Excellence Strategy

Exploration Funds

Exploration funds are provided for the identification and development of new fields of research that are oriented towards the scientific focus of the research platforms as well as linkage opportunities for university and non-university partners. The aim is to address issues that have the potential to significantly shape current or foreseeable social debates. Possible collaborations with other platforms of the Excellence Strategy are welcome, but are not a prerequisite.

Call for Proposals 2021: Religion and Society

For the first call for proposals, the focus is on “Religion and Society”. Funding can be applied for all projects that focus on the significance of religion in the interplay between society and culture as well as their interactions, such as changes in religious contexts due to societal changes or, vice versa, changes in society that are caused by religious factors. Projects focusing on religious communities, institutions and identities, including new religious movements, are addressed as well as those dealing with the secular and the areligious - be it in political and legal debates, in historical developments, in social movements, etc.


  • Innovative research project on the advertised topic
  • Initial preliminary work by the applicant consortium
  • Interdisciplinary research approach
  • Proven expertise on the proposed topic must be located in Tübingen; institutional affiliation is expected.
  • The aim should be to consolidate the structures presented in the proposal through subsequent third-party funding (SFB, research group, etc.).

Scope of funding

  • Start-up funding for a maximum of 3 years
    • Personnel funds (postdoc position, student assistants)
    • Material resources (e.g. for workshops, retreats, seminar series, etc.)
  • The actual amount of funding depends on the needs outlined and justified in the application.


  • 10-12 pages
  • Additionally, a short CV (max. 1 page) of the applicant including a list of at least 5 relevant publications. 
Application structure:
  • Cover sheet
    • Applicants (including the name of the contact person)
    • Period of time applied for
    • Total amount requested
    • Abstract (max. 100 words)
  • Research field and research questions as well as theoretical and methodological orientations
  • Description of the project’s schedule (half-yearly milestones and concrete measures)
  • Detailed financial plan (incl. justification for the requested funds)
  • Has funding for the project already been applied for in this or a similar form?
  • Appendix: Short CV & list of publications
The application should comment on the following questions (also decision criteria):
  • What social relevance can the project claim?
  • In what way does the project connect to and contribute to current scientific debates?
  • What is the added value for Tübingen as a location, what can other locations not offer (benchmarking)?
  • In which areas of the proposed project does expertise already exist and who has it?
  • Which networking structures are in place, which are planned?
  • Please name existing and/or planned non-university institutional contacts and their relevance to the proposed project (not an exclusion criterion).
  • How is the medium- or long-term perspective of the project to be secured?
  • Which funding formats are specifically planned after the funding?

Application & review process


Applications must be submitted as a single PDF document until July 31, 2021. The application platform will be opened soon.


The project proposals are first reviewed by external researchers. The final decision on funding is made by the University’s rectorate.



Application deadline: 31 July 2021
Project start: 01 October 2021