The Central Research Fund (ZFF)

The Central Research Fund (German: Zentraler Forschungsfonds (ZFF)) offers support for preparing third-party funding proposals for all researchers at the University of Kassel and promotes collaborations between the different faculties and the Kunsthochschule. The ZFF comprises seven funding lines with different priorities and target groups, funding for instance individual projects by early career researchers, collaborative research initiatives and the exploration of innovative research ideas. Depending on the funding line, material and personnel costs are financed. The Research Service organizes information events on the funding lines and the submission process throughout the year. The ZFF replaces the university's previous funding programs under the Central Support and the Future program lines.

The different funding lines at a glance:

GoalsThe funding line Coop encourages interdisciplinary collaboration by the faculties with the Kunsthochschule.
FocusThis funding line targets projects from which opportunities for a long-term collaboration arise.
Target GroupAll researchers at the University of Kassel who are planning an interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the Kunsthochschule are eligible to apply. At least one PI must be a member of the Kunsthochschule.
ScopeMaximum funding is 10,000 €, which can be used for material and travel costs as well as hiring student assistants. The maximum funding duration is one year.
SubmissionThe proposal is submitted via Converis.
Deadline1 May, and in case there are remaining funds, a second deadline is possible for 1 November
Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Active support of early career researchers
  • Contribution of the research project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics
  • Potential to establish a long-term interdisciplinary cooperation

 

GoalThe funding line Project is intended to support researchers in preparing a proposal for individual third-party funding
FocusThis funding line targets projects with chances of submitting a promising individual third-party funding proposals.
Target GroupAll researchers of the University of Kassel, in particular researchers in the second and third qualification phase (R2+R3) are eligible to apply.
ScopeMaximum funding is 10,000 €, which can be used for material and travel costs as well as hiring student assistants. The maximum funding duration is one year
SubmissionThe proposal is submitted via Converis.
Deadline1 May /  1 November
Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Potential to acquire third-party funds in order to ensure a permanent funding
  • Promotion of young researchers
  • Contribution of the research  project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics

 

GoalThe funding line Individually Qualified supports applicants who are preparing promising proposals for individual excellence and for junior researcher programs (such as DFG-Emmy Noether, ERC SG).
FocusThis funding line targets projects with chances to submit a promising proposal for the above-mentioned programs.
Target GroupAll researchers (especially in their second and third qualification phase; R2+R3) are eligible for funding who would like to locate their third-party funded project at the University of Kassel. Only members of the University of Kassel can apply for the first preparatory year.
Scope

Maximum funding is 20,000 € for the preparatory year, and it can be used for material and travel costs as well as student assistants. The funding duration is one year.

Individually qualified (Success): In case the third party funding is approved, additional funding of up to 200,000 € can be made available. This funding can be used flexibly for staff or material costs within the funded project. The funding can also be used to secure the contract of the applicant after the external funding period; the decision on how the funds are spend must be made in advance.

Submission

The proposal is submitted via Converis.

Individually qualified (Success): External applicants, who would like to apply for the 200,000 € are asked to contact the Research Support.

Deadline

Proposals for the preparatory year can be submitted until 15 May and 15 October.

Individually qualified (Success): The application for the additional funding should be submitted before the third-party proposal is handed in.

Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Potential to acquire third-party funds in order to ensure a permanent funding
  • Active support of young researchers
  • Contribution of the research project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics
GoalThe funding line Pilot supports projects and Blue Sky initiatives and aims for opening up fundamentally new and under-researched areas that lie outside existing research directions or scientific paradigms.
FocusThis funding line targets innovative, under-studied topics and is intended to seed a promising third-party proposal.
Target GroupAll professors of the University of Kassel are eligible for funding.
ScopeMaximum funding is 100,000 € and can be used for staff, travel and material. The funding duration is between 6 and 18 months.
SubmissionThe proposal is submitted via Converis.
Deadline15 May  / 15 October
Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Potential to acquire third-party funds in order to ensure a permanent funding
  • Active support of early career researchers
  • Contribution of the research project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics
  • Originality and Innovative power of the project
  • Scientific and technological contribution for a long-term research vision
  • Possible knowledge gain in case of failure

 

GoalThe funding line Cluster supports collaborative projects that advance the thematic focus in line with the University of Kassel's development plan and thus contribute to the medium-term excellence capability.
Focus

This funding line targets projects, which aim for submitting a funding draft for a collaborative proposal (SFB/GRK/TRR) within the last year of funding.

Target GroupAll professors of the University of Kassel can apply when aiming for a collaborative research project with the University of Kassel as lead institution.
ScopeMaximum funding is 70,000 € per year and can be used for staff, travel and material. Project duration is between 18 and 36 months.
SubmissionThe proposal is submitted via Converis.
Deadline15 May / 15 October
Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Potential to acquire third-party funds in order to ensure a permanent funding
  • Active support of young researchers
  • Contribution of the research project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics
GoalThe funding line Bridge supports initiatives that have been invited to submit a full proposal for a collaborative research project (GRK/SFB/TRR) in order to foster the evaluation and – if applicable – a quick project start.
FocusThis funding line targets projects that aim for developing a full proposal for a collaborative research initiative.
Target GroupAll professors of the University of Kassel can apply when aiming for a collaborative research project with the University of Kassel as lead institution.
ScopeThe maximum funding sum is 150,000 €, which can be spent on staff, travel and material costs.
SubmissionThe proposal is submitted to the Research Support directly together with the invitation to submit a full proposal of the third-party funding organisation.
DeadlineA submission is possible at any time.
Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Potential to acquire third-party funds in order to ensure a permanent funding
  • Active support of young researchers
  • Contribution of the research project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics
GoalThe funding line Focus supports collaborative initiatives in enhancing draft proposals through external coaching and thus promotes coherence in the proposal.
FocusThe aim of this funding line is to arrange workshops with external coaches to promote group cohesion and draft writing.
Target GroupProfessors of the University of Kassel intending to write a collaborative research proposal are eligible for the funding.
ScopeMaximum funding is 5,000 € and can be spent on coaching, seminars or travel costs.
SubmissionThe proposal is submitted via the Research Support with reference to existing work.
DeadlineA submission is possible at any time.
Selection criteria
  • Scientific quality of the proposal
  • Potential to acquire third-party funds in order to ensure a permanent funding
  • Active support of young researchers
  • Contribution of the research project to strengthening the main research foci of the University of Kassel
  • Contribution to promoting new research topics

 

Decision procedure

The Research Committee deliberates on all funding applications – with the exception of the program lines Bridge and Focus. For projects in the funding lines Pilot and Cluster, a personal presentation to the committee by the PIs of the proposal is necessary in order to give the committee members the opportunity to ask questions. Following the review, the committee submits a funding recommendation for each program line to the University's Presidential Board. Once the Presidential Board has taken a formal decision to award the grant, the project may commence.


For all procedures advised by the committee, the Research Support prepares short reports, which are made available to the applicants via the research information portal Converis.

Reporting requirement

Funding from the ZFF is associated with a reporting obligation. For one-year projects, a report must be submitted on the research information portal Converis after the end of the funding period. For projects with a duration of 12+ months, annual interim reports are mandatory with further funds only to be released once the report on the previous year has been received. A reminder to submit the annual or final report is automatically released via Converis.

Advice for Converis

For submitting applications via Converis, we recommend keeping your own profile up-to-date in the research portal. Click here to log in.

Advice for Converis: Forward

FAQ's

Overview of questions and answers related to the Central Research Fund (ZFF)

For further questions regarding the individual program lines, please contact our team. At Research Support, Dr. Anna Bauer is responsible for ZFF.