Dieter Schwarz Courageous Research Grant


The Dieter Schwarz Courageous Research Grant is funded by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation to promote bold project ideas. This will give leading international talents in global competition the opportunity to collaborate with TUM in conducting promising "High Risk - High Gain" research projects.

Target Group

Outstanding international scientists from outside TUM who intend to use groundbreaking technology to propose a radical solution to a major challenge in the area of “Digitization and Sustainability” together with a TUM research group are eligible for this Fellowship. It is not possible to apply for the Grant on one's own, but a nomination must be made by a TUM professor who acts as a host and close collaboration partner at TUM. At the time of nomination, nominees should expect to remain employed at their home institution for the duration of their Fellowship. The proposal is to be submitted jointly by the nominee and the planned TUM host.

Duration/Stays at TUM

The Fellowships last three years, with the expectation that the Fellow will spend a total of at least nine months at TUM (which can be divided individually into several stays). In this way, TUM-IAS intends to further a lasting and productive connection on an international level.

Grantees will automatically receive the benefits of a TUM-IAS Visiting Fellow for the year following the end of their tenure. Support includes up to €10,000 for non-European or up to €5,000 for European travel to TUM and accommodation expenses. Afterwards Alumni Fellows may apply for a Visiting Fellowship, depending on the availability of funds.


The grant comprises a funding amount of one million euros. Fellows receive an award of €60,000 plus €690,000 for expenses of the research group, in particular for personnel costs (research staff to be employed at TUM), research related costs, travel and accommodation. €250,000 are available for publicity measures, for example citizens' events or specialist conferences. Fellows will be given a maximum degree of freedom as to how they utilize these funds (within bounds set by funding agencies; the funds are administered by the TUM-IAS) and their time. The award will be transferred to the Fellow typically in two to three installments.

How to apply

Please submit the following application documents:

  • a cover page (available for download),
  • a nomination letter (1-2 pages) by a TUM professor (host), including a description of the facilities provided for the Fellow by the TUM host institute as well as a confirmation from the host that he/she expects to hold a professorship at TUM for the duration of the Fellowship (if not, please indicate an additional host who would then take over),
  • a nomination letter (1-2 pages) by the dean of the hosting school or another member of the TUM Extended Board of Management (EHP) or TUM-IAS Board of Trustees,
  • a CV (no more than 5 pages),
  • a list of major publications (please highlight the 3-5 most important publications of the past five years),
  • a statement of purpose (no more than 10 pages) jointly signed by the nominee and the hosting professor, describing how the Fellowship would contribute to the innovation of the scientific or technological environment at TUM, and the specific goals to be achieved. The statement of purpose should also include the following elements:
    • an abstract,
    • a budget plan,
    • a time plan regarding the nominee’s projected periods of stay at TUM,
    • an identification of possible additional (interdisciplinary) collaboration partners both within TUM-IAS and within TUM as well as a short explanation as to why this collaboration would be beneficial for the outlined research project,
    • an outline for an international, ideally interdisciplinary workshop/colloquium, to be organized at the TUM-IAS during the active Fellowship period,
  • a list of 4-6 international peer-reviewers without any conflict of interest (definition: please see here), - if applicable, also a list of persons who should be excluded from reviewing the proposal.
Evaluation and Data Policy

Due to the provision of financial resources for this research grant, a representative of the Dieter Schwarz Foundation will be involved in the selection process by having the right to attend the meetings of the Selection Committee (without voting right). In addition, the Dieter Schwarz Foundation is given the opportunity to propose an additional external member for the Selection Committee (also without voting right). As the Fellow resides abroad, TUM may disclose the documents relating to the research grant to the Dieter Schwarz Foundation for tax reasons. For more details, please see the TUM-IAS Nomination Guidelines.