Corona Crisis and Beyond – Perspectives for Science, Scholarship and Society (completed)

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The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the associated respiratory disease COVID-19 are spreading at a rapid pace, dominating all areas of public and private life worldwide and challenging basic, clinical and translational viral research. These new and unprecedented developments have both immediate and not yet fully foreseeable long-term consequences that raise new research questions and may even lead to new research fields. Against this backdrop, the Volkswagen Foundation supports research projects from all disciplines whose findings not only contribute directly to overcoming the crisis, but can also provide impetus for overcoming major societal challenges in the medium to long term.

Scope of funding

This call is not confined to any particular subject area and invites applications from life, natural and engineering sciences as well as social sciences and the humanities. It includes two funding opportunities:

Small Grants: Support for individual or cooperative projects to test or develop new scientific approaches, methods and/or theories. Deadline for application was June 4, 2020.

Additional modules within the context of currently funded research projects: As an alternative option, grant recipients of projects currently funded by the Foundation can – in addition to the grants already made – extend their respective projects by an additional module that addresses the above mentioned challenges. 

Applicants may apply for a total funding amount of EUR 120,000 for a term of up to 18 months for individual or cooperation projects involving up to 3 partners. The same conditions apply for additional modules.  

Towards the end of the funding period, the Foundation intends to organize a symposium at the conference center Xplanatorium Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany, bringing together all funded projects. 


The funding was established in May 2020 as direct reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic. Of 1,107 small grant applications submitted, 102 were approved in December 2020.

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Visit our Grants Database and take a look at projects already supported with this funding offer.