ESRC-Austrian Science Fund (FWF) bilateral guidance

This bilateral agreement will close on 31 July 2015.

Our bilateral agreement with the Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Austrian Science Fund - FWF) will be discontinued from 31 July 2015, as part of our internal review of funding mechanisms. Therefore no further proposal submitted as part of this agreement will be accepted after 30 July 2015.

We are also introducing changes to the Research Grants funding thresholds from 1 July. Please refer to the detailed notes below for further information.

The ESRC's International co-investigator policy will continue to be available for Austrian researchers to collaborate with the UK on social science research.

Up to 30 July 2015 collaborative research proposals may be submitted in any area of the social sciences within the remit of both agencies. Proposals should be drafted, and will be assessed, according to the criteria set out in the International Common Application Process.

Collaborative research proposals should be submitted only to the ESRC. The ESRC will take the lead role in processing and assessing applications, with appropriate input from the FWF. A decision on bilateral proposals will be made by ESRC's Research Committee, within its normal standard grants competition. Those proposals approved for funding will be jointly supported by the ESRC and FWF.

Applicants should note the following in preparing their application:

  1. Proposals should be submitted via Je-S into the Standard grants (Open Call). The project title field of the proposal must begin with the words 'Bilateral Austria:'. In completing the Je-S form, applicants should also consult the Je-S guidance on submitting a bilateral proposal (PDF, 229Kb). The minimum validation for standard grants is currently £200,000, therefore the UK element of the collaborative project should be a minimum of £200,000. 

    However, we are introducing changes to ESRC's research grants funding thresholds. We currently accept applications between £200,000 and £2 million. Under the new arrangements the lower threshold will rise to £350,000 and the upper threshold will be reduced to £1 million at Full Economic Costs. These changes will come into effect from 1 July 2015 and apply to proposals submitted under this agreement. Current thresholds will continue to operate for any application submitted up to 30 June 2015.
  2. The 5,000 word proposal document described in the ICAP criteria should be included as the 'case for support' in the Je-S application. This 5,000 word limit supersedes the normal 6 page limit for a case for support. A word count should be included at the end of this document.
  3. All other relevant sections of the Je-S application (Objectives, Summary, Beneficiaries, etc) should also be completed in accordance with the normal guidelines for standard grants.
  4. In order to facilitate the identification of all members of the research team in different national application formats, the 5,000 word research proposal document should begin by listing the names, roles (Principal Investigator, Co-investigator, etc), and institutions of all named researchers from both participating countries who are included in the proposal. This list of names is not included in the word count of the proposal document.
  5. CVs of all named researchers in the proposal should be included, both UK and overseas. In all cases, these should not exceed the normal ESRC limit of two pages per CV.
  6. The Austrian Researchers should complete the following additional forms, which should be included as additional attachments in Je-S:
    • The FWF Application Form (Antragsformular inkl. Kostenaufstellung)
    • The FWF Programme Specific Data Form (Programmspezifische Daten)
    • The FWF Itemisation of Requested Funding Form (Kostenaufstellung)
    • The FWF Equipment Form (if appropriate) (Erfassungsblatt Geräte)
    These forms may be downloaded from the FWF website.

For further information on this bilateral agreement and the changes to the research grants funding threshold, which may impact upon your application under this agreement, please contact

Further information can also be found on the FWF website.