START Programme

Where additional funding applications are submitted to other FWF Programmes, those applications must differ substantially from the planned START project in terms of research questions and objectives. Applications which include work already proposed for a START project and are excessively similar to the START project will not be considered by the FWF Board. The sole exception to this rule is the Elise Richter Programme, where an application which is substantially similar in content as long as the programme-specific guidelines are observed.

Target group
outstanding young researchers of any discipline with two or more years research experience as Postdoc

Researchers should be given the long-term and extensive financial security to plan their research and to build up or consolidate their own research groups thereby qualifying themselves for senior scientific positions (especially as university professors within Austria or abroad).


  • the doctoral degree must have been completed (award of certificate) no less than two years and no longer than eight years before the deadline for submission of applications. Extensions to this period may be allowed in case of eligible career breaks (see guidelines).
  • excellent research proposal and exceptional international track record
  • scientific independence must be proven, applicants must have already acquired competitive third-party funds independently since earning their doctorate 
  • in addition it is desirable that candidates have completed a research stay abroad of at least one year

6 years, an interim review after 3 years decides on continuation

Minimum 800.000 € up to maximum 1.2 Mio. €

Currently no submission possible

  • Start of next call: expected for July 2017
  • End of next call: expected for mid-September 2017
  • in English


  • decisions are taken by the FWF Board based on recommendations of the International START-/Wittgenstein-Jury; recommendations are based on an international review process and a hearing at 9th and 10th June 2017
  • awarded by the Federal Minister for Science

about 5-6 grants