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Young Investigators Program

Call for Proposals 4th January, 2021

The steering committee of the DFG priority program SPP1926 - Next Generation Optogenetics - solicits competitive applications from young scientists for independent research grants. These grants are made available by the SPP1926 central funds and are specifically meant to enable early-stage researchers to develop and refine their own research agendas within the framework of SPP1926. The applicants will have sole responsibility for the proposed project, and research should be conducted largely independently (i.e. it should not simply ‘top-up’ the existing funding of the lab head). Ideally, the grant provides seed money to help prepare full-fledged, independent grant applications with the DFG, toward the end of the SPP1926 2nd funding period. Research grants between 21 k€ and up to 32 k€ can be applied for and can be spent on consumables, small equipment or staff (e.g. student assistants). Proposals must be submitted in full to the speaker of the SPP1926, Alexander Gottschalk (, by no later than April 30th 2020.


Download Information here


Eligibility Criteria

>  Early-stage researchers on a non-permanent position i.e. postdoctoral researchers and junior principal investigators, or (very) experienced Ph.D. students (thesis to be completed by mid 2021, and with prospective position -enabling proposals to the DFG- after the SPP1926 ends).

>  Applicants are likely to be affiliated with one of the SPP1926 groups, but also outside applicants can apply, provided their project proposal lies within the scope of SPP1926.

Application Documents

>  Research proposal up to 5 pages (Arial 11 pt, 1.15 line spacing)

>  Budget table: itemized list of consumables, instruments and staff (student assistant, ‘HiWi’)

Curriculum vitae in tabular form

>  Letter of recommendation / statement of independence by the respective P.I. / mentor

Selection Criteria

>  Originality, feasibility and impact of research

>  Relationship (i.e. independence) of proposed research to that of current mentor (in case of Ph.D. and postdoc applicants) or previous mentor (in case of junior PI applicants)

25.09.2020 PhD/Postdoc Representatives

We voted Kim Westerich (University of Münster) and Martin Schneider (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich) to be our SPP1926 PhD and Postdoc Representatives for the 2nd funding period.

All PhDs and PostDocs please check out our online plattform and file sharing system: BSCW server for further information: