ZiF Research Groups aim at a long term interdisciplinary collaboration. They provide the frame in which scholars from various disciplines work together on a broader research theme. For an extended time, generally one year, they work and live at the ZiF.
At the beginning, there is a letter of intent for a research project. Full proposals are evaluated externally and presented before the Advisory Council. The final decision is taken by the Board of Directors.
Following a positive decision, the fellows are chosen at the suggestion of the Research Group organizers. Scholars from all disciplines involved are invited to join the ZiF Research Group and work together with colleagues from neighboring fields.
ZiF Research Groups usually require a planning period of more than two years in which the details of the proposed collaboration are worked out. Joint seminars on a regular basis, occasional workshops or discussions with visiting scientists as well as the preparation of joint publications and conferences are typical forms of collaboration.
The integration of scientific work into everyday life is supported by the ZiF in its offering of accommodation on the ZiF campus not only to members of ZiF Research Groups, but also to their families. In addition to smaller one-person apartments, medium-sized and large apartments are available for families who come to Bielefeld for a year.