Profile area "Bright minds for Lower Saxony”

Lower Saxony Professorships Funding line 1: The Lower Saxony Professorship

Application: prior consultation with the Volkswagen Foundation recommended

Key feature of the zukunft.niedersachsen program is a coordinated combination of individual, project and infrastructure funding aimed at optimally positioning Lower Saxony’s science landscape for upcoming transformation processes and strengthening its competitiveness both nationally and internationally over the long term.

The three funding lines of the “Lower Saxony Professorships” are intended to attract top international talent, high-performing early career researchers as well as personalities who are instrumental to key aspects of the profile of the universities. locations in Lower Saxony or to retain them at the location.

area of research: all
type of funding: individual funding – funding of additional resources
eligible: excellent, internationally renowned research personalities
the funding amount applied for is based on individually calculated requirements; co-financing of around 25% is expected
funding term: up to 5 years

1. Objectives

Funding line 1 “Lower Saxony Professorship” addresses exceptional academics who are professionally excellent and have several years of (management) experience in the science system. They are expected to have the capacity to shape the profile and structure of their university location and impact the research region at large. In view of the high requirements, the number of funding cases is limited to three per year.

This funding is explicitly intended to provide universities with additional competitive resources in order to attract suitable candidates by directly approaching them without need of a call for applications in accordance with Section 26 (1) sentence 2 no. 6 NHG.

2. Scope of funding

Target group

Excellent research personalities with outstanding international credentials

Eligibility criteria
  • Embedding the professorship in the university’s strategic framework,
  • Qualification and research profile of the person, proven by e.g:
    • Prizes and awards such as Humboldt Professorship, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award, ERC Advanced Grant, ERC Synergy Grant or international equivalents,
    • Scientific expertise or function such as spokesperson of a Cluster of Excellence, a DFG Collaborative Research Center, director of an institute or head of a major department of a non-university research institution.
Type and duration of funding

Additional funding over 5 years. The university is expected to make a contribution of around 25% of the total funding amount (approx. 75% zukunft.niedersachsen, approx. 25% university). The total amount of funding is based on the individually calculated requirements, which must be justified in detail in the application.
Applications can be made for additional resources above those covered by the institution’s basic budget:

  • Personnel costs,
  • Equipment or other material resources,
  • Travel,
  • Funds for experimenting with and establishing innovative research-based teaching formats,
  • Funds for science communication projects.

3. Application and selection process

Applications should only be submitted following prior consultation with the Volkswagen Foundation. Applications must be submitted online (in German or English) via the Volkswagen Foundation Application and Reporting System. Please also refer to the document “Instructions” before submitting your application!

Applications are submitted by the university. The review is carried out on an ongoing basis by an interdisciplinary standing panel of experts.

The following attachments must be uploaded as PDF files:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Summary (½ page each in German and English)
  3. Presentation of the application (no more than 10 pages in total, 12 pt, 1.5 lines):
    The application should contain the following information:
    • Strategic embedding of the professorship in the university and its environment (presentation of anticipated profile-building effect for the university, embedding in existing and planned priority areas, potential for cooperation activities, long-term development plan)
    • Work plan for the funding period
    • Differentiated information on the university’s own contributions and the structural framework conditions (e.g. workshops, archives, use of equipment, personnel concept)
    • Information on funding from other sources (projects with title, duration, scope of funding and funding institution); if applicable, differentiation from the project applied for
  4. Schedule and work plan (tabular)
  5. Price quotes for equipment (if possible, only one pdf file): In the case of large-scale equipment in accordance with Art. 91 b GG, the 50% state share must be specified as the amount (DFG large-scale equipment procedure).
  6. Institutional statement on academic qualification in accordance with the funding criteria (incl. evidence).
  7. Explanation of budget with brief justifications of the individual cost items including own contribution. The financing plan provided (see Excel file (ZIP) linked here) must be completed for this purpose.
  8. CV and list of publications
  9. (Binding) declarations of the university (agreed between the university management and the faculty and/or department and signed by these bodies) (to be uploaded in the portal under “other attachments”)
    The binding declaration should contain the following information:
    • Overall scientific orientation of the respective faculty and department
    • Content-related strategic objectives and personnel planning for the next five to ten years
    • Framework conditions and adaptation of the thematic focus of the new professorship
    • In the case of a planned waiver of a call for applications pursuant to Section 26 (1) sentence 2 no. 6 NHG:
      • Confirmation by the university after consultation in the responsible committees that a W3 position is available for permanent employment and that this is planned without need of a call for applications in accordance with Section 26 (1) sentence 2 no. 6 NHG.
      • The quality assurance concept agreed with the MWK in accordance with § 26 para. 1 sentence 2 no. 6 NHG.

4. Contact persons

Dr. Harald Barre
Phone: +49 511 83 81-247

Simone Künnecke
E-mail: Phone: +49 511 83 81-255

Volkswagen Foundation Kastanienallee 35
30519 Hanover

Status: March 2023