Zukunftskolleg Exchange Network: interdisciplinary Talent (ZENiT)


Info event

There will be an information session and time for Q&A on the new ZENiT fellowship call which takes place on Wednesday, 29 November, at 13:00 in Y 326.

Call for applications: Zukunftskolleg ZENiT Research Group

  • YOU are a researcher at the University of Konstanz, with a non-tenured or a tenure-track position.
  • YOU are interested in bursting open new boundaries, think beyond and across disciplines.
  • YOU want to investigate an exciting question in collaboration with colleagues across the world.
  • YOU want to create a

Zukunftskolleg Exchange Network: interdisciplinary Talent (ZENiT)

!! If so – do apply!!

WE offer financial support for up to 5 research groups:

  • of up to 5 people in total to meet in Konstanz for
  • up to 3 times on short research stays,
  • up to 3 years.

These stays could be symposia, group discussions, writing retreats, preparations for experiments, coordination of group activities – it is up to you. We cover the costs for the meetings, and research costs for the group in the range of € 10.000 to € 100.000 over the three years (within DFG funding rules).

You will be a ZUKUNFTSKOLLEG RESEARCH FELLOW with all its benefits:

  • An interdisciplinary community with a weekly Jour fixe during teaching term
  • An international, interdisciplinary network and visibility
  • € 3.000/year research funds and the possibility for additional funding upon application, based on yearly decision by the Zukunftskolleg’s Executive Committee

About ZENiT

The purpose of the programme

Researchers at an early career stage have to focus on a single research question in order to become the best in their fields, gain visibility and create a successful career. At the same time, this is a career stage in which new questions, often across disciplinary boundaries, become particularly interesting: creating tomorrows ideas! These projects are best pursued as groups, with the best colleagues from across the world, and need preparation – but often the structures within our universities are not ideal for creating such groups.

The Zukunftskolleg ZENiT Research Group allows the creation of a group, which would meet in Konstanz over the course of three years, to develop such ideas: maybe write a joint book, or a grant application; develop a new research idea; found a new society, or establish a specialized meeting series; invent a new discipline at the interface of related ones; create a new show or exhibition, or follow the dream project on the sidelines of your current focus: think big, think long-term, think creative.together!

Application information

Write an application describing

  1. project proposal (5 pages max).
  2. who are your partners, and what are their competences and their role within your group.
  3. what is the time-line, how often will you meet (online, hybrid and in person), and propose a preliminary agenda! Please do consider sustainability issues in your planning!
  4. create a budget (travel money, consumables, publication expenses; you can include costs for research to be conducted between meetings. Costs are permissible within DFG funding rules)
  5. include letters of consent and CV of you and your partners!
  6. state the necessary non-monetary institutional support (e.g. spaces, organizational support, academic support, etc.)!
  7. state the necessary monetary institutional support (e.g. Hiwi-support, workshop expenses, etc.)!
  8. state the long-term goal! Where are we, what do we expect to know in 3 years, that we do not know now? Do you foresee a sequel for the group?


  • You generally hold a PhD, you have a (postdoc) position at the University of Konstanz, you do not (yet) have tenure.
  • Your position should ideally be available to you for the whole project time. If that is not the case, propose a scenario for how you will follow the project after your working contract termination!
  • Any department is eligible.

The research group

Your partners should have complementary expertise to your own, in order to create synergistic effects. They should be active academics and/or artists at institutions in any place in the world. They should ideally hold a PhD (or equivalent grade if in an artistic discipline), and may well have tenure or be emeriti. Interdisciplinarity and diversity is encouraged.

The group needs to be international, but more than one member per institution (including Konstanz) is permissible.

The team activities

Team activities are only limited by your fantasy (and by the budget). Surprise us, surprise yourself!

Our offer


The Zukunftskolleg ZENiT Research Group comes with two packages:

(1) the group is funded according to the submitted cost plan (with – if necessary – the amendments requested by the Recruitment Committee), with up to €100.000 to be spent within the three years of the project duration. This money is intended for the meetings, and for necessary research to be conducted during the time between meetings. Just as an example, a prolonged research stay of yours at another university or in an archive, a major equipment item, the extension of a PhD salary.

(2) You will be a Zukunftskolleg Research Fellow, with the following benefits:

  • An interdisciplinary community with a weekly Jour fixe during teaching term
  • Research funds upon application, decided by the Zukunftskolleg’s Executive Committee
  • An international, interdisciplinary network and visibility
  • € 3.000/year research funds, upon decision by the Executive Committee.

Our selection criteria


  1. Eligibility, as stated above.
  2. The academic originality and quality of the research proposal
  3. The feasibility of the research plan
  4. The accuracy of the proposed budget
  5. The appropriateness of the research group members
  6. Diversity of network members
  7. Congruency to the 5i strategy of the Zukunftskolleg
  8. Considerations for sustainability within a finite planet

Download call text


Please send your application (in ONE PDF file) to the email below:

Send email 

Application date
Up to 3 years
Social sciences
Citizen Sciences