ZiF, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University, Germany

Deadline: Open for application all year.

Open for applications by interdisciplinary research groups, not for individual Fellowships.

Guidelines for Application for Funding and Organization of Cooperation Groups at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Bielefeld University

The Project Format

Cooperation Groups (CGs) are interdisciplinary research projects on emerging fields in which two to six fellows participate. Duration of a CG varies from a couple of weeks to six months. CGs may also lead to establishing larger third-party funded projects or to preparing a paper for an international journal for instance. Financial support may be granted – depending on the size – up to a maximum of 100,000 €.

Project proposals may be put forward any time. It is advisable, however, to submit applications at least one year in advance to the project start date. Proposals may be presented in German or English. If the proposal is written in German, an English summary should be added.

Project proposals may be submitted by any scholar from Germany or abroad who has obtained his/her doctorate. Since the research CGs should show interdisciplinary approaches, it is recommended to build an interdisciplinary team of two to three scholars who apply together for the CG.

A proposal (10 pages) of the intended CG should be sent to the Board of Directors. Prior to a final decision by the Board of Directors, proposals are submitted to external expert opinions (peer review) and the project is discussed by the ZiF Scientific Advisory Council.



The question of innovativity and interdisciplinarity of the project should be clearly indicated. The following questions are crucial and should be addressed in the proposal:

  1. What is the special scientific relevance and innovativity of the intended project? What specific objectives are to be pursued? To what extent is an interdisciplinary approach required and reflected in the composition of the group?
  2. What are the specific qualifications of potential fellows? What academic benefit is to be expected through cooperation of those scholars?
  3. What kind of research output is to be expected at the close of the project? What output is to be expected on a long-term basis?
  4. How will the fellows’ cooperation be organized during the research year? What is the aim of the CG (e. g. preparation of a third-party project or preparation a paper for publication etc.)?


The project proposal should not exceed 10 pages and annex.

In detail, the following information is required:

  1. Cover sheet:

– brief significant title

– timeframe

– names and complete addresses of all applicants, the person responsible for coordination may be named

  1. Summary in German and English (1 to 2 pages)
  2. Detailed presentation of the project (maximum 8 pages):

– subjects and problems to be dealt with

– working methods

– current state of research on the international level and an account of the applicant’s preparatory work for the project

– details on planning and structure of the project

– if it is planned to organize workshops, the following must be defined: how many workshops are to take place and who is to be invited, proposed dates, themes

  1. List of potential fellows (Although, at this stage, it is difficult to give definite details regarding the participation of individual fellows, scholars should be suggested whose participation is considered essential and who have declared their interest in joining.):

– first name, last name (spelled in full) title, Mrs/Mr

– complete address (department/faculty, university, street address/PO box, postcode and town, country)

– email address

– discipline

– each scientist’s main focus of work

– Have potential fellows already declared their interest in joining the group?

  1. Brief curriculum vitae of all applicants including their latest project-related publications

(maximum 2 pages each)

  1. Cost budgets need not be attached. In case the CG is additionally supported by other sources, details concerning the origin of the external funds, the total amount of money that will be – or has been – applied for as well as the current state of the negotiations should be indicated.

Proposals may be communicated by email as a pdf-version to be sent to:

Geschäftsführender Direktor

des Zentrums für interdisziplinäre Forschung

Methoden 1

33615 Bielefeld


Key questions in connection with the application procedure will be answered by:

Dr Britta Padberg +49 521 106-2795

(Executive Secretary of the ZiF)

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