FAQ - Project Call

Here you can find answers to general questions about the HMC Project Call 2024.

Last update: 05.04.2024

Please find further information concerning the call here: https://helmholtz-metadaten.de/project-call-2024

Timing: Deadlines and dates

The deadline for submitting applications to the HMC Project Call 2024 is 25 June 2024 (end of the day).

The planned procedure is as follows:


Event or Action

08 April 2024

Announcement of the HMC Project Call 2024. Submissions are accepted via

25 June 2024
(end of the day)

Application deadline

June-October 2024

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

October/November 2024

Assessment by the panel members

November 2024- January 2025

Funding decision made by the President, funding contracts between Helmholtz Association and submitting centre are being drawn up

January-April 2025

Start of HMC Projects

Applications can be submitted at www.proposals.helmholtz-metadaten.de.

The project duration is a maximum of 2 years. First practical results and promising prototypes are expected in Q1/Q2 2026, i.e. one year after the start of funding. The results are expected to underpin and stimulate the growing HMC network. In this context, results shall be presented at an HMC conference in 2026.

The project results are to be made available for use in HMC and the Helmholtz Association 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 a previous HMC 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).

An eligible proposal must comprise partners from at least two different Helmholtz Centres (or two AST programs respectively). HMC encourages the submission of interdisciplinary proposals from different Helmholtz research fields. Applicants must specify a coordinating centre and person. 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 Units (Hubs, FAIR Data Commons, HMC Office), people who provide substantial support to HMC or anyone else connected in any way with helping to set up the 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.

Proposals submitted for this call must not have been submitted simultaneously to another funding line of the Helmholtz Association or any other funding line, i.e. there must be a formal rejection of a previous submission.

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 by participating Helmholtz Centres has to be confirmed by a signed letter from the board of directors, either by the administrative, the scientific director or both, when submitting the proposal.

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

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.

A maximum of 70% of the INF funding can be assigned to one Helmholtz Centre.

In addition to the minimum of 2 partners at different Helmholtz centres (or two AST programmes), other Helmholtz-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 (download link) 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. blanks)

• keywords: max. 10

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

• References: max. 2 pages

• Explanation for resubmission: max. 1 page

Contact, counselling, partner search

Project applicants must contact at least one HMC Metadata hub and/or the technology unit FAIR Data Commons for advice and discussions during the application phase. This needs to be confirmed in writing by at least one of the respective HMC Hub or FAIR Data Commons coordinators and to be enclosed in section 3 of the proposal.

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 29.04.2024 and 16.05.24 (please follow the respective link for more information and registration)

  • Open Consulting Hours

  • 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 https://helmholtz-metadaten.de/tools. 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 project-proposal(at)helmholtz-metadaten.de.

For formal questions regarding this call, please contact project-proposal@helmholtz-metadaten.de to reach the HMC Office and the Helmholtz Office.

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