Research consortium in final round for “Cluster of Excellence“

lettering "excellent = austria" in the foreground - view over the city of Vienna in the background

The pre-proposal for a Cluster of Excellence (CoE) grant on the topic “Microbiomes drive Planetary Health” has qualified for the next round of the application process. The proposal aims to establish a research cluster dedicated to the most pressing and fundamental questions in microbiome research. Michael Wagner, deputy head of CMESS and group leader at DOME, is the coordinating Director of Research for the project. A total of 30 principal investigators – including nearly all CMESS group leaders – from seven Austrian research institutions are involved in the application: The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), the Medical University of Graz, the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Technical University Vienna, the Johannes Kepler University Linz – and the University of Vienna as lead research institution. Out of 35 pre-proposals, eleven research consortia have been selected to submit a full proposal by autumn.

The CoE grants aim to fund pioneering large-scale projects in basic research in order to raise the respective research fields in Austria to a top international level. In terms of size, they exceed all previous grants from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Up to 70 million euros will be available to the research teams over a period of 10 years. The final decisions on the research clusters will be made in spring 2023 after a review of the full proposals and a hearing in March 2023. In June 2023, the first consortia will be able to start working on their projects.