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What are the requirements for proposals?

  • Proposals can cover the following areas: natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, medical, technical, or environmental sciences.
  • Proposals must state clearly how the approach addresses at least one of the following aspects of the Grand Challenge:
  1. emerging innovations: e.g. technologies, procedures, philosophical perspectives, social practices.
  2. barriers to innovation/transformation: e.g. causes of rejection and conflicts/increase of acceptance
  3. inclusive innovation/transformation: e.g. transfer, marginalised knowledge, global cooperation
  4. acting in times of uncertainty: e.g. disinformation, resilience
  • Proposals must present transdisciplinary collaborations [1] between researchers and relevant non-scientific stakeholders from e.g. industry, non-governmental organisations, the political sector, the cultural sector, or civil society.
  • The application must include applicants from at least two BUA institutions. In the interest of supporting the careers of early stage researchers, consortia are encouraged to include at least one early-career researcher (postdoc, junior professor).
  • Applicant consortia must include at least one applicant from a non-scientific organisation who supports the application by a letter of intent.
  • Proposals must explore the relevance of societal inequalities and discrimination for Responsible Innovation in Times of Transformation. In line with the DFG-guidelines, appropriate consideration of sex and gender dimensions and other diversity dimensions in the development of research questions and the formation of hypotheses and theories helps to enhance the scientific quality of research results. Should sex and gender as well as other diversity dimensions not be relevant to a project in terms of content or methodology, please state so in the proposal.
  • Projects should state their commitment to a research culture which strives for diversity in the research team as well as values diversity of opinions, perspectives, and experiences. The projects should aim at advancing an integrative academic community in which all members are equally valued and integrated, and able to pursue their intellectual goals.
  • Applications must adhere to Open Science principles (see also: BUA’s mission statement for Open Science).
  • Proposals must present a plan towards a follow-up application aiming at acquiring third-party funding for the period beyond October 2026.

[1] The Berlin University Alliance understands transdisciplinarity to mean approaching research questions from several perspectives in critical reflection together with non-scientists and/or non-academic partners (cf. Transdisciplinarity: Between mainstreaming and marginalization. Ecological Economics, 79, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.04.017, p. 1-10.