Ideas take off: The new 1,000 Ideas Programme of the FWF helps researchers whose projects are still at an early stage.

Those who have visions don’t need to see a doctor, but rather the FWF. Starting in October, the 1,000 Ideas Programme of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) helps researchers to turn their unconventional, bold and visionary research ideas into reality.

The more daring the research idea, the more risk the researcher has to assume in order to realise it. It is often difficult for researchers to take the first step when it comes to new, bold or particularly original research ideas that go beyond the general understanding of science and scholarship. This is where the FWF comes in and thus closes a gap in its funding portfolio with this new programme. The chances of successful implementation are not the determining factor here, for the courage to fail is an integral part of this programme. The main thing is that the idea deals with forward-looking topics with a high degree of scholarly and transformative potential. The programme provides room for novel research approaches which will later grow into new fields of research.

“1,000 Ideas fosters the courage to take a risk. The programme encourages researchers to try completely new approaches and collaborations,” said Klement Tockner, President of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), about the innovative potential of the new funding opportunity.

Only the idea matters: anonymous review process

Degree of originality, transformative potential and a coherent plan of implementation are the deciding factors in the awarding of funding. Additionally, the FWF makes its decision on the proposals received on the basis of anonymous reviews. The reviewers do not know who submitted the project application. The aim is to support high-risk research projects at an early stage. The FWF funding (estimated max. of €150,000 per project) is intended as start-up support. The exploratory phase, which is limited in duration, should provide initial evidence of the feasibility of the idea.

At the moment, a total of three calls for proposals (2019, 2020 and 2021) are planned as part of the pilot programme. Approximately 3 million euros in funding is available for each call. The submission period for the first call starts in autumn 2019. More detailed information will be available soon at www.fwf.ac.at/en/

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