ESQ Discovery Programme

New call for applications will be out in December 2019


Goal of the Discovery Programme

ESQ will support radically new ideas, innovative research and high-risk projects, before they are sufficiently grown and competitive to succeed in established European or national funding schemes. Since DISCOVERY is targeted at innovation, it accepts the chance of failure of projects if this risk is balanced by the expected gain. 

DISCOVERY does not support workshops. It expects that you already have an existing idea and now require seed funds to be implemented (valid for both theory and experiment).

Funding: amount and duration

  • Projects shall not exceed a volume of 100,000 EURO
  • Projects shall not last longer than 12 months

Who is eligible to apply?

  • All ESQ Group Leaders (
  • Postdocs and PhD students in ESQ groups, provided that their responsible ESQ member signs that the proposed project can be realized in her/his group and that the proposed project is compatible with existing working contracts.

What costs can be covered?

Within the budget limits the money shall be entirely free, but needs to be justified at the end of the project (period). It can cover:

  • Personnel
  • Equipment 
  • Consumables 
  • Travel
  • Software

How to apply?

Submit a single 5-page PDF proposal, 12 point, single line, Arial or Calibri containing 

  • State of the art (max. 1 page)
  • Vision of the project (max. 1 page)
  • Implementation: How can this be explored on the scale of 12 months with the proposed budget? If you plan to hire a PhD student, please outline how you will finance the remaining 2-3 years of his / her employment.  (max. 2 pages)
  • Resources: What local infrastructure and personnel will you be using in addition to that provided by ESQ? (max. 1 page)
  • Literature references (max. 20)
  • CV and publication list: this is for ESQ Postdocs only. For ESQ members this information is already available.

Applications should contain all relevant information, but not exceed the length requirements by more than 20%!

How to report on the project?

ESQ will ask you to submit a report within 3 months after completing the project, explaining the 

  • Scientific results 
  • Prospects for scientific publications or presentations
  • Follow-up on your research ideas

How to acknolwedge ESQ support?

Please add the following phrase to all your publications: ‘The principal investigator acknowledges support from an ESQ Discovery Grant of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)



About ESQ

Research Groups

ESQ Postdocs

ESQ Discovery
                                    - Application: Discovery Programme

                               - Current ESQ Discovery Projects

                                    - Completed ESQ Discovery Projects


ESQ office
Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
Mag.ª Isabelle Walters
Boltzmanngasse 5
1090 Vienna