Helmholtz Calls for Applications

The site gives you an overview of current calls for applications which are coordinated by the Helmholtz head office. Most of the Helmholtz calls for applications are in German. Please see our German site.

Initiative and Networking Fund: managing the working situation caused by the pandemic

In response to recent events, we would like to provide you with details on how Helmholtz is managing the working situation caused by the pandemic with respect to the Initiative and Networking Fund. The following arrangements are being made based on the requirements of the current situation in early April 2020. Should the situation change, we will revise these arrangements in due course.

Timelines for calls for applications, submissions, and evaluations

All calls for applications and evaluations are going ahead as planned to the extent that this lies within the power of Helmholtz Head Office. Video conferences will be used for panel sessions until further notice. By adhering to our timelines, we can guarantee funding commitments for new projects in a timely manner. Moreover, the fact that the current funding concept for the Initiative and Networking Fund expires at the end of the year means that, unfortunately, we cannot simply delay decisions. In this same vein, we are also adhering to our planned timelines for the evaluations preceding the decision as to whether a project will receive funding. For this reason, we hope you will understand that we have not made any plans to delay deadlines in general. If meeting a deadline proves to be a particular hardship due to the current situation, please contact us.

We made an exception regarding the deadline for submissions for the Helmholtz International Labs, which passed while we were in the process of switching over to the new way of working necessitated by the epidemic. In this case, we decided to delay the deadline for the third round of calls for applications for the Helmholtz International Labs by two weeks. The fact that we received 15 applications shows that the delayed deadline of April 3 was quite achievable. Thank you very much for your applications!

Submitting applications electronically

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, many employees at the Helmholtz Centers are working from home, and physical documents are only being exchanged where absolutely necessary. This situation can make it difficult to obtain signatures on time.

It is important to us that every submission made during the application process for the Initiative and Networking Fund is authorized by the Director of the respective Helmholtz Center. At the same time, we want to make processes easier for you in the current situation. Until further notice, we will therefore only be accepting electronically submitted application documents for the processes involved in the Initiative and Networking Fund. Please verify that submissions have been authorized by your Director by forwarding an email from the Director’s email account to us and/or by sending an attached letter with the Director’s electronic signature.

Managing project delays

In principle, funds from the 2020 financial year can be transferred to 2021 and no-cost extensions can be arranged as appropriate in all justified cases. Please understand that we will have to examine each individual case as we are also accountable to our financing partner and are subject to closer scrutiny. Nonetheless, we will place special focus on securing research opportunities for young scientists.

Contacting the Helmholtz Head Office

The Initiative and Networking Fund team is currently working from home but can still be reached via the usual contact details. The phone numbers for the Head Office have been redirected to the cell phones of the relevant staff members.

You are welcome to contact me or the Initiative and Networking Fund team with any questions. Wishing you the very best!


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