Medicine and natural sciences

In accordance with one of the desires of the donors, special attention is devoted by the foundation institutions to medical research. At present the foundation is focusing its support on the field of “Molecular causes in the development of illnesses”.  This programme supports molecular biological studies of illnesses whose development is based on genetic defects or with which gene variants contribute to the development of complex illnesses.

In the area of “Molecular causes in the development of illnesses”, molecular biological studies of illnesses are supported whose development is primarily based on genetic defects or whose gene variants contribute to the development of complex illnesses.

Studies may be performed on cell culture and/or animal models, but should at least in part be performed on human tissue specimens and/or cells bearing relevance to illnesses. This only applies for applications submitted for support of projects or stipends.

  • Project proposals are only accepted from researchers that have a Ph.D. and relevant experience in the priority field of research. They should generally have two to four years’ experience in post-doctoral research and want to set up or expand a small working group of their own with the support of the Foundation. The position of the applicant should be funded by the host research Institute.
  • It is generally not possible to obtain funding for one’s own position.
  • Firmly established researchers and scientists (holders of chairs, directors of clinics) are not eligible for support of projects.

The following projects are assigned preference:

  • The functional analysis of genes, gene products and their signal transduction pathways for monogenic and complex genetic illnesses in vitro and in vivo, whereby the work plan should also contain studies on human tissue specimens and/or cells
  • The characterisation of cell and animal models that have already been established for the study of genetic illnesses (with molecular biology methods)
  • The analysis of predisposing genes or therapies which modify illnesses (‘personalised medicine’) if this holds out the promise of additional findings being generated on the mechanistic causes of disease formation

Support is not provided for:

  • Purely methodological studies
  • Descriptive genetic studies of populations as well as linkage and association studies
  • Purely drug screening projects
  • Research projects without any direct connection to an illness
  • Research projects involving the development of an animal model that is to be studied in the grant period applied for
  • Research projects that do not involve any studies on human tissue specimens and/or cells bearing relevance to illnesses
  • Research projects relating to infectious diseases
  • Diagnostic and primarily therapy-oriented projects

Information on the filing of applications, deadlines for applications, etc. can be found in the General Instructions and Notes of the foundation as well as in the suggested outline of the applications in the biomedical field.