Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 11 | 3. Februar 2020

Workshop for Early Career Investigators “Agroecosystems 2020”

Integrated Soil, Plant, Microbiome and Biodiversity Research for Sustainable Land Use

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) launches a new Workshop for Early Career Investigators on the topic „Agroecosystems 2020 – Integrated Soil, Plant, Microbiome and Biodiversity Research for Sustainable Land Use“.

Agroecosystems are challenged by an increasing demand of agricultural products, depletion of natural resources, the loss of biodiversity and the negative impacts of climate change. The resulting conflicts are already evident and will exacerbate over the coming decades. The predicted need of yield increase to ensure the global demand on food will only be possible without exceeding ecosystems boundaries, if knowledge progress on sustainable land use will be made. Such an effort can be considered as a key element for achieving sustainable biomass production. The Workshop for Early Career Investigators also considers the perspective that sustainable land use is required as a contribution to the achievement of biodiversity goals and achievement of climate goals. For sustainable intensification of biomass production, strategies need to be developed that (a) aim at landscape and regional level, (b) consider diverse ecosystem services and biodiversity and (c) are founded on a systemic understanding of (crop) plants, soils and the microbiome.

The Workshop for Early Career Investigators “Agroecosystems 2020” aims for gaining excellent researchers in an early stage of their career from relevant scientific disciplines, such as soil sciences, rhizosphere research, plant nutrition, plant physiology, crop sciences and agricultural engineering, system modelling and statistics, landscape ecology and microbial ecology to supporting the development of new research projects. Applications are encouraged from early career researchers that are familiar with agricultural sciences and ecosystem topics beyond their specific expertise in the above mentioned disciplines.

First of all, interested early career researchers apply for the participation by submitting a sketch for project proposal with a total duration of 24 months. Experts from various fields of research are associated with the Workshop for Early Career Investigators. These experts collect up to 20 applicants for participation in a one-week workshop in early summer 2020. In this workshop, the projects outlines will be presented, discussed and further developed. The full proposals will be individually written and submitted in autumn 2020 by each applicant. The participants of the Workshop for Early Career Investigators will get the opportunity to present their project personally in front of an expert reviewer panel. This research proposal should enable the start in a new research field and should enable the participants to submit a follow up proposal. Common DFG rules are the basis of the evaluation of the proposals. Rules for first time applicants will be considered. The funded applicants will be supported by a second two-day work shop in 2021. Topics will cover project management and problem solving. Moreover, individual networks may be further developed with other applicants and experts.

Application for participation in the Workshop for Early Career Investigators

Applicants of the above-mentioned disciplines are close to finishing their dissertation (certificate of the respective university) or have already finished their dissertation within the last six years.

Interested scientists apply according the following rules (formatting rules for all self-elaborated documents – letter type Arial, letter size 11 pts, line spacing 1.3-fold, in English):

  • CV with stating the date of dissertation (max. 1 page)
  • complete publication list (separated by peer-reviewed and other publications)
  • summary of the dissertation thesis (max. 1 page)
  • project sketch in the field of the topic (read above) including the scientific question, the planned work programme as well as existing experiences in conducting research projects (max. 2 pages)
  • letter of motivation (max. 1 pages)

Submission by 20 March 2020. 
(On 20 March 2020 the deadline was extended to 27 March 2020)

Out off all applicants, 20 persons will be selected and invited to participate in the Workshop for Early Career Investigators. The selection will be based on scientific quality of the proposed research project and the already made scientific achievements (publications, grade of dissertation).

Further Information

Please, submit the document of application as joint single pdf to:

For the elaboration of the project proposals (2nd phase) rules of conduct of DFG are valid, especially the guideline for proposals (DFG 50.01):

The elan portal of DFG for submitting the proposals (2nd phase) you may find here:

Requests on scientific topics will be answered by the coordinators:

For organisational issues, please, ask:

Please, inform yourself on your entitlement:

Information on further formal request will be given at DFG: