FAQs Project Call

Here you will find answers to general questions about the HMC Project Call 2021.

Timing: Deadlines and dates

The deadline for submitting applications to the HMC Project Call 2021 is 16 August 2021.

The planned procedure is as follows:


Event or Action

07 June 2021

Announcement of the HMC Project Call 2020. Submissions are accepted via


16 August 2021

Application deadline

August-October 2021

Proposals are checked for compliance with the formal criteria and scored by panel members according to award criteria

November 2021

Assessment by the panel members and funding decision made by the president

December 2021- January 2022

Funding contracts between Helmholtz Association and submitting centre are being drawn up

February-April 2022

Start of HMC Projects

Applications can be submitted at https://proposals.helmholtz-metadaten.de/ .

The project duration is a maximum of 2 years. First practical results and promising prototypes are expected in Q1/Q2 2023, i.e. one year after the start of funding. The results are expected to underpin and stimulate the growing HMC network. In this context, the results will be presented at an HMC implementation workshop planned for Q1/Q2 2023.

The project results are to be made available for use in HMC and the HGF in the medium term. This means, e.g., that software and algorithms must be open source (complying with an OSI approved license) and methods, reference data, reports and publications of the project results must be open access.

Formal criteria

Yes, revised project proposals that were not funded in the last project call can be resubmitted.

To do so, please create a new project in the HMC Project Submission Portal and upload the revised application. When resubmitting, please note this in the portal at the corresponding checkbox and include a short description of the changes made with your application (max. 1 page, to be included in the attachment).

Each eligible project proposal must include partners from at least two different Helmholtz Centres (or two AST programmes). A coordinating centre and a coordinator must be indicated. Coordinators may lead a maximum of three projects but may participate in additional project proposals.

The following persons are not allowed to participate in the call for projects: Employees of HMC, people who provide substantial support to HMC this project call are not permitted to submit a project proposal. This includes members of the HMC Collaboration Board, HMC Steering Board, HMC Scientific Advisory Board.

Submitted project proposals for the HMC Project Calls must not have been submitted to any other funding line of the Helmholtz Association or to any other funding line.

Funded projects receive 50% of the total budget from the Helmholtz Association's Initiative and Networking Fund (INF), the remaining 50% is counter-financed by the participating centres.

A maximum of 200k€ can be applied for from the Initiative and Networking Fund (INF), a counter-financing of at least the same amount must be provided by the participating centres, a total financing of approx. 400,000 € is possible for a maximum of 2 years. The financial contribution of the participating Helmholtz Centres must be confirmed by a signed letter from the respective Directorate when submitting the application.

Funding will be provided for Helmholtz Centres only. In clearly documented cases, funding can also be provided for highly qualified university partners.

Funds to be applied for are: Personnel, travel and consumption costs. Investments and overhead cannot be applied for.

In accordance with the processes of the Initiative and Networking Fund (INF), the approved funds are paid to the coordinating centre and must be distributed to the partners on their own responsibility.

In addition to the minimum of 2 partners at different HGF centres (or two AST programmes), other HGF-external partners can be included. It should be noted that funding is only provided to Helmholtz centres. In clearly documented cases, funding can also be provided for highly qualified university partners in Germany.

If you plan to submit a proposal with a university, please note the following: it must be clearly recognisable from the project logic that cooperation with the university is mandatory for the success of the project and that the flow of funds is also necessary.

In analogy to the confirmation letters of the participating Helmholtz centres (signed by the boards of directors), a letter from the involved university confirming the university's support, the strategic importance of the cooperation and the flow of funds needs to be enclosed to your proposal. Further, the matching funds provided by the University must also be stated in the letter. The letter must be signed by the university management or at least the faculty management, not only by the direct funding recipient/professorship.

We have templates available for the preparation of the proposal.

A proposal MUST be submitted as a single PDF file and formatted as follows:

  • single PDF file

  • Page format: A4 (portrait format)

  • Font: Arial, 12pt

  • Line spacing: 1.5, Border Top/Left/Right/Bottom 2.5/2.5/2.5/2.0cm

  • Language: English

  • Budgets: EUR x00.000,00

  • References: Harvard Citation Format

A proposal must adhere to the following restrictions:

  • abstract: max. 1000 characters (incl. spaces)

  • keywords: max. 10

  • Proposal (text, incl. figures): max. 6 pages

  • References: max. 2 pages

  • Explanation for resubmission: max. 1 page

Contact, counselling, partner search

Interested applicants are advised to contact the HMC Hub in their research area as early as possible in the application phase. Here, project ideas can be discussed, feedback obtained and questions answered.

HMC offers various ways to get to know other people interested in the proposal and to recruit them as project partners.

- Virtual information events with networking space on 15.06.21 and 28.06.21

- Open Consulting Hours (more information soon)

- MiroBoard "Search/Bid" for project ideas (more information soon)

- Mattermost channel "HMC Public" to connect with potential project partners

- Contact the Metadata Hub responsible for you and/or the HMC Office

The results of the subject-specific Hubs and FAIR Data Commons are regularly presented on the respective pages of the HMC website. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the respective unit.

In HMC, there are six subject-specific Hubs located in different centres, corresponding to the six research areas of the Helmholtz Association: Aeronautics, Space and Transport; Earth and Environment; Energy; Health; Information; Matter. In addition, the HMC Unit "FAIR Data Commons" provides a work package that develops and describes technologies and processes to make metadata accessible and available via common interfaces and services.

The various Helmholtz Centres are each assigned to at least one of the six research areas of the Helmholtz Association. From this and from the scientific orientation of your project proposal, the affiliation to a hub usually follows. If you are still unsure, please contact us at hmc-proposals(a)geomar.de.

For formal questions regarding this call, please contact hmc-proposals(a)geomar.de to reach the HMC Office and the Helmholtz Office.

For topic-related questions, please contact your responsible Metadata Hub.