Excellence Strategy

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.)
  • Concepts with societal relevance

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


Funding is available for the junior research position of the applicant, 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 6 months before the end of the applicant’s PhD studies and no later than 3 years after completion of the PhD thesis. The project must start within 6 months after being approved, otherwise the funding will expire. The application must be supported by a professor regarding accomodation and infrastructure. The InnovationGrant is a person-related and NOT a project-related funding program, i.e. if the funded person leaves the University of Tübingen, the funding expires.



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.


  • Project summary, planned procedures, the project’s innovation potential; This is for publication - please submit both, German and English
  • 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.
  • 2 positive assessments from representatives of your discipline
  • In case of collaborations with companies or other external partners, documented serious interest in the project (e.g. letter of intent, letter of support, ongoing collaboration negotiation, collaboration agreement)
  • Please note that signatures of the Dean and the institute’s director are required for the form “Declaration and fact sheet” (Application Tool  https://www.antraege-zv.uni-tuebingen.de/)

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/ or downloaded from the BIOPRO. Furthermore, the Industry Liaison Office of the University of Tübingen offers consultation previous to applications: https://www.wirtschaftskoordination.de/home-en

It is strongly recommended to make use of the consulting offer in advance. All applications are subject to a formal eligibility check by the Industry Liaison Office upon receipt. If the transfer aspect is not sufficiently considered in the application, it will not be submitted for review.

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. The allocation is made by the rectorate.

Selection criteria:

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

Submission procedure

Application Process:

  • Applications can be submitted twice a year.
  • 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

Please respect the deadlines: All required letters and forms with the original signatures should be available by the relevant date and, in addition to uploading in the application database, should be submitted to the Industry Liaison Office in hardcopy form.

Funding begins no later than 6 month after approval by the Research Committee and the Rectorate.

Submit Your application to:

Applications are to be uploaded into the electronic application tool (https://www.antraege-zv.uni-tuebingen.de/index.php). In addition, one copy is to be submitted on paper to: Dr. Nora von Ameln, Zentrale Verwaltung, Dez. II, Rümelinstr. 32,  wirtschaftskoordination[at]uni-tuebingen.de 07071-29 76812.

Any queries about applications can be addressed to the Industry Liaison Office (Wirtschaftskoordination).

Currently funded projects

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