FAU is one of the strongest and most reputable research universities in Germany, boasting a large number of outstanding academic approaches and perspectives. Moreover, as a so-called 'full university', it brings all disciplines together under one roof. Short distances are extremely conducive to interdisciplinary collaborations. FAU thus offers perfect conditions for the generation of innovative ideas, which often emerge at the interface between several disciplines and span different fields of research.
Such unconventional, and at times risky, ideas are what advances scientific research and at the same time has positive effects on teaching. However, despite their great potential in terms of future development and success, these projects do usually not receive funding from traditional sources, at least not in their early stages. Therefore, FAU launched its Emerging Fields Initiative (EFI) in 2010.
The EFI aims to promote outstanding, preferably interdisciplinary research projects at an early stage and in a flexible and non-bureaucratic way. In doing so, the EFI aims to enable renowned FAU researchers to put visionary ideas into practice and thus to react more quickly and more effectively to upcoming challenges. A strict selection process guarantees the high quality of all projects, approaches and researchers funded within the scheme.
This internal funding scheme for excellent research will increase FAU's reputation as a leading university and enhance its attraction by highlighting FAU's unique selling points, increasing FAU's attraction as an employer for excellent researchers both from Germany and from abroad, and expanding FAU's strategic alliances with key partners
EFI - A successful strategy measure at FAU
18 ambitious EFI projects from all five faculties already emerged from the first two calls for proposals. Currently they are funded by FAU with around 12.4 million Euros.
EFI established itself at FAU as profitable strategical measure. Even before handing in their final report, the six financially funded projects of the first call can provide a total of more than 260 publications, several patents and 40 third-party projects; 17 collaborative proposals are in preperation at this moment. It is notable, that three of these projects have already raised a multiple of their own funding amount in terms of competitive external funds.