Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 109 | 4. Dezember 2023

Priority Programme “Ferroptosis: from Molecular Basics to Clinical Applications” (SPP 2306)

In 2020, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Ferroptosis: from Molecular Basics to Clinical Applications” (SPP 2306). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second, and last, three-year funding period.

Recent studies have identified metabolic networks and signalling pathways that control previously unrecognised, regulated cell death modalities. Among these is ferroptosis, a prevalent and disease-relevant form of cell death characterised by specific metabolic constraints and an iron-dependent accumulation of lipid hydroperoxides. Emerging evidence suggests that ferroptosis is an ancient form of cell death and an evolutionary conserved susceptibility to cell death caused by the incorporation of polyunsaturated fatty acids into cellular membranes. Notably, this complex cellular death pathway has been found to be dysfunctional in various pathological contexts. These findings have stimulated a growing need to understand the underlying genetic and metabolic determinants that regulate ferroptosis in order to provide new avenues for their modulation in a therapeutic context.

Therefore, the overarching goal of the Priority Programme is to offer support for highly collaborative projects at the forefront of ferroptosis research with a strong mechanistic aspect and a clear focus on ferroptosis-relevant diseases. Projects within the programme will define:

  • pathways and metabolic networks directly regulating ferroptosis and susceptibility to lipid peroxidation
  • molecular mechanisms of ferroptosis and its (patho)physiological consequences
  • cellular states that determine sensitivity to ferroptosis
  • novel pharmacological targets and development of chemical tools and molecular biomarkers to be exploited for ferroptosis modulation and detection
  • in vivo models for the study of tissue-specific mechanisms of ferroptosis

To strengthen the focus and foster a highly collaborative research environment within the programme, proposals addressing the following topics are explicitly discouraged:

  • general topics in the fields of redox regulation, cell death mechanism and iron/thiol metabolism lacking a clear link to ferroptosis
  • untargeted development of small molecules modulating ferroptosis
  • purely exploratory projects addressing the sensitivity of cells/tissues towards ferroptosis
  • analysis of collections of patient biopsies without any clear mechanistic question
  • in vivo models without a clear mechanistic relevance to ferroptosis

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 27 March 2024. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. If you wish to submit a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2306” from the current list of calls. Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal.

When preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (DFG form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (DFG form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal. In addition to submitting your proposal through elan, please send an electronic copy to the programme coordinator.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 19 March 2024 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

The DFG strongly welcomes proposals from researchers of all genders and sexual identities, from different ethnic, cultural, religious, ideological or social backgrounds, from different career stages, types of universities and research institutions, and with disabilities or chronic illness. With regard to the subject-specific focus of this call, the DFG encourages female researchers in particular to submit proposals.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries, please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Dr. Marcus Conrad
    Helmholtz Zentrum München
    Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
    Institut für Metabolismus und Zelltod (MCD)
    Ingolstaedter Landstraße 1
    85764 Neuherberg
    phone +49 89 3187-4608

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact: