06B Interdisciplinary Exploration Projects

Call of the Central Research Development Fund (CRDF)

Interdisciplinary exploration projects support highly relevant, innovative research beyond the boundaries of specialist disciplines. The funding line serves to overcome disciplinary boundaries and to open up new fields of research through interdisciplinary cooperation. The funded projects are generously resourced and can be conducted without strict guidelines.

The assumption is that especially in the cooperation between the natural and engineering sciences on the one hand and the social sciences and the humanities on the other, there are many highly relevant research topics that cannot be clearly assigned to any single discipline and thus receive little systematic support in the classical funding formats. The University of Bremen wants to create a new format here.

WHO CAN APPLY? Professors of the University of Bremen and postdocs employed at the University of Bremen for at least the duration of the proposed project. The Rectorate specifically encourages female academics to apply. Interdisciplinary exploration projects are team projects: Two researchers have to hand in one joint application. Postdocs can only apply together with a professor. To increase collaboration across faculties, one researcher must come from the field of the natural sciences and engineering (faculties 1-5) and the other from the field of the social sciences and the humanities (faculties 6-12).

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS? Within the framework of an interdisciplinary exploration project, the research must address highly relevant issues at the intersection of the natural and engineering sciences on the one hand and the social sciences and the humanities on the other. This should result in international publications with an interdisciplinary perspective in high-ranking journals and – in subjects in which monographs continue to be the standard – among renowned publishers. The project should strengthen a high-profile area of the University of Bremen. Therefore, the project must be related to at least one of the University’s high-priority areas.

FUNDING CONDITIONS: The interdisciplinary exploration project will receive up to 100,000 Euro per year for two years (option 1) or a fulltime Postdoc position and up to 40,000 Euro in total for two years (option 2). The funds can be used freely, for example for devices, guests from abroad, and student assistants or, only in option 1, for the financing of a replacement for a research sabbatical (one semester during the project only). Any previously approved exploration project has to be completed before applying for a new one. 

PROCEDURE: Within the framework of the Central Research Development Fund two exploration projects can be funded. Projects in funding line 06A “Exploration Projects on New Topics” as well as “Interdisciplinary Exploration Projects” of funding line 06B are considered together. An Interdisciplinary Commission makes the selection in a competitive process. The Commission is made up of members of the University‘s Research Funding Committees for the Natural Sciences and Engineering and for Social Sciences and Humanities. Based on external reviews the Interdisciplinary Commission recommends suitable projects to the Rectorate of the University for decision. Calls for this funding line are planned every two years.

Deadline for Application

No call in 2023


Guidelines for Applicants


Application Form

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.


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

Criteria for the assessment of applications

The interdisciplinary commission formed by the Faculty Research Commissions and the Rectorate Executive Board of the University of Bremen review applications on the basis of the following criteria:

  •  Interdisciplinary orientation and innovation potential
  •  Potential for “scientific breakthrough” with regard to the state of research
  •  Adequacy of the outlined approach
  •  Potential knowledge gain and relevance of the findings
  •  Previous academic achievements of the applicant