Information for Researchers, No. 13 | February 16, 2024

Priority Programme “Atmospheric and Earth System Research with the High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO)” (SPP 1294)

In 2007, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Atmospheric and Earth System Research with the High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO)” (SPP 1294). Within the programme proposals are called for projects (up to three years duration) starting from 2025 (“HALO 2025”). An earlier start of funding is not possible.

HALO plays a key role in atmospheric research in Germany. It is a state-of-the-art airborne platform specifically equipped with modern in situ and remote sensing instruments. HALO enables forefront Earth System science and allows for innovative atmospheric and geophysical measurements with an impressive high ceiling altitude of up to 15 km and a spatial endurance of about 10,000 km. It may carry an instrumental payload of up to 3 tons and can be used to study processes within the troposphere and lower stratosphere. HALO-based research is supposed to help understand the interaction of processes within the Earth-system and human activities, which are highly relevant for the society. For satellite missions, HALO provides unique possibilities to combine and validate space-borne data with measurements of the atmosphere that were performed in situ and near the ground.

HALO enables Earth System research on a high international level. Main foci of the scientific investigations are:

  • sources, properties and processing of aerosol particles
  • formation, evolution and radiative effects of clouds and precipitation
  • transport and dynamics in the troposphere and lower stratosphere
  • transport and transformation of chemical composition
  • atmospheric coupling processes

Proposals must be submitted to the DFG by 17 May 2024 and should primarily refer to an upcoming mission, while it is also possible to submit proposals that utilise data from previous missions. Funds can be provided for the development of high tech sensors and instruments which will be used mission-specifically. Instruments to be permanently installed aboard HALO cannot be funded.

Please indicate in the abstract of your proposal the related HALO mission(s), if applicable. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. To enter a new project within the existing Priority Programme, go to “Proposal Submission – New Project/Draft Proposal – Priority Programmes – SPP 1294/10”. Applicants, who already receive funding and will be applying for a renewal proposal have to submit their application via “Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal”. Your current funded project(s) will be displayed.

All proposals have to be written in English and prepared according to the program guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal.

Applicants without an existing elan-account 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 3 May 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 about the infrastructure Priority Programme is available at:

Website for information about the research aircraft HALO:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

Content issues related to the Priority Programme can be addressed to its coordinators:

  • Professor Dr. Manfred Wendisch
    Universität Leipzig
    Fakultät für Physik und Erdsystemwissenschaften
    Leipziger Institut für Meteorologie
    Stephanstraße 3
    04103 Leipzig
    phone +49 341 97-32851
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Curtius
    Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
    Fachbereich Geowissenschaften/Geographie
    Institut für Atmosphäre und Umwelt
    Altenhöferallee 1
    60438 Frankfurt/Main
    phone +49 69 798-40258

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact: 

Administrative contact: