ZiF Cooperation Groups

Notes for Applicants
Upcoming deadlines: 1 November 2021; further dates for the submission of applications for ZiF funding formats in the spring / summer of 2022 are yet to be announced (after redesign of the portfolio)

The Funding Format

ZiF Cooperation Groups conduct interdisciplinary research projects. This funding format offers a great level of organizational freedom and flexibility to realize your ideas and meet the needs of the research questions at hand. This scheme allows for a variety of group formats, such as:

  • an intensive collaboration of two (or more) fellows for a short period of time;
  • the collaboration of a group of fellows for several weeks or months;
  • several shorter stays of a group of fellows spread over a longer period (up to two years).

Depending on the chosen format, cooperation groups are supported with up to EUR 100,000; the funds granted are also based on the needs of each specific group.

Planning a Cooperation Group

Applications for cooperation groups can be submitted by an interdisciplinary team of two or three scholars (post-PhD), all of them acting as applicants; alternatively, applications can also be submitted by one person. The application also contains a list of possible fellows to be included in the group.

The research project and the anticipated group should be characterised by

  • its scientific quality and originality, also on an international level,
  • a high level of interdisciplinary collaboration and
  • an international composition.
Applications and Decision-Making

Applications may be submitted on two annual deadlines, usually in the spring and in the fall.

Please note: Applications for support of a cooperation group should be submitted at least one year prior to the planned start of the collaboration.

We accept applications from all disciplines; any scholar post-PhD (both based in Germany or abroad) is eligible to apply.

All applications are subject to a competitive selection procedure, including external reviews. The final decision is made by the ZiF’s Board of Directors, approximately three months after each deadline.

Requirements for an Application

Applications should be submitted in the group’s language of correspondence (German or English).

The proposal must clearly indicate both the project’s originality and interdisciplinarity. The participation of different scientific disciplines alone is not sufficient to demonstrate the latter.

The following questions should be addressed in the proposal:

  1. What is the scientific relevance and originality of the proposed project? What are its specific objectives? To what extent is an interdisciplinary approach required and also reflected in the make-up of the group?
  2. In which ways do the group members and their specific qualifications contribute to the project? What is the scientific gain to be expected from their collaboration?
  3. What are the scientific outputs to be expected from the project?
  4. How will the collaboration be implemented during the project?

The following information and documents are required:

  1. Cover Sheet
    • Title of the project
    • Anticipated timeframe
    • Names and addresses of all applications; if applicable, an indication of the main applicant (and contact)
  2. Summary Summary in English and if possible German (one page each)
  3. Presentation of the Project (up to eight pages)
    • Topic and research questions
    • Methodology and methods
    • International state of the art with respect to the research questions; applicants’ previous work on the topic
    • Plans on how to structure the project (timing)
    • If applicable: information on workshops to be held (number of workshops, participants, timing, topics)
  4. List of envisaged fellows / participants
    • First and last names, title(s)
    • Address (University, department / faculty, street address / PO Box, postcode and town, country)
    • e-mail
    • Discipline
    • Main areas of work / expertise
    • Information on the current status of request by the convenors (confirmed, ongoing, invitation intended)

While it is difficult to obtain final confirmations for participation at this stage, we kindly ask you to list participants whom you consider essential for your project and who have indicated their general willingness and interest to participate.

  1. Short CV of all applicants (not the envisaged fellows), including their latest project-related publications (maximum of two pages each)
  2. A budget is not required. If you receive support from other sources, or expect to do so, we kindly ask you to indicate this in your application. Please inform us about both the organisation providing funds as well as the amount. Please also keep us updated on any changes with respect to additional funds.

Please contact us early – we are happy to help!

Appliations should be sent via e-mail and as a pdf-document, addressed to:

Executive Director
of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research
Methoden 1
33615 Bielefeld


Your contact at ZiF:

Dr. Anika Haverig (Managing Director)
+49 521 106-2795