Profile area "Bright minds for Lower Saxony”

Lower Saxony professorships Funding line 3: Lower Saxony Profile Professorship 

area of research: all
type of funding: funding of individuals - additional resources
funding amount: based on the individually calculated requirements
funding term: up to 5 years

1. Background

The core of the zukunft.niedersachsen program comprises a coordinated combination of funding for individuals, projects and infrastructure. The goal is to position Lower Saxony’s science landscape for emerging transformation processes optimally and to strengthen its domestic and international competitiveness permanently.

The three funding lines of the “Lower Saxony Professorships” are designed to attract high-caliber international research scholars and high-performing early career researchers to university locations in Lower Saxony as well as to retain profile-defining research personalities at the location.

2. Funding objective

Funding line 3 “Lower Saxony profile professorship” addresses the recruitment and retention of outstanding personalities (“profile professorships” at universities, usually W3, or W2 professorships at universities of applied sciences). Such personalities are seen as capable of making a decisive contribution to developing or sharpening subject profiles in research, education or transfer at universities in the state of Lower Saxony. Applications can be submitted at any time to the MWK (Ref. 12) by the management of the respective university in Lower Saxony.

3. Funding offer

3.1. Eligible for funding

Universities in the state of Lower Saxony are eligible to apply in accordance with Section 2 of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (NHG).

3.2 Eligibility criteria

The application should provide information on the following points in particular:

  • Qualifications and research profile of the person, in particular demonstrated by
    • publications
    • third-party funding
    • academic career to date
    • awards and prizes
  • Embedding the professorship in the university’s strategic framework, in particular contribution to profile building and networking as well as to translation and transfer,
  • Integration of the professorship in cross-institute and cross-university, possibly also non-university structures or research contexts,
  • Possible contributions to collaborative research projects in a national or international context.
3.3 Type and duration of funding

Additional funding for up to 5 years can be applied for in all subject areas by means of individual funding. The university is expected to make a contribution of around 50 percent of the total funding amount (around 50% zukunft.niedersachsen, around 50% 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 equipment over and above the basic funding.

Funding can be provided in particular for the following items:

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

4. Application and assessment

Applications can be submitted at any time to the MWK (Ref. 12) by the management of the respective university in Lower Saxony. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis by repres entatives of the Academic Advisory Commission of Lower Saxony, the MWK and the Volkswagen Foundation.

5. The following attachments must be submitted as PDF files:

  1. Cover letter 
  2. Proposal presentation (no more than 15 pages in total, 12 pt, 1.5 lines).
    In particular, the application should contain the following information:
    • Strategic embedding of the professorship in the university and its environment (Presentation of the special profile formation for the university, embedding in existing and existing and planned priorities, potential for cooperation, long-term development plan).
    • Differentiated information on the university’s additional own contributions as part of the appointment or retention negotiations and on the structural framework conditions and basic equipment (e.g. workshops, archives, use of equipment, personnel concept)
  3. Quotes for equipment (whenever possible, only one pdf file): For 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).
  4. Schedule and budget-explanations with brief justifications of the individual cost items including institution’s own contribution. The finance plan must be completed in the Excel file provided.
  5. CV and list of publications.

6. Contact

If you have any questions about the program, please contact

Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur
Referat 12
Ute Rocker
Leibnizufer 9
30169 Hannover
Phone: 0511/120 – 2443

März 2023