1000 Ideas Programme

With the pilot project (1st call for proposals Nov. 2019), the FWF supports the promotion of completely new, daring or particularly original research ideas that lie outside the current scientific understanding. The key aim is to investigate future-oriented research topics with high scientific and transformative potential.

Information on the first call for proposals

The deadline for submissions to the first call for the 1000 Ideas Programme was 15 January 2020. We would like to thank the researchers and the research institutions for their enormous interest.
Applicant research institutions as well as the principal investigators can see the status of their submissions in their personal elane account. Please do not inquire about the status of the review process; we will contact you in the case of additional submissions. You can expect to be notified of a successful application for funding or a rejection of your application at the beginning of July 2020 at the earliest. In this case, both the research institution submitting the application and the principal investigator will be informed.

Target group

  • Qualified principal investigators—both established researchers and those at the beginning of their career—who work or want to work at Austrian research institutions.
  • Formal applications are submitted by the Austrian research institution; there is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by a research institution.
  • A principal investigator can only be involved in one project application. The FWF’s limit on the number of funded projects in other programmes does not apply to applications for the 1000 Ideas Programme.


  • Encourage risk-taking, foster creativity and facilitate the development of novel, innovative research domains;
  • Focus on high-risk, original or transformative research at an early stage, which may be too premature to have very good chances of obtaining funding via existing grant programmes due to the unconventional design, lack of validating data and/or the high risks involved;
  • Address visionary research ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries and/or are not yet the subject of debates in academic research and/or in society.


  • International scientific or scholarly publications
  • During the course of the project, the principal investigator must be employed at least 50% at a research institution; this must be confirmed by the research institution.
  • Anonymous submission, i.e. the identity, the career level of the researchers or the name of the research institution must not be recognizable from the research proposal
  • The research proposal must contain
    • i) a project description primarily addressing the project’s transformative potential and its scientific and scholarly foundation
    • ii) a description addressing the planned realisation of the proposed research including a logical and step-by-step plan and
    • iii) a risk assessment, concluded by a list of works cited (references).
  • The proposals received will be checked very rigorously with regard to form and anonymity, and proposals that do not meet the requirements will be excluded.


  • Maximum of 24 months

Maximum of €150,000. These costs will be covered: Personnel costs for the own position (up to max. 50 %) as well as employees, material, equipment, travel, other costs and 5 % general project costs. The funding of doctoral positions is not possible.


Via the FWF’s electronic application portal (elane)

  • Start of call for applications: 14 November 2019
  • Submission deadline: 15 January 2020; the possibility to submit via elane ends at 2:00 pm (Vienna local time).
  • In English


  • Double-blind selection procedure
  • Decisions are taken by the FWF Board based on the recommendations of the 1000 Ideas Programme jury, in June 2020


The FWF has organised information events for the submission of research proposals for the 1000 Ideas Programme. At these events, the presentation linked below was shown, explaining the objectives of the programme, the specificities of the application process and the selection process. All this information is fully covered in the FWF's application guidelines.
Presentation Information Days 1000 Ideas Programme(pdf, 240KB)

Electronic application portal