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.)

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


  • Abstract: Project summary, action plan, market relevance, the project’s innovation potential (for publication – max. 1 page Arial 11, single-spaced), two versions: German and English
  • Resume and list of publications and applicant’s perspective for the future
  • Written confirmation from supervising professor of his/ her support and confirmation 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
  • Please note that the signatures of the Dean and the institute's director are required (Form “Declaration and fact sheet”, to be found in the internal section of the website of the excellence initiative)

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 at IHK Reutlingen or downloaded from the BIOPRO. Furthermore, the Industry Liaison Office of the University of Tübingen offers consultation previous to applications.

Application Process

Applications will be appraised and approved by academic referees with input from industry consultants. The Grants will be awarded in a competitive process to ensure that the projects have innovative potential and a good chance of success. The award is made by the Rectorate.

Successful applications will demonstrate:

  • Clear innovative content and economic viability and feasibility, business acumen and sustainability
  • Academic/ scientific quality: relevance, originality and timeliness of the fundamental work
  • Academic/ scientific background of the applicant


Call for Applications: Applications can be submitted twice a 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. 

Submit Your Application to:

Applications are to be uploaded into the Electronic Application Tool and in addition, one paper copy is to be submitted to:

Dr. Andrea Schaub Dez. II.1

Research and Excellence Strategy

Wilhelmstr. 5

72074 Tübingen

zukunftskonzeptspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

 07071-29 72592