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All important information on project funding as an overview

TU Darmstadt considers interdisciplinarity as part of its university culture and as a strategic research instrument. According to its guiding principle, it supports interdisciplinary cooperation in research and teaching with an emphasis on responsibility, safety and sustainability. Contributions of a natural science and engineering peace research in the context of IANUS are also part of this.

The cooperation of disciplines is not an end in itself, but is rather used to gain scientific knowledge. If a problem is of such a nature that it can only be dealt with beyond the limits of disciplines, interdisciplinary concepts encourage innovation and sustainability of research results. Problem-oriented, project-related interdisciplinarity is a crucial funding criteria.

Call for proposals 2024 - More space for your research ideas

Within the framework of the funding initiative for interdisciplinary research, TU Darmstadt offers project funding (state funding) for interdisciplinary research projects on a regular basis. In order to stimulate new research, preference is given to projects that generate new, forward-looking research collaborations and projects with the potential to acquire third-party funding.

It is also possible to submit projects on IANUS topics . They should contribute in an interdisciplinary way to the reduction of social or global conflicts and to the promotion or assurance of peaceful coexistence, respectively.

Little effort – high chances of success!
Submit a short outline of your project. A funding rate of 47% in the last four funding rounds offers you good prospects of success.

The deadline for the submission of project outlines is 1 April 2024.

FiF Film Project Funding "From the Idea to the Project Proposal"

"If you have always wanted to know how to turn an initial research idea into a funded project, you will find all the information you need in our short film

Application procedure

Standard forms for research funding

Ausschreibung 2024 / Call for proposals 2024 Ausschreibung 2024 (opens in new tab) / Call for proposals 2024 (opens in new tab)
Projektskizze 2024/ Project outline 2024 Vorlage Projektskizze 2024
Excel Vorlage Mittelaufstellung für Projektskizze / Excel template for project outline Excel Vorlage Mittelaufstellung für Projektskizze / Excel template for project outline
Einrichtung einer Projektnummer für Landesmittel / Creation of a project number for state funds Die Vorlage finden Sie auf den Seiten des Dezernat III. The template can be found on the pages of department III.
FiF-Projekte Abschlussbericht / Final report Abschlussbericht / Final Report (Word-Document)
Verwendungsnachweis Projektabschluss, Anlage zum Abschlussbericht / Statement of use project completion, annex to the final report Vorlage Verwendungsnachweis / Statement of use project completion, annex to the final report (Excel)
FiF-Logo FiF-Logo (EPS)

The most important points for your application success

Linguistic quality of the application:

1) Is your application worded in a way that is understandable even for non-experts?


2) Does the research topic include interdisciplinary research within TU Darmstadt? Only TU-internal research collaborations are permitted to apply (see information under Pk.3 Application).

3) Is your cooperation among the forms of interdisciplinarity in the sense of the working definition (see information under Pk. 11)?

4) Does the project plan of the suggested cooperation project demonstrate “real” and symmetrically structured interdisciplinarity (and not only “additive” multidisciplinarity), and are the methods of cooperation aligned to this?

5) Is this a non-routine cooperation in the participating subjects, which has already been established in the past five years and is documented in joint research proposals and projects (= strong criterion) and jointly published articles in (peer reviewed) journals (= weak criterion)?

Evaluation of the importance and innovative power of the application for TU Darmstadt:

6) Is your topic scientifically challenging, up-to-date, socially relevant and innovative?

Perspective on third-party funding:

7) Have you made concrete and plausible statements on follow-up funding?

  • Scientific quality, originality and innovativeness.
  • Participation of different disciplines appropriate to the research subject and appropriate consideration of the relevant expert discussion.
  • Description of the interdisciplinary communication and cooperation between the disciplines and the project partners.
  • Importance for the research priority set at TU Darmstadt, in particular visibility within and outside the university.
  • Necessity of funding and adequacy of need as well as prospects for subsequent funding through third-party funds.
  • Feedback and connection to teaching


Applications may be submitted by staff members from all departments of the university who have completed at least one doctorate. External researchers and visiting professors at TU Darmstadt are not entitled to submit applications. However, they can be cooperation partners of the project. The application itself has to be submitted in any case by at least two TU-internal researchers from different disciplines. No funds can be granted to external institutions or cooperation partners.

Funding will be provided

(1) the generation of interdisciplinary project work respectively the initiation, improvement, quality assurance and development of interdisciplinary cooperation, e.g. interdisciplinary publications, qualification measures, workshops

(2) Joint projects for the promotion of constitutive interdisciplinary research cooperation, e.g. interdisciplinary PhD groups.

(3) Interdisciplinary research activities which have been extended by new topics.

Authorisation Commission

The Commission organises the evaluation and decides exclusively on the approval of applications. The FiF administrative office provides organisational support to the Commission. The FiF Commission is nominated by the Senate of the TU Darmstadt, is appointed for two years and has an interdisciplinary structure. Draft proposals can be submitted in due time in electronic form to the Interdisciplinary Research Forum at fif@fif.tu-… If you have further questions regarding the call for proposals, please contact the FiF administrative office (Tel. 22130) and the members of the FiF Commission.

Draft proposal

The Germandraft poposal , maximum six pages, (page.7+ page 8 attachments,, bibliography, explanation, cost schedule), should describe the following aspects:

Explanation, aim and vision of the chosen thematic area in relation to the topic of the call for proposals

  • Explanation, aim and vision of the chosen thematic area in relation to the topic of the call for application
  • Abstract, maximum 1000 characters without blanks in English
  • State of research or deficits
  • Methodological background, work plan and integration of the project participants
  • Budget requested and context of use (human resources, equipment, other funds)
  • Estimated project period
  • Prospects for the acquisition of third-party funding must be recognisable and outlined
  • Please answer the following questions: If there are any previous activities (publications, theses) on the topic, please mention them briefly. If there are joint publications, please list them. Have you obtained joint third-party funding on the topic within the last 5 years?

When submitting the project draft digitally (stage 1), signatures are not mandatory. If your application is selected for a short presentation (stage 2), the project draft has to be updated according to the feedback from the FiF commission and submitted with a signature. Please use a digital signature or send us the signed cover sheet by internal mail.

The guidelines for the expenditure of state funds apply in principle for the use of funds in the projects.


The research funding proposals received are evaluated in a multi-stage procedure according to the criteria mentioned.

  • Step 1: project draft in German (max. six pages) with abstract in English
  • Step 2: if necessary, short presentation in front of the FiF commission
  • Step 3: project start after positive commission vote
  • Step 4: final report and final presentation in front of the FiF commission

Consultative meetings of the authorising committee with applicants are planned after a pre-selection. The FiF commission reserves the right to have applications reviewed by external experts.

External researchers and research institutions

External researchers as well as visiting professors at TU Darmstadt are not allowed to apply. They may be cooperation partners of the project. In any case, the application itself must be made by several interdisciplinary scientists within TU Darmstadt. Funding cannot be granted to external institutions or cooperation partners.

Funding period and sums

In the sense of stimulating new ideas and forming research networks, projects are funded for up to 12 months. In special cases, a “cost-neutral prolongation” can be granted (see point 6).


Applications that are received after the submission deadline cannot be considered.

If the project application includes human studies, the approval and release of the funds is subject to a positive decision of the Ethics Committee of TU Darmstadt.

In order to avoid delays, it is recommended to submit the informal application to the Ethics Committee parallel to the full proposal. The decision of the ethics committee is to be submitted to the FiF committee.

If there are any doubts regarding the compliance of the project with the civil clause of TU Darmstadt, it is recommended to obtain an evaluation from the ethics committee and present it to the FiF committee.

Each project will receive a specific identification consisting of the year and a consecutive number (e.g. 2018#15). This identification number is to be indicated in all correspondence.

The approved project duration is indicated in the letter of approval. After its receipt, it is possible at any time to ask for a “cost-neutral prolongation” of the project duration. At least one month before the end of the intended duration, a written request for a “cost-neutral prolongation of the project duration” must be sent to FiF (e-mail to fif@fif.tu…). This request has to explain why the project cannot be completed within the originally planned duration. After an examination on an individual basis, the FiF commission will decide whether the duration of the project should be extended. No funding can be booked or accounted that extends the approved period. All billing data must be within the approval period.

Fund allocation

In order to create a 401 project (state funding) and to receive the funds, please contact Department III, Mrs. Denise Peter (Tel. 24362; denise.peter@tu-…), and apply for a project number. Only one project number is issued per project. The funds are not relevant to MIR. All other project participants can request access to the account statement (Department III) and signature authorisation.

Application of funds

Use of funds must be in accordance with the approval. Funds can only be paid within the period of approval (the invoice date is valid). The invoice date may neither be before nor after the approval period. The project duration (including any agreed extension) corresponds to the duration of expenditure.

In case an application for a cost-neutral prolongation of the project duration is not presented to the FiF in time (4 weeks before the end of the project duration), the project number for the cost centre will automatically be closed at the end of the duration and the remaining funds will be collected. IANUS incubation projects are always closed after 6 months.

Mutual coverability

The funds are mutually coverable. The amounts of the expenditure types personnel and equipment can mutually reinforce each other (redisposition), as far as it helps the project. 10% of the total amount can be transferred from each expenditure type to the other without consulting the FiF Commission in advance. If a redisposition is made, the calculation must be stated and justified in the report on expenditure of funds. When using the funds, the regulations on the use of state funds must be observed. It is not possible to overdraw the funds and, if necessary, they must be balanced by other state funds. The right to review the use of funds is pointed out.

Personnel funds

In principle, the regulations on the use of state funds have to be observed.

The calculation is based on the current average staff rates (gross) of the TU Darmstadt, which are available on the intranet. This includes academic staff, academic assistants and student assistants.

The expenditure of state funds requires that the job holder(s) have been hired or continued to be employed once in the course of their previous professional career at TU Darmstadt by way of an external call for applications (public selection procedure). Otherwise, a call for applications must be made prior to employment in this project. The use of state funds also has an impact on the structure of the job description and the contract of employment, as the corresponding state law requirements have to be observed (e.g. teaching obligation regulation, time shares for independent research and hence for one's own academic qualification – e.g. doctorate or habilitation). In case you have any questions, please contact the personnel officer of your deparment.

Should these requirements lead to delays in the planned project duration, you can apply for a “cost-neutral extension of the project duration” as described in point 6.

General expenses

  • Travel expenses: These can be demanded as such.
  • Material costs: These include consumables and minor materials needed for the project. It is expected that standard equipment is available in the department or can be obtained from it.
  • Other costs: Printing costs, for example, must always be directly related to the project. Costs for the purchase of literature can only be requested in a reasonable exceptional case. It is assumed that the necessary expert literature can be acquired from existing working materials (e.g. hardware) in the department. No printing cost contributions for publications can be granted.

Calculated report on expenditure of funds

After the project has been completed, at the latest one month after the end of the project period, a calculated report on expenditure of funds must be submitted. After expiry of the funding period and presentation of the final report, any remaining funds may not be used. Unused funds must be returned if applicable.

Template for report on expenditure of funds (Excel file)

The project number will be closed automatically after the report on expenditure of funds has been verified. The result of the verification will be sent to you in writing.

Project results should be submitted to the FiF commission in a written final report (report on expenditure of funds) and additionally in a presentation (see Pk. 9). This presentation does not replace the final report.

The standard procedure involves publication of a summary on the relevant FiF website (FiF/Funding/Funded Projects). This summary has to be submitted together with the final report.

A publication in the relevant specialist, thematic, or discipline-specific journals is desired and should be documented or linked on the FiF website (“Funded Research Projects”) for project funding.

If a strong public interest in the project is recognisable, the organisation of a public event together with FiF is also recommended.

The final report (Word-Docx) is a short report based on the criteria of the FiF commission and has to be prepared using the templates provided for this purpose (final report and report on expenditure of funds).

In addition to the presentation of the project, it must include an abstract in German and English, describing the goals and procedures, presenting the results, the calculated report on the expenditure, and a summary of the project results for presentation on the website.

It is not necessary to sign the final report, which is to be sent to FiF without further notice one month after completion of the project at the latest ().

Please express the results in a generally comprehensible language (font size 11), so that even a non-expert reader can understand them. The focus should be set on a constructive and critical discussion of the results. What was the original goal? Which results were achieved? Which questions remain open?

9.1 Final presentation in front of the FiF commission

The date for your final presentation (totally 30 minutes, 20 minutes presentation with following 10 minutes discussion) within the framework of an FiF commission meeting will be arranged by the FiF office. Please submit the presentation slides one week before the agreed meeting date and answer the following questions on the last pages of your presentation:

  • 1. Have new future-oriented cooperations been established?
  • 2. Have the project goals been achieved?
  • 3. What has been done to obtain follow-up financing?
  • 4. Which publications have resulted from the project? Have any spin-offs, patents etc. evolved from the project?
  • 5. How do you evaluate the feedback of the results into interdisciplinary teaching concepts?
  • 6. Miscellaneous

9.2 Calculated proof of use

After completion of the project, an calculated proof of use must be submitted at the latest one month after expiry of the project duration as specified in the approval without further request. Remaining funds may no longer be used. Unused funds may have to be returned.

If an application for a cost-neutral prolongation of the project duration is not submitted to the FiF in due time (4 weeks before the end of the project duration), the project number for the cost centre will automatically be closed at the end of the duration and the remaining funds will be collected. IANUS incubation projects are closed after 6 months in any case.

A template for creating the calculated proof of use (excel file) can be found at the bottom of this pace in the table with all relevant forms.

FiF website

Funded projects are obliged to provide information on the project for presentation on theFiF website . Important publications during or after completion of the project should be listed and/or linked here.


If there is a strong public interest in the project, a public event with FiF is appreciated.

Project poster

In special cases the preparation of a poster for the project is also requested.

1.) Interdisciplinarity is created in the cooperative approach to problems that cannot be handled by individual disciplines. A characteristic feature of interdisciplinarity is the problem-oriented cooperation in research groups that are composed of different disciplines.

2.) Disciplines have different methodological and subject-related approaches to each other. There is a long tradition of cooperation between some disciplines and not between others. Especially the support of cooperation between disciplines that are not familiar with each other and/or rarely cooperate is strategically interesting. For this purpose, a pragmatic distinction is made between “small”, “medium” and “large” interdisciplinarity:

  • Small interdisciplinarity is the cooperation of two or more (a) closely related or (b) traditionally often cooperating disciplines.
  • Medium interdisciplinarity is the cooperation of two or more disciplines in which (a) natural scientists and engineers or (b) social scientists and humanists cooperate.
  • Large [“broad”] interdisciplinarity is the cooperation of two or more disciplines from engineering or natural sciences on the one hand and social sciences or humanities on the other hand.

You can find some examples of cooperation possibilities in our list of projects that have been supported by FiF up to now.

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