Change of Course – Training Concepts Between the Life Sciences and Science or Engineering

The new funding offer "Change of Course – Exploring New Research Territories between the Life Sciences and Science or Engineering" supports concepts aimed at the multidisciplinary training of research groups. Teams who wish to acquire additional qualification can submit funding proposals by January 15, 2019.

Autobahnkreuz von oben
(Photography: Mongkol Chuewong)

Research areas in the sciences and engineering on the one hand and life sciences on the other often overlap. However, researchers often lack the opportunities to acquire in-depth knowledge in the “opposite" disciplines, even when this may form the basis for promising new interdisciplinary research approaches. With its new funding initiative "Change of Course", the Volkswagen Foundation offers additional qualification for teams, thus paving the way into new future-oriented fields of research that go beyond the boundaries of the respective discipline.

For example, the group members can apply to perform practical work in a scientific environment foreign to their discipline – also in the form of stays abroad –, to implement e-learning modules or to hold virtual or real workshops. They also have the option of inviting guest researchers to their own institution to contribute their knowledge or skills. Moreover, support may be made available for tandem activities, such as jointly supervised doctoral theses, or similar. 

Working groups planning an interdisciplinary reorientation can submit applications for qualification concepts or apply for preparatory funding to establish contacts. The concepts are to be implemented over a period of three to four years. The aim of the funding scheme is not to promote fast or numerous publications, but rather to encourage researchers to gain impressions, inspiration and additional skills in disciplines previously foreign to them.

Detailed information on the new initiative is to be found here "Change of Course – Exploring New Research Territories between the Life Sciences and Science or Engineering". The next deadline for application is January 15, 2019.