Even though our application process is relatively informal, there are a few things that are important:
Applications should reach us by email (vorstandavbstiftungde). Applications sent by conventional mail require more work and lead to higher costs (stamps, office materials, storage space, etc.). They will reduce our support budget and lengthen the time we need to process applications.
Each application is evaluated individually in the first round. All applications that make it into the second round are presented for final approval to the Board of Curators of the Foundation. Since the first-round evaluation requires some time, it may take a few weeks before you hear from us. The number of applications reaching us may also influence our turnaround times. Our Board normally meets twice a year. Unfortunately, therefore, we cannot accept applications that require immediate decisions (a few weeks or days). Please plan your financial requirements well in advance.
Please do not send envelopes with catalogues, small libraries, collections of CD-ROMs etc. If we need any originals, supporting data or documents, or similar kinds of additional material we will contact you.
Please include an abstract (length about 10 lines) of your proposed work. We need this for our database.
Please include useful references in your application (CV, school reports and/or transcripts (if applicable), letters of recommendation, etc.)Please keep your application brief and concise, but with all relevant details and information, including your budget, your planned schedule, your sources of financing, and the exact amount you are requesting. Some of the best applications we received have often not been longer than three pages.
Our most important criterion in deciding on whether we can support your project is that your proposed goals are in line with our Foundation's objectives. You can find these on our home page. Our principal aim is the dismantling of barriers between disciplines and areas of knowledge, especially those that normally have no or only very little previous contact or association. You should clearly show how and to what extent this can be accomplished by your project, and how the various disciplines involved in your proposed work will mutually reinforce or strengthen each other.
The philosopher Schopenhauer once said, "Use common words to say uncommon things." We discourage the use of fancy-sounding scientific terms where plain language will do just as well. Write clearly, concisely, and unambiguously in an everyday, understandable language. Whoever wants to communicate between disciplines can only do so in a language that can be understood by any newspaper reader.
With the acceptance of financial support by the Foundation and upon completion of the proposed project, the recipient of funds agrees to evaluate and present the interdisciplinary character of his project. First, this will take the form of a so-called learning paper which describes the problems and benefits derived from the interaction of the different disciplines in his or her project, the difficulties that were encountered, and how these were overcome or not overcome, what the critical success factors were etc. The idea is for others to profit from this experience. The learning paper does not need to be long, perhaps five to ten pages, but should be in a publishable form. The Foundation collects these papers and publishes them over time either in appropriate media, in an in-house newsletter or on the internet.
Second, recipients of Foundation support are expected to give a short talk on their learning papers at conferences that the Foundation organizes occasionally and that are attended by other Foundation alumni or the general public. In this way, we hope to contribute to an exchange of ideas and experiences in the field of interdisciplinarity, which will also be made available to the general public. The participation in such conferences will be subject to separate financing by the Foundation.