2020/2021 Call for proposals for Minerva Centers

2020/2021 Call for proposals for Minerva Centers

November 28, 2019
In relation to the following topic: “Intelligence” (topic can be approached from different aspects)

Deadline 1st stage: 20th February 2020

Eligibility: Principal Investigators in a permanent position in the six universities and the Weizmann Institute1.


The Minerva Stiftung is collecting proposals for new Minerva Centers. It is intended to establish up to three Minerva Centers in 2020/2021.

I. What is a Minerva Center?

Minerva Centers are research groups located in the universities in Israel. They are under the directorship of a Principal Investigator, who has a permanent position in one of the six universities or the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Minerva Centers deal with topics that are innovative and of special interest to the science community in Israel. The centers carry out research in cooperation with German partners. The Minerva Centers program aims at bridging gaps, training young scientists and building networks in the respective field of research with partners in Israel. Centers will involve excellent researchers regardless of their institutional affiliation.
A Minerva Center is designed as a long-term effort of a number of scientists to concentrate on a certain field of research. A center may also involve scientists from other than the host university, such as to create an inter-university community in the field. A Minerva Center is not a project which could be funded by a grant or the university. A Minerva Center ideally is devoted to an emerging research field which is not yet well established in Israel and which does not yet attract grants and donations.
Requirements apply to the director of a center with regard to his/her scientific track record and experience in leading projects. The director will be an outstanding, experienced research figure and is responsible for bringing together the critical mass for the subject.

II. Funding Objectives

Minerva is seeking exciting topics for new centers which can be interdisciplinary in their approach. Proposals addressing the broad topic of “Intelligence” are welcome from all areas of science.

III.  Two-stage Proposal Procedure

1st stage: Invitation of thematic proposals
In the first stage of the proposal procedure, researchers submit outlines of exciting/promising new topics that are suitable for being best elaborated by a center. The first stage is intended to be a collection of promising ideas. A proposal can be submitted by a scientist who applies to lead a Minerva Center; a proposal can also be submitted by a scientist who proposes another scientist as a director of a center. The proposals must include the names, the CVs and a list of not more than five publications of the potential PIs. Thematic proposals are to be sent to Minerva. The PIs are encouraged to inform their host university about the proposals and the university is free to comment on them before submission. The Minerva Centers Committee will then carry out a pre-selection of the proposals.

2nd stage: Invitation of thematic proposals
Those PIs/leading scientists who passed the first stage are invited to present a more elaborated and detailed proposal. The proposal must have the support of the host university, which it states in a letter of commitment. These applications will be submitted to evaluations by at least three external reviewers each. A number of PIs will then be invited for a personal presentation and a discussion with the evaluation panel (the Centers Committee and additional scientists).

IV.  Funding Duration of the Center

The lifetime of a center is limited to an initial period of six years. After an evaluation during the 6th year, the lifetime of a center can be extended for another period depending on the recommendations of the evaluation committee. This period will not exceed another six years.

V.  Budget of the Center

The center will be funded by Minerva. Minerva funds will be matched with the same amount by the host institution, partially contributed in kind. Both amounts will make up the budget of the center. The budget will comprise a sum of up to € 150,000 per year.

VI.  Eligibility Requirements

Principal Investigators, who are in a permanent position in one of the five universities and the Weizmann Institute, are invited to submit proposals.

VII. Submission and Deadlines

Proposals for the 1st stage must reach the MINERVA office by 20th February 2020. Proposals must be submitted electronically and as one print copy by the Principle Investigator to:

MINERVA Stiftung Gesellschaft für die Forschung mbH
Postbox 101062
D-80084 München
Federal Republic of Germany

Intended further procedures are:

  • Evaluation deadline 1st step: end of March/beginning of April 2020

2nd step:

  • invitation of complete applications with a deadline: end of June 2020
  • decision on the 2nd step proposals: November/December 2020
  • Interviews in Israel: early 2021 in Israel

VIII. Documents to be submitted

The following information are obligatory parts of the thematic proposal in the

1st stage2:

  • The signed proposal (outline). This proposal shall include a summary and an outline of the research and must not exceed 2-3 pages.
  • The proposal should be fully comprehensible without reference to cited or enclosed literature.
  • A short CV of the proposed director and, if necessary, CVs of other PIs as addendum. (CV must not exceed one page each).
  • A list of not more than 5 important publications per PI is required as addendum.

1Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University, Haifa University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Techion TIIT, Weizmann Institute of Science
2To be noted: applications that do not adhere to these rules - f.i. exceed the number of pages - are not eligible

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