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On 12 March, the third call for proposals under Germany’s ‘Initiative for Excellence’ was launched, and the first in the programme’s second phase. The scheme will provide EUR 2.7 billion in the years from 2012 to 2017, 30 percent more for new projects than in the first phase, plus some ten percent for continued ones. The present call is for pre-proposals. In the spring of 2011, successful pre-applicants will be asked to submit a full proposal, and the projects to be finally selected are to commence work in the autumn of 2012.
The programme will continue its three funding lines, i.e. ‘future concepts for top class research’, ‘clusters of excellence’ and ‘graduate schools’. Universities selected under the most prestigious line, the ‘future concepts’, can expect an average of EUR 124 million per year. In addition to excellence in research, the ‘future concepts’ must in the new round demonstrate a commitment to quality teaching. Funding per ‘cluster’ will range from three to eight million annually, and each graduate school will still get support of up to one and a half million.