Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 108 | 1. Dezember 2023

Priority Programme “INtegrated TERahErtz sySTems Enabling Novel Functionality (INTEREST)” (SPP 2314)

In May 2020, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “INtegrated TERahErtz sySTems Enabling Novel Functionality (INTEREST)” (SPP 2314). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Vision and Goals

Until recently, terahertz science and technology was driven by rather isolated scientific communities. Terahertz scientists followed an either photonic, electronic or physical sciences approach to foster mostly disciplinary knowledge. This traditional approach led to bottlenecks and thus to a resistance to expansion (modernisation, renewal, integration) because the terahertz range has quite a few peculiarities that need to be considered. The Priority Programme INTEREST (SPP 2314) aims at the vision to establish a well-defined terahertz community by following a holistic “integration” approach in a dedicated coordinated initiative. The theme “Integrated Terahertz Systems” will enable as yet unknown functionalities and applications in the field of terahertz science and applications. It fosters interdisciplinary science by leveraging the best of historically isolated scientific disciplines.

Research Programme

The following list includes the research areas of the Priority Programme along with some examples:

Area 1: novel physical phenomena, technologies, and devices enabling integrated terahertz systems

  1. Heterointegration of III-V with BiCMOS
  2. Integration of novel materials or material systems (graphene, spintronics, etc.)
  3. Novel scalable integrated THz arrays

Area 2: novel multi-functional integrated systems

  1. Novel THz system partitions & integrated radio transceivers
  2. Integrated broadband laser-induced THz generation in silicon technologies
  3. Complete electronic & photonic integration of THz measurement systems on a chip level

Area 3: novel terahertz science and applications based on integrated terahertz systems

  1. Integrated THz systems for biomedical applications
  2. Integrated THz systems for space applications
  3. Integrated THz systems for communications

Focus of the Second Phase

In the first phase, the main focus was on laying the foundations for the different research areas as well as on specific applications where the theme “integration” is expected to have maximum impact. In the second phase, however, higher priority is given to highly integrated technologies and systems with a higher complexity, such as:

  • terahertz system packaging in 3-D
  • integrated terahertz transmitters and receivers
  • terahertz applications demonstrating novel functionality

The second phase in particular is open to integrated circuit technologies representing a significant advancement in terms of miniaturisation, speed, power efficiency and overall performance over the existing state of the art that are within the framework of this call.

Organisation and Cooperation

Funding proposals are required to follow an interdisciplinary approach and must clearly demonstrate the necessary capabilities and novelty that will enable the INTEREST programme strategies and visions described above. Projects pursuing research for the sole purpose of understanding physics without any concrete field(s) of application beyond the existing state of the art will not be considered.

In relation to the ongoing cooperation between researchers from Germany and the UK in the scientific area of terahertz systems, it is noted that project parts carried out in other countries can be funded by the DFG if they promise to add value to the projects being pursued under the Priority Programme in Germany and if they make an important additional contribution to achieving the objectives of the Priority Programme. The DFG encourages collaboration between researchers based in Germany and in the UK. Note that proposals that include principal investigators from abroad can only be accepted if the scientific coordinator of the Priority Programme has explicitly acknowledged the aforementioned requirements at the time of proposal submission. Please consult DFG form 50.05, section B-III, and approach the DFG’s programme contact if you plan to involve project partners abroad.

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 12 April 2024. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system.

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 29 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.

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 2314” 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.
The review colloquium for the Priority Programme will be held at the beginning of July 2024 in Wuppertal. The designated start of funding is January 2025.

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:

  • Professor Dr. Ullrich Pfeiffer
    Bergische Universität Wuppertal
    Fakultät für Elektrotechnik
    Informationstechnik u. Medientechnik
    Lehrstuhl für Hochfrequenzsysteme in der Kommunikationstechnik
    Rainer-Gruenter-Straße 21 / Gebäude FE, Erdgeschoß
    42119 Wuppertal
    phone +49 202 439-1451

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact: