programs ESPRIT, Elise Richter, and Schrödinger
The FWF’s ESPRIT career program supports highly qualified postdocs in all disciplines. The program focuses especially on the advancement of women’s careers. 51 applications (€16.4 million) were up for decision at the most recent FWF Board meeting. Of these, 14 excellent peer-reviewed applications with a volume of €4.5 million were approved. Four out of nine proposals were approved for funding in the Elise Richter Senior Postdoc Program for outstandingly qualified women researchers from all disciplines; of the €2.9 million in funding requested, €1.3 million was awarded. The Erwin Schrödinger scholarship program enables researchers in the postdoctoral phase to gain valuable international experience at leading research institutions abroad. Of 18 applications, seven Schrödinger grants totaling €1.1 million were approved.
The Arts-Based Research Program (PEEK) supports researchers in the arts who are conducting innovative arts-based research. The program gives Austria’s researchers in this field the opportunity to raise awareness of arts-based science and its potential to make an impact on social issues. At the March meeting of the FWF Board, nine projects out of 42 applications were approved, for a total of €3.58 million in funding. Effective immediately, applications for this program are now being accepted on a rolling basis. Decision rounds with the PEEK jury are held twice a year.
The approved PEEK projects are:
- AR 763 “Reenacting Revolution,” principal investigator: Ana Adamovic, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
- AR 773 “The Restored Speech,” principal investigator: Susanne Scholz, University of Music and Performing Arts Graz
- AR 774 “AUDIO GHOSTS: Illusive Perceptions - Perceptual Illusions,” principal investigator: Bernhard Gal, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
- AR 776 “Sensing Living Systems: Exploring Multisensory Scenography,” principal investigator: Alexandra Graupner, University of Applied Arts Vienna
- AR 780 “Shaken Grounds: Seismography of Precarious Presences,” principal investigator: Lucie Strecker, University of Applied Arts Vienna
- AR 787 “The PsychoLudic Approach: Exploring Play for a Viable Future,” principal investigator: Margarete Jahrmann, University of Applied Arts Vienna
- AR 802 “Trans-bodied Knowledge,” principal investigator: Efstathia Eleni Baseta, TU Wien
- AR 805 “Fabricating Adjacency,” principal investigator: Anette Baldauf, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
- AR 806 “Komuna Maro” principal investigator: Ana Jeinic, Graz University of Technology
All newly approved projects at a glance
For an overview of all newly approved projects, please see the FWF’s online Project Finder. Select “Decision boards” to go directly to the list of projects approved in the most recent FWF Board meeting.
Quality, fairness, transparency
In addition to the highest scientific quality, internationality, and fairness, the FWF is also committed to maximum transparency. You can find details on all approved research projects on the FWF website: https://pf.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-finder
In addition, the statistics from each FWF Board meeting are also publicly accessible: https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/about-the-fwf/funding-statistics/
The FWF Board is made up of the Executive Board of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the reporters. The main responsibility of the FWF Board is to decide on funding for research projects. The members of the FWF Board are named here: https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/about-the-fwf/organisation/board