Off the Beaten Track

Do not apply without prior consultation
Eleven doctoral students representing six different disciplines are collaborating to reveal the remaining hidden secrets of Naumburg Cathedral (Photo: Jelca Kollatsch).

The funding initiative "Off the Beaten Track" leaves room for exceptional projects of an original and interdisciplinary nature which do not fit into any of the Foundation’s current funding initiatives.


"Off the Beaten Track" was created for projects that pursue innovative, extraordinary, and cross-disciplinary lines of research that do not fall under any other current funding initiative. The offer was conceived in order to promote promising lines of research beyond disciplinary boundaries and the mainstream. This also applies to the early stages of developing new methods.

Scope of Funding

The funding initiative "Off the Beaten Track" is therefore reserved for exceptional cases. In other words: In order to be eligible for funding, projects in this category not only have to fulfill most stringent quality requirements, they must also plausibly explain why they cannot apply for funding elsewhere.
In any case, applicants should first contact the respective program manager to clarify whether their project can be considered for funding prior to formally submitting proposals via the application portal. The Foundation regrets that it is not possible to provide the grounds on which proposals are not approved for funding in this category.


The funding initiative entitled "Off the Beaten Track" started in 2002.