Call for Applications: Europe and Global Challenges


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Today, problems ranging from regional conflicts, migration, and terrorism to pandemics and financial instabilities are perceived as “global challenges”. We Europeans share these problems with the rest of the world, but do we also share a knowledge base to address them through collective action? In order to explore concrete answers to this question the European foundations Compagnia di San Paolo in Italy, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond in Sweden, and VolkswagenStiftung in Germany, launched the research programme “Europe and Global Challenges” in 2009. The three foundations are hereby issuing a second call for applications within this programme.
The research groups are free to define their respective research topics and specific research questions within the broad theme of “Global Challenges”, i.e. issues that are commonly shared in large parts of the world. The disciplinary focus within each research group should, however, be on the social sciences and/or the humanities. Inputs from other disciplines, e.g. science and medicine, might be needed to address some of the issues under examination, and can in that case be included in the application.
One of the major aims of the programme is to stimulate collaboration between researchers based in Europe and researchers from other parts of the world on a pressing global issue. Each research group must therefore include at least two research environments from different geographical regions (e.g. Europe and Latin America), of which at least one must be based in Europe. Preference will be given to proposals with a substantial inter-regional collaboration, which include contributions from various disciplines and which are innovative in covering new ground. It is up to the applicants to show why and how their proposals are feasible and why this particular research formation is appropriate for the research questions at hand.
Postdoctoral researchers and early to mid-career practitioners should play a major role among the participants. However, more experienced and established researchers will not be excluded. Given these limitations, the three foundations will exercise a flexible attitude towards different formations and ways of organizing research. It is estimated that each successful research group can receive up to Euro 1,000,000 in total for up to three years of research. Funds can be provided to pay for non-personnel expenditure (including travel costs) as well as for staff costs.
The Review Process
Note that this is a call for pre-proposals where the applicants are asked to present a short description of the proposed research activities. A review panel will then consider the pre-proposals in fall 2011 and recommend a short list of groups which will be asked to develop their proposals further. The international panel of experts will review the applications using criteria which will include the academic potential and originality of the project as well as the qualifications of the applicants and envisaged group members.
The deadline for full proposals will be in spring 2012. The review panel will then choose the most promising groups and invite them to present their projects in person at a “hearing”. Based on that review process the three foundations will make their final decisions in fall 2012.
Submission and Processing of Applications
All applications will be dealt with jointly by the three foundations. The VolkswagenStiftung will be processing the applications via its electronic application system.
Applications must be submitted in English. All grants to successful applicants can only be paid via a research institution or university. Applicants who are not members of universities or well-known research institutions should supply details on the legal status, statutes, trustees and boards, charitable/non-profit status, budgeting, and auditing of the respective institution.
The foundations do not consider applications which are pending at another funding institution, neither in the identical nor in a similar form.
Please, submit your pre-proposal using the VolkswagenStiftung’s electronic application system. The following data and documents (pdf-files) are requested:
•    Full name and office address of the applicant, intended grant administrator (one institution), indication of whether this or a similar application has been submitted to any other funding institution
•    Brief informative title of the project and total budget
•    Summary of the proposal (up to 1500 char.)
•    Description of the proposed research project (up to 5 pages or 17000 char.):
o    Aim of the project
o    Research questions to be dealt with
o    Significance for the research field
o    Policy relevance
o    Theoretical base and methodological approach
o    Participants and their tasks
o    Organization of group and expected synergy
o    Work plan
•    Budget in Euro (up to 1 page) including:
o    Research personnel
o    Other personnel
o    Travel and accommodation
o    Consumables
o    Acquisition of data and literature
This call for applications refers only to pre-proposals. Closing date is 15 September 2011.

Compagnia di San Paolo
Nicolò Russo Perez
Phone: +39 0115596981
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Fredrik Lundmark
Phone: +46 8 50626421

Wolfgang Levermann
Phone: +49 511 8381212

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