Our Funding Portfolio

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The Volkswagen Foundation is dedicated to the support of the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. It funds research projects in path-breaking areas and provides assistance to academic institutions for the improvement of the structural conditions for their work. 

We provide support in four profile areas

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Societal Transformations

Expanding knowledge about processes of transformation and developing possible courses of action together with stakeholders in civil society.

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Exploration

Breaking into previously unexplored research territory with unconventional ideas and experimental approaches.

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Understanding Research

Critically exploring and reflecting on the research system with a view to initiating positive change on areas such as career paths, governance, research and teaching.

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zukunft.niedersachsen

Funding program for top-level research in Lower Saxony.

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Funding portfolio

We support future-oriented topics with our funding offers.

Area of research

Type of funding

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  • March 2025: Deadline for full proposals (phase 2)

    Transdisciplinary Approaches to Mobility and Global Health

    The call is directed at researchers from HICs and LMICs, in close collaboration with local communities, non-academic stakeholders and other relevant actors. It is jointly initiated by the three independent private foundations Novo Nordisk Foundation (Denmark), Wellcome (Great Britain) and Volkswagen Foundation.

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    • areas of research: social sciences, life & health sciences
    • funding for: international collaborative projects
  • April 28, 2025 Deadline (future deadline on April 21, 2026)

    Momentum – Funding for Recently Tenured Professors

    The funding offer is aimed at professors three to five years after taking up their first tenured professorship at a university in Germany.

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    • area of research: all disciplines
    • type of funding: concepts for the broadening of perspectives
  • Deadline: spring 2025 (life sciences and medicine)

    zukunft.niedersachsen: Research Cooperation Lower Saxony – Israel

    Funding is provided for scientifically outstanding projects conducted jointly by researchers from Israel and Lower Saxony. 

    Website zukunft.niedersachsen.de
    • area of research: humanities and social sciences (call 2024)
    • type of funding: research projects
  • Next deadline is expected for spring/summer 2025

    Researching Research: Summer Schools & Workshops

    The program addresses scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds working on questions or topics relating to research on research.

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    • area of research: disciplines conducting research on research
    • type of funding: summer schools and workshops
  • Next deadline for research groups (senior scientists) in 2025
    Next deadline for fellows (early career researchers) in 2025

    Change! Fellowships and research groups

    Our target group: Personalities from science who are researching transformation processes jointly with non-academic partners.

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    • area of research: all disciplines
    • funding for: own position, research project
  • next deadline in 2025

    Circularity with recycled and biogenic resources

    The current call within the funding line 'Collaborative projects' of this initiative is primarily targeted at the natural sciences and engineering.

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    • area of research: natural sciences and engineering, if required social sciences
    • type of funding: research projects
  • No open call

    Earth System Sciences

    The offer is aimed at universities in Germany with a focus on geosciences that wish to establish one or two junior professorships with tenure track.

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    • area of research: Geosciences
    • funding for: 1-2 junior professorships with tenure track per University location
  • next deadline is expected in 2025

    Open Up – New Research Spaces for the Humanities and Cultural Studies

    The funding initiative addresses teams of two or three researchers who aim to explore new and original research spaces.

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    • area of research: humanities and cultural studies, theoretical social sciences
    • type of funding: research projects; funding of a teaching substitute

Completed 

Here you can find our previous funding offers.

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Funded projects

Our "Grants Database" informs on research projects and researchers who received funds by the Volkswagen Foundation (since 2004).

visit Grants database