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Frequently asked questions about Exploration Grants.

Yes. If you are unsure about whether your application meets all of them, please call us or email us before preparing your application.

Yes. The 10-year limit to apply for funding after having completed your doctorate will be extended by 18 months per child for female researchers, or longer if appropriate documentation is provided. Male researchers will only be granted an extension equal to any documented periods in which they have been on parental leave.

Please complete your application in English, so that we may ask international reviewers for assessments as well.

No. The Exploration Grants programme is exclusively intended for those doing basic research in biology, chemistry, and medicine.

Exploration Grants are intended to cover the salary of a post-doctoral researcher plus consumables for 2 years. If, however, you plan to have a PhD student carry out the project, you must either confirm (1) that he/she has already completed his/her dissertation project or (2), if the Exploration Grant project is to be the subject of his/her dissertation, that you have secured funding for his/her salary until his/her graduation. However, Exploration Grant projects are supposed to open a new research direction and should thus be high-risk. They usually require considerable expertise, which is why – from the programme’s point of view – the most interesting projects are likely too risky for a PhD thesis.

We select reviewers who possess the necessary expertise in the relevant field (e.g. subject, technologies, model systems, etc.).

You are welcome to propose suitable experts as reviewers who do not have a conflict of interest. We consider the latter to be the case if: (1) you collaborate, (2) have jointly published with them within the past 3 years, (3) conduct research at the same site, or (4) if they were your doctoral or postdoctoral advisor. To exclude an expert as a reviewer of your application, you must provide a statement of reasons. Board members of the Foundation may not be excluded.

In such cases, you are obliged to promptly inform the Foundation. The remaining funding may usually transfer with you to the new institution.

The Exploration Grant is linked to the proposed research project that has been evaluated by a two-stage peer-review process. Hence, if substantial changes to your project’s proposal become apparent to you, you are obliged to inform and confer with the Foundation accordingly.

Yes, but you can only re-apply with a different project.