Einstein Centers provide a setting that serves to enable cross-institutional interdisciplinary collaborations in Berlin in order to establish innovative research hubs with international visibility. The programme gives applicants the freedom to probe and implement their own concepts and approaches by pursuing specific objectives based on their respective priorities. Thus, Einstein Centers can be used to achieve a range of aims, such as improving career support; creating platforms to enable researchers and institutions based in and outside of Berlin to collaborate on a specific theme; building research alliances that work with industry stakeholders, make new inroads into science communication, or embrace participatory research and knowledge co-created in conjunction with other societal actors. Einstein Centers can also be set up to serve as incubators to secure follow-on funding in their respective research areas. If you are interested in securing funds from this programme, please consult with the Foundation’s headquarters at an early stage.
The Berlin universities and Charité – Universitätsmedizin are eligible to apply by preparing a joint submission involving at least two of the above institutions and one non-university research institute. In order to facilitate their application for an Einstein Center, applying institutions are encouraged to to request prior funding for an Einstein Circle.
Up to six years. If funds are granted for the initial three-year funding period, applicants may request an extension at the beginning of the third year. Should an Einstein Center secure third-party funding, the Einstein Foundation will terminate its support with immediate effect once the acquired third-party funding is released.
Up to €1 million per year to pay for staff and cover directly incurred costs as well as investments (no construction costs). The maximum amount of funding can be combined with private funds and donations from a public-private partnership to increase the Center’s budget.
As the maximum amount of funding that can be requested is lower, the application does not need to be as detailed as applications for Collaborative Research Centers. It is not necessary to cover all of the purposes listed above and in the programme information brochure in a single application. However, the application should outline the research projects in detail and cover the usual topics (key research question, hypothesis, state of current research, preparatory work, PIs, research programme). The application should lay out how the Center’s aims are to be achieved by defining milestones, providing a clear project timeline, and describing the work packages, governance structures, and the positions to be created at the Einstein Center. The application should place particular emphasis on the Center’s structural impact on Berlin’s research environment, for example on the ways in which the Center intends to integrate existing expertise, whether applications for follow-on funding need to be prepared, or if it seeks to establish new research areas in Berlin. In other words, the application needs to highlight the ways in which the Center will enhance Berlin’s international profile as a leading science and research hub. Overall, Einstein Centers are entities that help to achieve feasible goals and, at the same time, develop a long-term impact by creating structures that remain operational after the end of the funding period, either because they secure follow-on funding or evolve into independent institutions.