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Flexi Funds

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Flexi Funds

The Research Campus of Central Hessen has the goal of strengthening regional collaborations in research and the support of early-career researchers. It creates future-oriented structures focused on promoting cutting-edge research. Flexi Funds are the funding format of the Research Campus to support this goal.


Flexi Funds serve as start-up funding for joint research initiatives by researchers of Justus Liebig University, Philipps-Universität Marburg, and the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences.


In the following, you will find information on


Prerequisites for Funding

  • Ideally, researchers from all three universities of the Research Campus of Central Hessen collaborate on the research project. Researchers from at least two universities of the Research Campus who hold a doctorate must participate in the initiative. One of the Research Campus universities must be the designated lead university for the application. Applicants and spokespersons must belong to faculties and/or academic centres of the three universities of the Research Campus.
  • The research initiative must have the potential to result in a joint research project with a nationally or internationally recognized third-party grant organization within a reasonable time frame. Initiatives aimed at individual grant programmes (e.g., DFG Research Grants) are not eligible for Flexi Funds. Initiatives that are developed beyond the conceptual stage (and are thus ready for direct submission with the grant organization) are not eligible for Flexi Funds either.
  • The applying team must consist of several researchers and pool together the necessary critical mass of participants from the participating institutions for a successful application for the third-party grant format.

    Exceptions can be made in an early conceptual phase of the research initiative, when applicants seek funding for networking measures to build the research team and secure the critical mass. In this case, the application must clearly illustrate which competences - in terms of discipline and/or methods – need to be added to the team and which concrete measure for preparing the joint research initiative and the third-party research grant application should be funded by Flexi Funds (see also information on repeated funding of a project).

    Researchers from other institutions (outside the Research Campus) can be included in the research team if necessary; however, they cannot receive support from the Flexi Funds.

    Applications by individual researchers are not eligible for Flexi Funds.
  •  Research projects from all disciplines and research areas are eligible for Flexi Funds.


Type, Duration, and Scope of Funding

  • You can apply for funding for travel, materials and/or personnel costs, for example for research residency, workshops, networking events and short-term resource additions. You can also apply for funding of (large scale) equipment if it is necessary for the preparation of the third-party research grant proposal. It has to be located at one of the universities of the Research Campus. Activities that are to be financed from the university's basic budget are not eligible for Flexi Funds, e.g. costs for evaluation procedures.
  • Duration: Flexi Funds must have been spent or committed by December 31, 2022.
  • Receiving funding twice for the same project at different stages is possible, for example if a networking workshop during the first stage is necessary to reach the necessary critical mass of participants and in the next round the funding of additional personnel costs to prepare the third-party grant proposal.
  • The amount and duration of the funds granted depend on the scope of the planned third-party joint research project. The total budget per round is €250,000.


Selection Criteria

  1.  Prerequisites described above
  2. Quality and innovativeness of research initiative
  3. Proven expertise and research profile of all members of the research initiative in accordance with the current status of their academic career and with the funding criteria of the third-party grant organization
  4. Experience of spokesperson of intended joint research project in managing joint research projects
  5. Establishment or use of infrastructural synergy
  6. Where applicable, support of early-career researchers


 Instructions for Applying

  • Please describe the proposed project in a way that it is generally comprehensible, also for reviewers outside of your field of research. Please avoid discipline-specific abbreviations.
  • Flexi Funds are earmarked for the support of initiatives that will result in a concrete project proposal submitted to a third-party grant organization; they are not intended for the direct funding of research projects.
  • Please describe the planned steps and milestones you aim to achieve during the Flexi Funds funding period on the path to a joint external funding project precisely (cf. application form , under “work programme”).
  • Please describe the current state of research: Your application must show that the research team has undertaken the necessary preliminary work for the preparation of the grant proposal. Please also document current collaborations and networks.
  • The funds requested must be justified in the budget plan (cf. application form) and the amount of funding requested must be justified.
  • One person must be designated as the spokesperson for the joint research project. The spokesperson can be identical with the main applicant of the Flexi Funds initiative, yet must be experienced in the management of joint research project.


Applications should not exceed 10 pages and can be written in German or English. Only complete applications will be considered for funding.

Please attach an academic CV of each person participating in the research initiative, including the intended spokespersons for the joint research project. The CV must contain a list of the ten most important publications as well as an overview of your successful applications for third-party funding.



+++ In 2021, a one-time only extra call for proposals will be offered. The deadline is November 15, 2021 +++


Propoals can be submitted twice a year (March 1 or September 1) to the Board of Directors of the Research Campus of Central Hessen via the Management Office.


Please note that the last scheduled round for Flexi Funds will take place in autumn 2021.


Funding decisions are usually made within eight weeks after the submission deadline.


Please submit your application within the application period to the Management Office of the Research Campus. Only complete applications submitted within the application period will be considered.


Selection Process

The Research Council of the Research Campus will review all submitted applications and advise the Board of Directors of the Research Campus of Central Hessen. The Board will decide the distribution of funds.


The approval rate as well as the project titles and the names of the main applicants who are elected for funding will be published on the website of the Research Campus.




The approval is bound to the following conditions:

  • Applicants must provide a report on the development of the research initiative, specifically on the submission of the proposal for the intended joint research project with the third-party grant organization,
  • Applicants must render account for the budget and the use of the funds granted.
  • The Research Campus of Central Hessen must be named as a supporting institution and its logos used on leaflets, posters and any other publications in relation to the funded initiative.


By accepting the grant, applicants furthermore agree to participate in evaluation measures (e.g. interim appraisals).




The Management Office of the Research Campus and the members of the Research Council support you during your application process. We recommend that you seek advice early in your application process.