Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

For all project calls, researchers should apply via their host research institution in Vienna. In the case of Vienna Research Groups, the application is submitted via a proponent at a Viennese university/research institution. More details regarding eligibility are specified in the documents for each respective call. Research institutions include both universities and non-university research institutions. In the case of natural persons, however, an institutional integration appropriate to the planned project size is a prerequisite for funding. As a rule, the main applicants are based at Viennese universities and research institutions or will be active at these institutions after the start of the project.

How are panels assembled?

Unlike many national research funders, the WWTF uses a call-specific jury system in selecting projects for funding. This means that decisions regarding scientific content are made exclusively by an international jury panel that is assembled specifically for each call. The members of the panel are exclusively international experts in areas relevant to the particular call. While panel members mostly come from academia, individuals from industry research may also be invited. In all cases, great emphasis is placed on the high scientific reputation of call jury members. The call juries have full authority to evaluate the content of the projects and, on the basis of these evaluations, to make funding recommendations to the WWTF boards. The jury are supported in its decision-making processes by expert peer reviews, but are not bound by these individual evaluations. The assembly of each jury panel involves input from the WWTF boards, especially the Advisory Board.

How are proposals reviewed?

WWTF guidelines stipulate a minimum of two expert opinions for each proposal. As a rule, WWTF obtains at least three, usually four, reviews per proposal. The main criteria for selection of reviewers are their expertise in the topic, as well as their research experience. Reviewers are exclusively international (i.e., based outside of Austria) and may not exhibit any conflict of interest (no current collaborations, no co-publications in the last five years). Applicants can propose reviewers during the application process; the jury panel will also suggest reviewers. Reviews are collected by the WWTF office. Upon communiation of the final funding decision, all expert opinions are made available to the applicants in anonymous form.

Funding Decision

WWTF calls are generally very competitive, and the large number of excellent researchers in Vienna usually exceeds the limited capacity of the call budget. This means that an application's rejection does not imply that the project is not qualitatively good; rather, it means that the project did not prevail in competition with other submitted applications. Due to funding calls being run each year with specific and varying topics, immediate resubmission of a rejected application is generally not possible. In case of another WWTF call corresponding to the topic of the application, rejected applications may be resubmitted. These will then be handled as new, original applications.

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