Information for Applicants 72 - VolkswagenStiftung


Information for Applicants 72 - VolkswagenStiftung

Funding Initiative

August 2012

Information for

Applicants 72

Between Europe and the Orient – A Focus on Research

and Higher Education in/on Central Asia and the


Application dates

Deadlines for the submission of

applications will be posted on

the Foundation‘ s web page.


Applications concerning the

humanities and social sciences:

Dr. Wolfgang Levermann

Phone: +49 511-8381-212

Fax: +49 511-8381-344

E-Mail: levermann

Applications concerning natural

and engineering sciences ,

theoretical medicine:

Dr. Matthias Nöllenburg

Phone: +49 511-8381-290

Fax: +49 511-8381-344

E-Mail: noellenburg


Kastanienallee 35

D-30519 Hannover

1. Objectives

By this funding initiative the Volkswagen Foundation aims to strengthen research

on current developments in Central Asia and the Caucasus and – especially

by promoting young researchers – to provide a sustainable contribution

towards capacity building in the countries of the region.

The target region encompasses the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia,

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan that became

independent following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In addition to these, the

funding initiative also includes Afghanistan and the bordering regions of China

(Xinjiang) and the Russian Federation (Tartarstan, Bashkortostan, and the

North Caucasus). Projects involving other countries bordering the target region

(Turkey, Iran i.a.) may be eligible for funding, provided they address manifold

relationships to the region or incorporate these countries under comparative


The funding initiative addresses the humanities and the social sciences as well

as the engineering and natural sciences (including theoretical medicine).

2. Structure and Scope of Funding

The funding initiative was started in the year 2000. During the first years, the

focus was on stimulating German academic interest in the region as well as

building up and expanding research and teaching capacity in German institutions.

This gradually gave way to capacity development and cooperation based

on partnership with researchers in the target countries. Through the new orientation

of the funding initiative introduced in 2012, the Foundation intends to

consolidate the progress made and to lend international cooperation a new

quality by jointly developing calls for proposals in specific thematic areas. On

the one hand, it aims to involve researchers in Central Asia and the Caucasus

more deeply in identifying relevant topics and formulating the research agenda.


On the other hand, it intends to reinforce intraregional cooperation by means of promoting closer networking

between the various projects.

August 2012

Thematic Calls

The calls are to be prepared in thematic workshops which will be planned by

the foundation in close cooperation with scientists and scholars. These workshops

will serve as the basis for a bottom-up approach to identifying current

research issues. They will explore and further develop possibilities for cooperation

between researchers in Germany, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. Participation

is by invitation only.

The results obtained from the workshops will serve as the basis for the formulation

of the subsequent calls. Proposals may be submitted by the participants

of the workshops as well as other persons not previously involved in the preparation

procedure. The Foundation expects cooperative research projects involving

substantial input from researchers in the target region, as well as training

of young researchers. Joint projects with partners from neighboring states

and – in well justified exceptions – even from other countries may also be considered

eligible for funding. Initially, as part of a two-step procedure, only outline

proposals should be submitted. Following peer review by external experts,

selected projects will be invited to submit full proposals to the Foundation.

Currently, two thematic workshops are in preparation with resulting calls.

1) “Environment, Energy, Resources” (working title) for a call in 2012/13

2) “State, Economy, Law” (working title) for a call in 2013/14

Details on the respective workshop programs and calls for proposals will be

published on the Foundation’s website in due time. The scope of funding

within the context of the calls is described in the respective Information for


Structurally Oriented Measures

The Foundation remains open for ideas and projects beyond the planned thematic

areas. It will therefore also provide support for a number of additional

measures which may be applied for irrespective of the deadlines for thematic

calls. These possibilities include:

Training and qualification measures for young researchers: Within this

context, funding may be provided for special programs dedicated to the training

and further education of young researchers, like, for example, summer

schools and smaller scholarship groups that offer young researchers from

countries in the target region – both in the areas of the natural and engineering

sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences – the opportunity to

carry out PhD projects in close cooperation with researchers from Germany.


August 2012

Funding can be made available for: Personnel and travelling expenses,

as well as other running costs and costs of equipment and literature, as a

rule over a three year period; researchers from the target region may be

directly involved in project work by means of scholarships or salary supplements.

Projects aimed at the re-integration of returning researchers: This funding

offer is aimed at highly qualified young researchers from Central Asia and the

Caucasus who have received an education abroad and now seek to join an

academic institution in their home country. The material support offered by the

Foundation is to enable them to make use of the knowledge and skills they

acquired in innovative projects in the fields of research or academic teaching.

Funding can be made available for: “Topping up” their salary, costs of

travel and infrastructure (equipment, literature), as well as the funding of

research associates, doctoral students or support staff (to possibly include

the creation of junior research groups). The funding period should

initially not exceed three years; under suitable circumstances, it is possible

to extend funding for a further three years.

Specific support for the creation and expansion of academic infrastructure

in the region: Within this context, the Foundation may provide funding for

projects that support exemplary infrastructure contributions important for the

reform process. The Foundation expects that the preparation and execution of

such projects is carried out in close cooperation with German researchers and

that the groundwork is laid for sustainable cooperation beyond the funding period.

The Foundation cannot support teaching projects aimed at the compilation

of teaching materials, the development of curricula, or the introduction of

new study programs.

Funding can be made available for: Pilot projects, which may be developed

step by step. Applicants are strongly recommended first to submit

an exposé ahead of their full proposal.

Either independent of or in connection with one of the described projects:

Workshops, symposia, and summer schools with up to 60 participants. As

a rule, these are to be carried out the target region.

Funding can be made available for: Travel costs for the participants

and other costs involved with the organization of the event, e.g. interpreter


Within the frame of the described projects the Volkswagen Foundation may also

provide funding for measures aimed at the improvement of soft skills (project

management, language training, scientific writing etc.). Furthermore, funding

may also be made available for various forms of public relations activities.

In this respect, depending on the specific circumstances and aims pursued,

the Foundation is encouraging new ways of communicating science that are

sustainable and oriented at target groups. It is also possible to apply for the


Electronic application

Please, use the Foundation’s

electronic application system on

the Internet.

Please, remember to print the

cover sheet provided, sign it and

send it to us. Instructions on the

electronic application system

are provided online.

August 2012

funding of such measures in connection with projects that are already running.

Applicants should first make contact with the Foundation Office.

3. How to Apply and Checklist

For theoretical medicine as well as the natural and engineering sciences, applications

must be submitted in English. Applications from Germany from the

humanities and social sciences may also be submitted in German.

Outlines and applications must be submitted via the electronic application system

of the Volkswagen Foundation The Foundation

expects that applications be submitted jointly by all responsible cooperation

partners. In case a proposal is approved, the academic institution of the

German main applicant will be the recipient of the grant.

The Volkswagen Foundation can award grants to academic institutions only.

Applicants outside of universities and well-known research institutions are

asked to provide details on the legal status, statutes, trustees and boards,

charitable/non-profit status, budgeting and auditing of the institution to be

funded. An annual report of the applying institution should also be included.

The Foundation is unable to process applications that have been submitted in

identical or similar form to another funding body. The Foundation also does not

pay for obligations which have been entered into prior to the receipt of the

grant letter.

Please make sure that your application includes the following documents

(to be added as pdf-files):

• Cover letter

• Summary in German and English(max. 1 page)

• Project description (max. 20 pages): rationale and objective, state

of the art including hypotheses, methods, own preliminary results,

expected outcome

• Time and work schedule (for cooperation projects, also include details

of how the work is to be shared between the research groups


• Budget in Euros for all participating institutions, divided into personnel

and travel expenses, recurring non-personnel costs (e.g.

consumables), and non-recurrent expenses (e.g. literature, equipment)

• CV, list of relevant publications

• Statements of foreign partner institutions

• Bibliography


August 2012

Applications for funding of scholarly meetings (symposia and summer

schools) should also include

• the scientific program of the event, including time schedule

• the (tentative) list of participants and speakers including registrations

approved (at least of those giving presentations) and details on how

participants are selected

4. Electronic Application – Instruction and Tips

Please note that only registered users of the electronic application system

have access to application data and are able to submit applications and receive

corresponding e-mail messages. Hence, it is required for all applicants

with project responsibility to register himself/herself or to ask a co-worker to

register in his/her name with the proper e-mail address.

Please follow the five steps to compile and submit your application:

• If you are a new user please register on the application portal with

your name, your e-mail address and your own password. When registering

you will be asked about your work address details. Subsequently,

you must activate your account using the link sent by email.

If you already have a user account you can immediately login

using your e-mail address and password.

• The function new application starts the selection of the corresponding

funding initiative (here: Between Europe and the Orient – A

Focus on Research and Higher Education in/on Central Asia and the

Caucasus), the application type, the grant receiving institution, and

the language.

• Now – and later on – you can interrupt the completion of your application

at any time. You can logout and login again as often as required.

• Please check whether the pre-filled data on the applicant are correct.

Furthermore, we need application data (e. g. project title, duration)

and the budget. The budget shall be uploaded as pdf-file under the

heading “Other Enclosures”. You are asked to enter all information in

the respective forms. Please note that the save button does not

transfer any data to the Foundation. You are able to revise all data

until the submission of your application. Please keep in mind to read

and accept the legal statement. If you wish you can generate a PDF

of the filled-in forms for verification and for your filing.

• Under enclosures you are able to upload files as required according

to the checklist on the preceding page in the „Information for Applicants“.

Only PDF files are accepted. Before submission all files can

be exchanged for new versions.


August 2012

Once your application is complete you can submit it electronically to the

Foundation. Additionally, a PDF generation of a cover sheet for print-out is

required. Add your signature and send it by postal mail.

In the course of processing your application the Foundation might request

additional information. The function new supplement is used to upload and

submit the respective files.


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