Excellence Initiative

Innovation Grants- Humanities and Social Sciences

Innovation Grants give junior researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences the opportunity to transfer their research results to practical applications, thus suggesting alternatives to an academic career path within the University. The goal is to apply results attained from doctoral studies to the creation of innovative techniques, services and products through collaboration with extramural partners. This would enable a transfer of theoretical knowledge to the public sphere.

Examples of possible projects:

  • Web tools in the context of digital humanities
  • Museum programs, digital exhibitions
  • Pedagogic concepts, e-learning materials, concepts for adult education, schoolbooks, teaching modules for intercultural competence
  • Concepts for refugee aid
  • Concepts for policy and business consultancy (benchmark analysis, case studies, communication plans for specific target groups etc.)

At the end of the funding period a concrete result is expected in the form of a tool, a piece software, an education plan, a consulting concept etc. which has been developed in collaboration with industrial companies, public institutions or volunteer societies.


Funding is available for junior research positions, student assistants and consumables for 24 months maximum. After this time the project must be finished or have secured external funding.


Applications may be submitted at the earliest 3 months before the end of the applicant’s PhD studies and no later than two years after completion of the PhD thesis. The project must start within 6 months after being approved.

Your application must include:

In 6 pages:

  • Cover page with title, name and institute, contact details
  • A detailed description of the project as well as its envisaged practical applications. Please give a precise definition of the project’s goal and emphasize the relevance and the benefits. Please list possible external partners.
  • A timetable for the implementation of the project including milestones
  • A financial plan
  • Indication of follow-up funding if applicable (external funding programs…,), further perspectives of the project


  • CV and publication record
  • Letter of support signed by the supervising professor confirming that he/she will ensure the project has the necessary venue and infrastructure during the funding period.
  • Two further letters of support from members of the faculty or cooperation partners
  • Please note that signatures of the Dean and the institute’s director are required for the form (visit the Innovation Grant Tool)

If a commercial spin-off project is planned, a business plan of about 5 pages is required, which also belongs to the attachment. Notes for the successful development of a business plan can be found here: https://www.existenzgruender.de/DE/Gruendung-vorbereiten/Businessplan/inhalt.html or downloaded from the BIOPRO. Furthermore, the Industry Liaison Office of the University of Tübingen offers consultation previous to applications: http://www.wirtschaftskoordination.de/home-en

Selection Process:

Applications are reviewed by academic referees and evaluated according to the selection criteria mentioned below. To guarantee that the projects are innovative and feasible the applications will be subjected to a highly competitive selection procedure.

Selection criteria:

  • Relevance, originality and topicality of the project
  • The applicant’s academic career
  • Level of innovation
  • Applicability and sustainability of the envisaged project

Application Process:

  • There are two application deadlines per year: February 28th and August 31st
  • The electronic application tool will be activated on February 1st, and August 1st

Funding Begins: after the completion of your PhD thesis and approval by the Research Committee and the Rectorate.
Approval is given on condition that the applicant’s PhD is completed. 

Submission procedure:

Applications are to be uploaded into the electronic application tool; in addition, two copies must be submitted on paper to:

Dr. Andrea Schaub
Dez. II.1 Research and Excellence Strategy
Rümelinstr. 32
E-Mail: zukunftskonzept[at]uni-tuebingen.de, Phone: 07071-29 72592.

For further enquiries please contact Remke Lohmann. E-Mail: zukunftskonzept[at]uni-tuebingen.de, Phone: 07071-29 76812.


Here you will find a brief introduction to the currently funded projects: