At the mid-year meeting of the FWF Board, held from 24 to 25 June 2019, roughly €38.2 million was approved on the basis of applications amounting to around €229.7 million. In all, 121 outstanding projects received funding from a total of 452 applications.
Board meeting details
Representing the “backbone” of FWF funding, stand-alone projects once again accounted for the bulk of approvals. On the basis of an application amount (incl. clinical research) of around €53.4 million, some €15.2 million was approved, which corresponds to an approval rate of 28.4 percent.
In the area of international programmes, which are implemented jointly with international partner funding organisations, the applications amounted to around €9 million, of which roughly €3.2 million was approved subject to certain conditions (approval rate: 35.3%). In some cases, the decisions of the partner organisations are still pending.
The career programmes play a central role in the FWF’s funding portfolio. The call for applications for the women’s programmes “Firnberg” and “Richter” resulted in a total application volume of around €21.7 million, of which roughly €6.5 million was approved (approval rate: 30.1%).
In the “Schrödinger” outgoing programme, around 39.3 percent of the applications were successful, with total funding amounting to €1.1 million. In the “Meitner” incoming programme, the grant sum was around €2 million, which corresponds to an approval rate of 29.9 percent.
Meitner Programme attracts top researchers to Austria
At the June meeting, it was reported that many researchers who wanted to come to Austria once again succeeded in doing so. In the last ten years alone, 424 researchers from 46 different countries came to Austria as part of the Meitner programme and brought their expertise with them. After their return home, these researchers not only remain part of a valuable network but also serve as excellent ambassadors of the Austrian research sector.
2019 START/Wittgenstein Awards
Also at the June meeting, the decision was taken on Austria’s most highly endowed research awards: the historian Philipp Ther and the microbiologist Michael Wagner are the recipients of the 2019 Wittgenstein Award. The two top researchers from the University of Vienna were selected from 24 nominees for the award, and each will receive €1.5 million in funding to enable them to further develop their cutting-edge research activities. In addition, the international START/Wittgenstein jury, including two Noble Prize winners, recommended six outstanding young researchers for the prestigious START Awards. The awards ceremony was held in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna on 17 June.
The START Awards were bestowed on Moritz Brehm from Johannes Kepler University Linz, Christa Cuchiero from Vienna University of Economics and Business, Bruno de Nicola from the Austrian Academy of the Sciences, Christoph Gammer, also from the Austrian Academy of the Sciences, José Luis Romero from the University of Vienna and Richard Wilhelm from Vienna University of Technology.
Details on the award winners can be found in the press kit(pdf, 11.5MB) (PDF, in German).
Quality, fairness, transparency
Apart from aspiring to the highest scholarly quality, internationality and fairness, the FWF also stands for maximum transparency. For this reason, all approved research projects are presented in detail on the FWF website at https://pf.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-finder
In addition, statistics are provided for each Board meeting, which can be found at https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/about-the-fwf/funding-statistics/
The FWF Board is composed of the Executive Board of the Austrian Science Fund and expert reporters. The term of office of the current Board runs until October 2020, whereby the primary task of the Board is to take funding decisions on research projects. Since the May 2019 Board meeting, two new reporters have joined the Board: Wilfried Ellmeier from the Medical University of Vienna as the deputy reporter for Cell Biology, as well as Thomas Pock from Graz University of Technology as the reporter for Computer Science II.
The members of the FWF Board can be found at https://www.fwf.ac.at/en/about-the-fwf/organisation/board/
Austrian Science Fund FWF
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria’s central funding organisation for basic research as well as arts-based research. Applying international quality benchmarks, the FWF provides funding for outstanding research projects and excellent researchers who work to generate, broaden and deepen scientific and scholarly knowledge.