05 Focus Projects

Call of the Central Research Development Fund (CRDF)

Focus projects offer the opportunity to work on research projects together with doctoral candidates and thus increase the chances of success for later acquisition of third-party funding.  If the quality of the applications is good enough, priority will be given to projects that establish international collaborations for the first time and on projects led by scientists in an earlier career stage who can thus gain experience in the independent management of research projects. Moreover, another goal of this funding line is to support the humanities.

The University of Bremen combines the call for proposals for Central Research Funding (ZF) 2023 with a content-related focus on far-reaching interdisciplinarity and the ability to overcome subject boundaries (research diversity). This stimulus is intended to stimulate new and innovative forms of collaboration. This can take place both within the areas currently designated as natural sciences and engineering or social sciences and humanities, or across these divisional boundaries. In this way, the university would like to bring its interdisciplinary strength to the fore.

WHO CAN APPLY? Researcher and Lecturer with tenure track, permanent and fixed-term postdoctoral researchers and "Lektoren" wih a PhD, as well as fixed-term junior research group leaders. Moreover, first appointed professors up to three years after their appointment to the University of Bremen and Tenure Track W1-professors. All applicants with a fixed-term contract need to be employed at the University of Bremen at least until the end of the project applied for.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS? Innovative research project of high quality, suitable both for the integration of a new doctoral project and for the preparation of further third-party funding.

FUNDING CONDITIONS: A focus project includes a doctoral position for a period of three years as well as a research budget of up to 3,000 EUR per year. In financing the doctoral positions, the CRDF follows the DFG guidelines for the payment of doctoral candidates. The CRDF allocates either 75 % or 100 % positions. The PhD position includes a teaching load of 1,5 hours (75 %) up to 2 hours (100 %) per week (SWS), depending on the contract. Any previously approved focus project has to be fully completed before applying for a new one. Persons whose positions are funded by the CRDF funding line 04 “Independent Projects for Postdocs” are not eligible to apply. Applicants must have the permission to supervise doctorates. Please get in touch with the relevant Doctoral Committee in time, if neccessary.

PROCEDURE: The call for focus projects is open once a year. Funding is available for four focus projects with one doctoral position each. The four focus projects will be distributed equally between the natural sciences and engineering on the one hand, and the social sciences and humanities on the other hand. Moreover, at least one of the funded projets shall be located in the field of humanities in the narrower sense.

Decision-making: The University's Research Funding Committees (BFK Nawi and BFK Sowi) review the incoming applications, obtein external reviews for suitable projects and recommend the shortlisted projects to the University's Rectorate for decision.

Application Deadline


This invitation to tender is subject to the proviso that sufficient CRDF funds are available.

The University of Bremen supports the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID). ORCID is a free, not-for-profit service offering each researcher a unique digital identifier. This helps researchers to distinguish their work and helps funders link researcher output to funding.  If you apply for CRDF funding, we will ask for your ORCID identifier. 
If you have no ID yet, please visit ORCID.


Natural Sciences and Engineering

Corinna Volkmann
Phone +49 421 218-60321 E-Mail
Building SFG, Room 3130

Social Sciences and Humanities

Petra Schreiber
Phone +49 421 218-60319 E-Mail
Building SFG, Room 3230

Criteria for the assessment of applications

The Research Funding Committees and the Rectorate of the University of Bremen assess the applications based on the following criteria:

  •  Originality of the project
  •  Impact of the project (for example, socio-political, regional, transfer-relevant)
  •  Convincing justification of the research question/hypotheses
  •  Convincing reference to the state of research
  •  Expected knowledge gain
  •  Previous publications in the thematic area of the proposal (quality, number, significance taking into account peer review procedures,
     and sole or first authorship, if relevant in your discipline)
  •  Plausible selection of methods/procedures and feasibility
  •  Detailed and feasible work schedule and timetable as well as adequate financing plan
  •  Soundness of the preparatory work
  •  Suitability of the project as a basis for a doctoral project
  •  Opportunities of the project for further third-party funding