Submissions: Rolling

Career stage: R2

Summary: Skill development and career advancement

The ESPRIT program (Early-Stage Program: Research - Innovation - Training) is intended to improve the skills and support the professional development of researchers from all disciplines early in their research careers by giving them the opportunity to lead an independent research project.

Target group

This funding program is aimed at highly qualified postdoc-level researchers of all disciplines in the early stages of their scientific career.

Funding goals

ESPRIT promotes career development by giving junior researchers the opportunity to act as principal investigator in an independent research project.

The main objectives of the ESPRIT program are:

  • Funding excellent, innovative research
  • Recruiting, retaining, and winning back outstanding researchers to strengthen Austria’s research institutions
  • Supporting outstanding women researchers
  • Career and skill development (development/establishment of an independent research profile)
  • Improving career prospects (boosting competitiveness through publications, collaborations, and increased visibility)

Funding period and funding amount

  • Funding period: 36 months
  • Funding amount
    • Principal investigator’s salary (current senior postdoc rate)
    • Project-specific costs from €45,000 (flat rate) to €75,000 (upon request, if justifiable)


  • The applicant must have the academic qualifications needed to lead the proposed research project.
  • Completed doctoral degree awarded no more than 5 years prior to the time of application
  • A mentor to support the principal investigator’s scientific and professional development
  • Project to be carried out at an Austrian research institution with the necessary infrastructure
  • For further details, please see the application guidelines.


  • Decided by the Scientific Board based on an international review process
  • In the case of equal qualifications and equal quality of proposals: Women will be given priority in the selection process
  • Five approval meetings per year

Application information

Rolling submissions using the online application portal elane

Funding institution

Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and, if applicable, other funding agencies




Feb. 1, 2024: Focus on ESPRIT

May 15, 2024: Im Fokus ESPRIT