Ausschreibung im Bereich Neurowissenschaft


Global Issues – Preventing Pandemics: the Role of Human-Environmental Interactions

Deadline: 04.11.2021 (pre-proposals, two-stage process)

  • area of research: all disciplines 
  • type of funding: international research projects 
  • up to 1.5 million Euro 
  • up to 4 years 
  • inter- and transdisciplinary research teams (scholars from humanities or social sciences working together with natural, life or engineering scientists, plus societal stakeholders) 
  • consortia involving 3-5 researchers from at least 3 different countries (including at least one applicant from a German university/research institution and at least two from institutions in two different non-European Low and Middle Income Countries)

Society and nature are two intricately interlinked dynamic systems, influencing and modifying each other. This intricacy has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To better understand the emergence and spread of transmittable diseases like zoonoses a deeper understanding of the complexity and dynamics of human-environmental interactions and the connections between human, animal and environmental health is necessary. Questions arising in this context are, for example: Which are the structural drivers behind the emergence and spread of zoonoses? Or: How do perceptions of human-nature-relations influence human activities? And what can we learn from this, not only on an academic level, but also with a view to possible transformation pathways aiming at a more sustainable and healthier world? 

Addressing complex human-environmental interactions and producing transformation knowledge requires joining different perspectives and various sources of knowledge (and its underlying values), fostering cross-learning: Therefore, project consortia should follow integrative approaches, teaming up with different scientific disciplines as well as researchers and actors beyond academia. 

Scope of Funding

Funding will be provided for small, but strongly interacting, interdisciplinary research consortia of three to five researchers who design and conduct a project together with societal stakeholders in a transdisciplinary way. 

To enhance the potential impact of the funded projects the Foundation intends to support networking between the participants to e. g. interconnect the results of the different regional case studies by identifying interfaces, consolidating methods, problem situations and prognostic potentials, or to compile transferable results.

There are two funding phases: 

Preparatory phase (1st stage) 

Up to 15 preparatory grants of up to EUR 10.000 may be awarded to shortlisted applicants who will be invited to submit a full proposal (2nd stage application). These grants can be used to cover preparatory meetings and workshops in early 2022.

Project phase (2nd stage) 

Six to eight project grants of up to 1.5 million Euro each for a four-year duration may be awarded. 

The following types of expenses can be funded: 
Personnel expenses: salaries for scientific, technical and administrative personnel; top-ups for senior researchers; the main share going to early career researchers (PhD students and postdocs) 

  • Travel costs
  • Consumables, acquisition of data, services 
  • Equipment and other non-recurrent costs 
  • Science communication measures, outreach activities 
  • Stakeholder involvement 
  • Institutional overhead costs cannot be covered. However, funds to finance part time administrative/coordinating support at one institution may be included as well as a lump sum for administrative costs of up to 10.000 Euro for each of the other partners.
Application timeline
  • Deadline for submitting 5-page pre-proposals outlining the research project (1st stage): 4 November 2021, noon (12 pm CET)
  • Notification of applicants and invitation to submit a full proposal: March 2022 
  • Deadline for submitting invited full proposals (2nd stage): July 2022 
  • Review meeting, including presentations by applicants: September 2022 
  • Decisions on full proposals by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees on recommendations of the review panel, project funding award: Late November 2022

For more information, please see the full call for proposals: https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en/funding/our-funding-portfolio-at-a-glance/global-issues-preventing-pandemics-the-role-of-human-environmental-interactions