Calls for proposalsInitial call for proposals

EMS is an emerging field that builds on the smart use of natural or synthetic molecules to design advanced functional materials, methods, technologies, devices and therapies. It places emphasis on the integration of molecular components with specific electronic, optical, chemical, biological and biomedical properties into mesoscopic and/or macroscopic functional systems. Such attempts fail when thinking only in traditional scientific fields and thus the new field of EMS has the potential to shift the engineering paradigm to interdisciplinary and integrative approaches. It has the potential to create societal impact in many areas, such as in

  • Materials Engineering with applications in diagnostics, drug discovery and delivery, sensors, machines, clean energy or environmental technologies
  • Engineering of vaccines and cells with e.g. pathogen-fighting capabilities
  • Engineering and developing of new kinds of algorithms for data processing 

Project requirements

The Flagship Engineering Molecular Systems (Fl_EMS) requests project proposals with the following requirements:

  • Interdisciplinary, i.e. at least two applicants from different research fields.
  • Description of targeted translation from basic science into application with societal impact, including timeline.
  • Applications by non-tenured research group leaders are strongly encouraged. Funding of own position is not possible.

Scope and duration of funding

Possible Funding: Up to EUR 150,000 per project (examples but not mandatory are personal, material expenses, investment); funding period 1-2 years. Special additional contributions are expected by tenured research groups. Small as well as large projects are welcome. 

Funding Start: Possibly 1 September 2020

Funding and funding size of projects will depend on excellence, novelty and available budget.
Funding is only possible for members of Institutes at Heidelberg University; applicants who preliminary work at and are financed by non-University Institutions cannot be funded but be partner of projects on their own costs. 


Proposal: Max. 3-page description (Arial-10) containing expertise of applicants, preliminary work, project aim and outline, timeline / milestones, which must include translational aspects, budget plan; in addition, CV (max. 2 pages) for each applicant with a list of up to 10 selected publications. 

Deadline: 1 July 2020; next round of applications is planned for 1 Jan 2021 and 1 July 2021 (if budget allows)

Submission and Questions: by Email to Fl_EMS@mr.mpg.de

Evaluation: The proposals will be evaluated by external advisors with support by non-applying members of Heidelberg University.