Integration of Molecular Components in Functional Macroscopic Systems (completed)

area of research: Natural Sciences / Engineering, Life Sciences
type of funding: research project
up to 3 (+3) years
outstanding researchers of all career stages with completed doctorate;, individual or integrative joint projects – also together with international cooperation partners
interdisciplinary projects linking up molecular or nanoscale units to form complex functional systems
additional benefits: additional funding for refugee scholars and scientists, training programs, funding for communication of science and research, own position may be applied for
Dr. Wolfgang Harneit, Prof. Angelika Kühnle and Dr. Kilian Singer at the Ultrahochvakuum-Atomic Force Microscopy discussing their co-operating scientific projects (Photo: Jens Steingässer).


For a number of years now, scientists have been developing materials and components with exceptional properties at the nanoscale. Until now they have been primarily successful with single components – with wider-scope applications based on these components still remaining the exception. The main focus of this initiative, therefore, is to promote the advancement of molecular or nanoscale units to more complex functional systems at a macroscopic scale. The challenge lies above all in exploring the missing link between the macroscopic and the nano level.

Scope of Funding

For this reason, the Foundation’s initiative addresses the entire related research chain: ranging from the production of nano-components, through their integration in larger systems, their controllability and manipulation – as well as proof of functional capability – up to and including the production of prototype devices or components. Project proposals should therefore integrate at least two of these steps. On purpose, this funding initiative thereby reaches beyond the sphere of purely fundamental research.

The initiative is directed toward scientists from different disciplines: chemistry, physics and biology, also including applications from the engineering sciences and medicine. Funding can be awarded both for integrative joint projects – also together with cooperation partners in other countries – as well as for outstanding individual research groups.

In order to leave the scope for promising research fields as open as possible, there are no thematic restrictions. Projects may be eligible for longer term funding, possibly up to five or six years. As an accompanying measure, support may be provided enabling scientific exchange: via summer schools, visiting professorships and sabbaticals, laboratory rotations and conferences.

Details of conditions and the application procedure can be found under Information for Applicants (pdf). Applications must be filed electronically via the application portal.


The funding initiative “Integration of Molecular Components in Functional Macroscopic Systems” was introduced in 2007.