Forum "Experiment!" 2022

Herrenhausen Palace
Researchers and Professionals

The grantees of 2019 are invited to present their findings on bold research ideas at the "Forum Experiment!".

Illustration: Nicolás Aznárez für VolkswagenStiftung
Illustration: Nicolás Aznárez for Volkswagen Foundation

This year's forum is a platform of exchange for "Experiment!" grantees of 2019. The program is focussed on about 30 talks presenting preliminary results, including failures, after having explored a radically new or controversial approach in natural, engineering and life sciences. 

In the audience are recent grantees, and Foundation staff coming from various subject areas in the life sciences, sciences and engineering. They are united by a common interest in high risk topics. All are curious to learn from each other about the achievements, surprises and (un)foreseen difficulties which were encountered during the exploratory work undertaken. In the "Experiment!" initiative failure with respect to reaching the original aim is not considered negative but a valuable learning experience which can bring science forward. Therefore, all speakers are encouraged to not only focus on the highlights but to mention disappointments and lowlights as well.

The broad mix of topics gives an exciting opportunity to share and discuss results, open questions and opinions beyond the borders of one's own academic background. Back in 2019 33 grants out of 685 proposals have been awarded after three distinct selection steps: first a shortlisting, second a double-blind review and third additional decision by lot.

More information on the "Experiment!" grants is available on the Foundation’s website under Funding: Grants Awarded (Project-Persons-Search).


After eight successful calls, the funding initiative "Experiment!" is now closed. The initiative was exceptionally well received with 5.051 applications in total. In the end, 183 bold ideas got granted. The Foundation introduced a partially randomized selection (i. e. additional decision by lot) in 2017; accompanying research on this scheme - undertaken by EVACONSULT, Berlin - will continue until the end of 2022. 


Please find the program under downloads.