Open call for topic proposals (outlines) for the research bridge HEiKAexplore

"Explorer" by ahmad syahrir von Pexels

As part of the research bridge HEiKAexplore proposals for research topics can now be submitted that are of strategic importance for the University of Heidelberg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In an annual change, HEiKAexplore devotes itself to a large, common subject area, in which existing cooperation should be strengthened by HEiKA and new ones should be stimulated.


We are looking for joint research topics outside the existing HEiKA research bridges (AIP, MTH, OE, PAC and SB). These research topics must be broad enough and have the potential to initiate new joint research networks. The proposed topics (in the form of an outline/sketch) must therefore go well beyond a single project proposal in order to be successful. Based on the outlines, the Strategic Board decides on the new HEiKAexplore topic, to which specific project proposals can then be submitted in the subsequent HEiKA project call.

Target group

Members of KIT and Heidelberg University are invited to participate in the advancement of HEiKA by submitting an outline for a major topic.

Applicants must be at least one PI (holding a PhD is mandatory) of the two partner institutions, who will later also act as spokespersons for the new subject area in case of success

Application Deadline & Submission

The topic outlines must be submitted via e-mail by 2019-04-01 (deadline). For this purpose please use the following e-mail address: Please note that delayed submissions cannot be accepted. The central point of the outline (one A4 page max., in German or English) should be a brief description regarding the content of the topic (field of research, common activities, planed initiatives etc.) as well as its strategic importance for both KIT and Heidelberg University.

In addition, all scientists and institutes already involved shall be listed in order to clarify the breadth of scientific participation in the previously defined topic. Please use the form for topic outlines (download below) that will also provide further details.

Selection procedure

The selection of the new HEiKAexplore topic will be made by the HEiKA Strategic Board in its April / May 2019 session. Immediately after the topic has been selected, a thematic workshop will be held where all interested scientists can exchange ideas and get together to form project teams. The call for projects in the selected topic will take place within the framework of the regular HEiKA call for proposals from May to September 2019.


Contact: HEiKA Office, Regine Kleber & María García,

Tender documents

  1. (application/pdf, 416.8 KB)
  2. (application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document, 20.14 KB)

Project funding by HEiKA


The Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership, which was set up as a joint research platform for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Heidelberg, promotes small to medium-sized collaborative projects each year, which are characterized by outstanding scientific quality and high innovative potential.


Entitled to answer this call are all scientists of KIT and Heidelberg University. The call asks for project proposals thematically involved with at least one of the six HEiKA Research Bridges Advanced Imaging Platform (AIP); Functional Materials (FM); Medical Technology for Health (MTH); Particle Physics, Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology (PAC); Synthetic Biology (SB) and HEiKAexplore.
The next call for HEiKA Projects will start in May 2019.


HEiKA funding aims at furthering and deepening the collaborative partnership between KIT and University of Heidelberg by exploring complementary competences and specific strengths of both partner institutions to enhance competitiveness in selected fields.

Type of support

Start-up funding for scientific projects with a viable future perspective within a larger funding context (e.g. DFG, BMBF, EU) of up to EUR 80.000 may be granted for a maximum of 12 months. In justified cases, the 12-month project duration can be extended by up to 6 months free of charge. Requests for this must be made informally, but no later than 2 months before the end of the original project term, to the HEiKA office.

Funds must be used in accordance with DFG guidelines. Recourses can be requested for personnel including student assistance (excluding the applicants own position), consumables, travel cost, support for project-related events, equipment and investments. Not eligible are expenses for building measures, teaching, replacement or repair of equipment, basic laboratory and office equipment (e.g. computers), postage costs and office supplies.

Target Group

Invited to apply are scientists of KIT and Heidelberg University. Proposals have to be submitted by two or more scientists holding a doctoral degree, at least one from each partner institution.

Applicant young researchers are asked to present the contribution of the requested HEiKA project for the further development and sharpening of their own research profile in a short personal statement. A preexisting, documented collaboration is not a condition for a successful application.

Including an external partner into a HEiKA project proposal is possible in well-founded cases.
Funding of external partners via HEiKA is not possible.