Excellence Strategy

Tϋbingen - Durham Seedcorn Fund

Durham and Tϋbingen wish to develop a stronger bilateral relationship, building on their collaborations through the Matariki Network of Universities. The Tϋbingen-Durham Seedcorn Fund follows delegations hosted by each partner and an MoU first signed in 1989.

Through a competitive process, Durham and Tϋbingen Universities will jointly advertise, select and fund projects in research and education. Successful research projects are expected to result in third-party funding applications. Parameters of this scheme are outlined below:


Each university will make available €50,000 each year for a first period of two years. Applications will be invited in the range €10,000 - €25,000 for activity duration of between 6 and 24 months. Financial expenditure plans should indicate spend over the full duration of the proposed projects.

The first call ran from 1st March – 1st May 2018.

The second call opens 1st February – 15th April 2019. Download the application form and guidelines PDF Word.

The information on this page can also be downloaded PDF  Word



The TU-DU Seedcorn Fund supports:

Possible priority areas

Applications to the Tϋbingen-Durham Seedcorn Fund should be aligned with the strategies of both universities.

Selection and monitoring

Applications will be assessed using the below indicators:

Proposals will be jointly evaluated by a panel of senior academics with responsibility for research at each university. Where possible, the selection panel will award an equal number of awards to DU and TU lead applicants.

A Project Completion Report must be completed by award holders on completion of the work defined in the seedcorn application. For 2 year projects, a progress report is expected at the end of the first year.

Allowable and ineligible costs

See below for a list of allowable indicative costs:

An exceptional cost is given below:

An indicative list of ineligible costs is given below:

Full details of all anticipated costs/activities must be clearly itemised on the application form.

Succession and Sustainability

Prior to each application round opening, universities will share information on current external grant funding opportunities for cooperative projects between the UK and Germany.

Download external funding information.

Proposals must demonstrate sustainability beyond the funded period.

Projects that reach out to a wider audience of students and researchers will also be looked on favourably. For example, training of PhD candidates through sharing of expertise is encouraged.

Research Support colleagues will support PIs and Co-Is to develop external funding applications following the completion of the Tϋbingen-Durham Seedcorn Scheme.


Approval: Where a seedcorn application is approved for funding, funds will be provided approx. equally from Durham and Tübingen Universities.

Amendment: Where the panel is unable to approve funding but believes that the proposal might be fundable with minor changes, the applicants will be informed and asked to resubmit following the panel’s recommendations for changes.

Refusal: Where an application is refused for funding, the applicant will be informed of the panel decision and feedback.

A record of the outcome of each seedcorn application will be maintained by:


Elenora Haag

Unit of International Research Cooperation and Research Strategies

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Wilhelmstr. 5

72074 Tübingen

Tel: +49 (0)7071 29 75005

international.researchspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de


Jemima Lloyd

International Office, Durham University

Palatine Centre

Science Site



Tel: +44 (0)191 334 6134

International.partnershipsspam prevention@durham.ac.uk

[1] Where short-term assistance from a research assistant (RA) is requested on a taxable fees basis, the name of the proposed RA, together with the current status (e.g. postgraduate, employment contract) and proposed dates of engagement, must be provided, to ensure eligibility of the RA to undertake the work can be checked. Employment contracts will only be considered by exception and must be in line with the host university’s recruitment procedures and policies. The role of the RA must be fully specified. The role and length of time the RA is funded must be proportionate to the seedcorn proposal activities and duration and fully detailed and justified. It is expected that assistance provided by a RA will be fully directed by the lead applicant.