Explorer ProjectSocial Integration – Social Disintegration – Social Innovation


The Research Council of the Field of Focus 4 (FoF4), Self-Regulation and Regulation: Individuals and Societies, plans to fund Explorer Projects (EXP) with a thematic focus on social integration, social disintegration and social innovation. Projects should address aspects of self-regulation and regulation of individuals and societies with regard to conditions, mechanisms, effects, and dynamics related to different areas (e.g. climate, education, family/intergenerational relationships, finance, health, law, litigation, migration, organizations) within or across countries using empirical research approaches or case-related studies. EXPs aim at supporting the work on innovative fields of research and at developing sustainable, new collaborative research lines. The Research Council will support these EXPs by providing full access to the FoF 4 Core Facilities as well as with funds for networking activities such as annual meetings, guest speakers, workshops and transfer activities.

Amount of Funding

Up to 90.000 EUR per year for the duration of two years (up tp 180.000 EUR in total). Successful EXPs can develop into Main Research Areas (MRAs), but only in competition with new proposals.


Proposals are limited to 5 pages (budget plan, CV, and further appendices excluded) and may be submitted by members of the FoF4. The EXP should consist of at least two PIs (professors, post-docs) from different FoF4 faculties/institutions, but can also be larger. Non-permanent scientific staff members are explicitly encouraged to apply as well, but require a support letter by their institution. Cooperation with members of FoF1, FoF2, and FoF3 is strongly encouraged. Applicants and their affiliations need to be listed in the proposal, additional EXP members may be affiliated during the funding period. The proposal should highlight interdisciplinary aspects of the EXP, the synergy aimed at, the use of - or further development of – FoF4 structures, and the potential of developing sustainable, new collaborative research lines as well as for third-party funding. 

The budget of the EXP has to be administered by a University member. Application for funding of the own position is excluded.

The proposal should focus on the following aspects:

  • Short Summary
  • Status Quo and Aim of EXP
  • Interdisciplinary aspects and the potential of developing sustainable, new collaborative research lines
  • Potential and perspective for third-party funding including placement within the discipline and potential competitors
  • The added value for the entire FoF4 research community
  • Budget plan (please refer to the provided outline on the FoF 4 website)
  • Information on applicants (including name, affiliation, up to five publications linked to the EXP, list of currently funded projects including those highlighted that have a direct link to the EXP)

Review and Quality Control

The Research Council will select proposals and suggest them for funding to the Rectorate. The Research Council can involve additional experts for advice. Regular reporting on EXP activities to the Research Council will be expected.


Deadline for proposal submission is 4 June 2021. Proposals should be sent in a single pdf and with the subject line “FoF4-EXP2-2021” to:


Proposals submitted after the deadline cannot be taken into account. Please address your proposal to the Research Council Field of Focus 4. Please contact Silvia Huber-Grahl via email in case of questions: