PIER Seed Projects



Call is closed

Deadline for submission: 10 January 2016

Presentation of project proposal: 19 February 2016



Science is done in the scientists’ heads. Research thrives on curiosity and good ideas. The PIER Seed Projects promote any innovative, creative and unusual research idea. It is particularly aimed at qualified young scientists, enabling them to initiate, develop and implement completely new research ideas, concepts or methods. Acting as a funding instrument, the PIER Seed Projects provide rapid and non-bureaucratic seed money and start-up funding for the implementation of fresh ideas. Funding will focus on creative ideas, lateral thinking as well as risky research ideas with possibly high potential benefits.

Aim and object of the funding
The aim of the funding is to pick up good research ideas and to enable their implementation.

This funding instrument supports the identification, testing, elaboration and implementation of innovative ideas in research and development in the four PIER research fields. The funding concentrates on innovative research and development projects at an early stage where a rapid and non-bureaucratic financial support can significantly contribute to advances in knowledge.

Funding will be granted to
1) Analysis and studies of new hypotheses, new concepts and new methodological approaches.
2) Experimental research and development work on building prototypes, demonstration of the feasibility or viability as „proof of principle“, or identification and development of new areas of application.
3) Conceptual work and studies on an experiment, experimental set-up or device with high discovery and innovation potential and high benefit potential.

Conditions
The applicant must be registered as a PIER Scientist (members of the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School do not need to register as PIER Scientist). Members of the Universität Hamburg, DESY as well as members of associated partner organizations (EMBL, HPI, BNI) can apply for a funding of their project proposal. The main applicant must be a member of the Universität Hamburg or DESY.

The underlying concept must have at its core a new approach and, as such, must not be the objective of an existing funding support or a separate part of a funded third-party project.

The funding by PIER excludes institutional funding or covering budget deficits of a third-party project. Should the concept arise within the scope of a third-party project, the context of the project and the fur-ther third-party funding must be described in the project proposal.

Nature and scope of the funding
The funding is provided in the form of a non-repayable grant, covering up to 100% of project costs.

The funding focuses on project-related expenses exclusively. Personnel costs are generally not eligible.

Structure of the project proposal
A proposal of maximum five pages (including CV but without cover application form and enclosures) can be made in either German or English and has to include:

General Information (cover application form at www.pier-hamburg.de/templates):
• Project title
• Duration of project (in months); beginning of the project (at the earliest 1 March 2016)
• Contact details of main applicant
• Institute/group affiliation of main applicant
• Project partners and corresponding institutions
• Assignment to the PIER Research Fields
• Budget plan, including total sum of requested grant (budget per calendar year, including specifica-tion of own resources)

Project details:
• Summary (up to 1,500 characters (including spaces))
• Proposal description
• Project plan
• Evaluation of the chances of success; effects on future research
• Brief description of the applicant’s expertise
• The applicant’s CV and five relevant publications

Procedure
Proposals for PIER Seed Projects have to be submitted by e-mail to the PIER Office by 10 January 2016. The evaluation follows a two-stage procedure by the PIER Executive Board.

First, the project proposals will be checked for compliance with formality requirements by the PIER Office.

Each proposal will then be reviewed by both spokesmen of the related PIER research field who will then give a recommendation.

Based on those evaluations the projects that receive a funding recommendation will be invited to present their project in front of the PIER Executive Board on 19 February 2016. Based on those presentations the PIER Executive Board will make their funding decisions.

A short report has to be submitted to the PIER Office six weeks after the expiration of the funding measure. In case the report of expenditure of funds cannot be completed due to ongoing settlement procedures, missing documents will have to be filed subsequently. .

Evaluation criteria
The evaluation criteria are as follows:

• Novelty or novelty grade of the research concept, originality of approach
• Scientific quality of the research project
• Relevance of the project with regard to the objectives and contents of the PIER research fields
• Scientific qualification and applicant’s expertise
• Support of young scientists
• Quality of the project planning and structure and cost plan
• Cooperation between Universität Hamburg and DESY

Miscellaneous
PIER is a partnership between Universität Hamburg and DESY. PIER is not a legal entity. The financial sup-port of funded projects will be handled by one partner of PIER, either Universität Hamburg or DESY.

A legal claim to funding cannot be derived from the submission of a project proposal.

Funded projects are obliged to refer to the funding authority PIER when presenting the project or project results from the funded project.