NWG - Independent Research Project

Instrument 2 Type A

NWG - Independent Research Project

Establishment of Junior Research Groups: Young scientists with independent research project

Competitive funding of young scientists with independent research projects. Establishment of an own research group and data acquisition in order to obtain extramural third-party funding. The applicant should publish the data generated in the project as "senior" or "shared senior author".

For who?

Natural scientists in the postdoc phase

Medics with a specialist's degree or forthcoming degree

  • Upper limit years after completed doctorate: Limitation to usually 4-6 years after doctorate, exceptions are possible and will be reviewed/decided individually. Parental leave is taken into account.
  • Leaders of a working group are excluded from submitting an application.

BONFOR-Funded from Instrument 1

  • Parallel funding only possible in the second funding year Instr. 1 A

Excellent scientists who have moved to the UCB from outside.

  • Habilitated individuals and scientists with their own extramural third-party funding are no longer eligible for this funding arm (exception: doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships).
© Medizinische Fakultät Bonn


Required Qualification

Scientists with a PhD degree1

  • At least 2 years of postdoctoral experience at the time of application submission (the date of the doctoral certificate is decisive).
  • Upper limit years after completed doctorate/postdoc years: limit to generally 4-6 years after doctorate, exceptions are possible and will be reviewed/decided individually. Parental leave will be taken into account.
  • If the doctoral thesis was graded cum laude, the applicant will go through a selection process in addition to the application submission (invitation to the selection interview with the BONFOR commission at the meeting date).
  • Leaders of a working group are excluded from submitting an application.

1 Note: Scientists with a PhD degree

In the case of a doctorate not recognized in Germany (including a professional doctorate acquired abroad), an application may be admitted in justified individual cases. In justified individual cases, an application may be admitted despite the absence of a doctorate if proof of doctorate-equivalent achievements can be provided in the form of a publication as first author in a quality-assured journal and the applicant can clearly demonstrate the share of his or her independent scientific work in this (listing of those results of the publication that were generated by the applicant and confirmation by signature that he or she personally carried out these results).

Award Criteria


  • The scope of the preliminary data and the applicant's publication record should be such that, if the project is successful, an extramural third-party funding application can be submitted in the second funding year at the latest.

  • At least two original papers with first or last authorship in an English-language journal recognized in the field ("peer-reviewed", at least one of which must be from the postdoctoral period).

Full-time jobat UCB

  • At the latest from the application deadline until the end of the requested funding period and at least 1 year thereafter.

2 Note: Full-time job

In the case of family-related part-time employment, different arrangements can be made. Please contact the BONFOR Coordination Office in advance for clarification.


Personnel funds
Per funding year 100% non-scientific staff or 65% doctoral position (lump sum according to the current DFG staffing rates) or SHK/ WHK (no postdoc, remuneration and scope of employment according to the SHK/WHK guidelines of the University of Bonn); please justify planned type of staff from the project.

    Travel and publication costs
    Application for funding to cover travel and publication costs is excluded.

    Max. 15,000 € per year (incl. animal costs and computer software, hardware support and technical equipment are excluded).


    Core Facility Services
    max. 3,000 € per year (exclusively CF established at UCB)

    Duration of Funding

    It is possible to apply for 12 or 24 months of funding directly, provided that a total funding period of 3 years in both instruments 1 and 2 is not exceeded (i.e. scientists can apply for a maximum of 1 junior research group year following a 2-year instrument 1 funding).

    In the case of a 24-month grant approved a priori, no interim evaluation is required.

    Continuation Funding

    If only 12 months of funding were initially requested, a continuation application for a second funding year may be submitted at one of the meeting dates, provided the total funding period is not exceeded.

    Combination Possibilities and Follow-up Funding

    Total funding period in both instruments (1A or 1B and Instr. 2): max. 3 years
    If the relevant requirements are met:

    Application for a junior research group parallel to a second Gerok year (Instr. 1A) or to a Neuro-aCSis-funding.

    Natural Scientist
    Applying for a junior research group following a 12-month 1B grant instead of a 1B continuation year.


    Step 1

    Project Application

    • Contacting the Coordination office
    • Consultation by the Team Internal Funding
    • Getting Access to the BONFOR eApplication system
    • Submission of the project application via the BONFOR eApplication system.

    Step 2

    Appraisal & Decision

    One internal and one external expert opinion, commission consultation

    Step 3

    Project Execution

    12 months with flexible term in the second funding year

    Step 4

    Evaluation & Project Presentation

    • Final report to the date of account closure
    • Documentation of external follow-up financing and publications achieved
    • Presentation of the research project at the BONFOR symposium

    Application & Deadlines

    Submission of the project application in English including mandatory and additional documents via the BONFOR eApplication system.

    Project Application

    Please use the following template to describe your project proposal (in English language):

    Please use the following document for your project proposal:

    Required Documents

    The following documents are required for your application:

    • Project Application in english language (s. template)

    • One page of summary of the research project

    • Curriculum vitae and scientific background of the applicant (with examination grades)

    • Doctoral Certificate

    • Publication List

    • Original papers (at least 2 according to the previously mentioned award criteria and published by the application deadline)

    • Declaration on the current duration of the employment contract1) (specialist contract) and job approval by the clinic/institute management (text template)

    • When applying for doctoral student funding (text submission):

      - Approval by the head of the institution for a doctoral position of at least 3 years (fallback in case of negative mid-term evaluation)

      - Supervision agreement of a university teacher for the doctoral student

    • Signed guidelines for the use of BONFOR funds.
    • Declaration Bonfor-applicant
    • Cooperation agreement(s)
    • Votum of the Ethics commission
    • Animal Testing Permit
    • Further Documentation

    Declaration of commitment

    Support of the research project by the management of the clinic or institute, documented by:

    • Workplace Agreement
      of the responsible working group management for the requested BONFOR funding period
    • Employment Contract
      or legally binding continued employment for the requested funding period as well as at least 1 year after the end of the funding period (if necessary, an extension of the employment contract can be applied for at GB1 subject to the BONFOR funding approval; please clarify details with the BONFOR office in due time and before submitting the BONFOR application).
    • Fallback Option for Doctoral Funding
      BONFOR funds can only be applied for and approved for doctoral funding if the institutions give the doctoral candidate a legally binding commitment to a minimum 3-year contract period for their doctoral position (fallback in case of negative interim evaluation).


    Grant applications may be submitted at any time, but must be submitted via the BONFOR eApplication system no later than the application deadline for the respective meeting date. 


    Avatar Racz

    PD Dr. Ildiko Racz

    Science Management - Coordination Internal Funding

    Venusberg-Campus 1

    53127 Bonn

    Avatar Schmitt

    Dr. Dorothea Schmitt

    Science Management - Coordination Internal Funding

    Venusberg-Campus 1

    53127 Bonn

    Wird geladen