Niedersächsisches Vorab

Die Biologin Salome Gonçalves von der Universität Göttingen fängt mit einem Kescher Kleinstlebewesen. Im Mittelpunkt des im Niedersächsischen Vorab geförderten Projekts stehen komplexe Räuber-Beute-Beziehungen. (Foto: Christian Burkert für VolkswagenStiftung)
The biologist Salome Gonçalves from the University of Göttingen catches microorganisms with a landing net. At the center of the project, funded within the initiative "Niedersächsisches Vorab", are complex predator-prey relationships. (Photo: Christian Burkert for Volkswagen Foundation)

The funding initiative entitled "Niedersächsisches Vorab" is reserved solely for research projects at universities and research institutes in Lower Saxony, Germany.


This funding initiative aims to strengthen the position of Lower Saxony as a science location. To this end, the Foundation statutes prescribe that a fixed proportion of the money available for grants is allocated to research institutions in the Federal State of Lower Saxony. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees decides how the funds are to be distributed, previously endorsed by the State Government of Lower Saxony.

Scope of Funding

The "Niedersächsisches Vorab" program is divided into four funding lines:

  • Collaborative Research Units and Research Priorities
  • Recruit & Retain
  • New Research Fields
  • Funding Programs and Calls

All four funding lines are subject to special procedures for calls and selection processes determined by the Scientific Commission of Lower Saxony and the Volkswagen Foundation.

You can find further information on the funding lines and application procedures on the homepage of the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture.

Applications for the following call must be filed electronically via the electronic application system:

Call: Research Cooperation Lower Saxony – Israel 

The cooperation of Israeli and Lower Saxon universities and research institutions has a long history. The program "Research Cooperation Lower Saxony - Israel" supports this cooperation by promoting scientifically excellent collaborative projects. Details of conditions and the application procedure can be found under "Research Cooperation Lower Saxony – Israel".


Pursuant to Article 8 Item 2 of its statutes, the Volkswagen Foundation finances "Niedersächsisches Vorab" from three different sources, namely i) a sum equivalent to the annual dividend on the nominal EUR 77.3 million of VW shares accruing to the Volkswagen Foundation from the Federal State of Lower Saxony’s participation in the Volkswagen automobile manufacturer ii) the yield from assets totaling EUR 35.8 million as laid down in a contract concluded with the State of Lower Saxony in 1987, and iii) 10% of the sum allocated for overall funding.