Information for Researchers, No. 20 | March 7, 2022

Priority Programme “Radiomics: Next Generation of Biomedical Imaging” (SPP 2177)

In March 2018, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Radiomics: Next Generation of Biomedical Imaging” (SPP 2177). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call now invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Biomedical imaging has substantially developed over the last decades and plays an increasingly central role in the management of various disease settings in modern medicine. In addition, imaging is progressively more incorporated in research settings, including the formation of large-scale, population-based cohorts, such as the German National Cohort (NAKO Gesundheitsstudie). In parallel, with the advent of powerful, large scale computational power facilities and growing on-site expertise, advanced post-processing methods, including Artificial Intelligence, Deep-Learning, or Radiomics, are used to abstract descriptive, diagnostic, or prognostic information from high-resolution imaging data. As such, these derived parameters (“imaging phenotypes”) complement traditionally available and used image information, such as manual measurements of diameters or the mere presence of disease states and allow for high-volume, reproducible, and high-quality interpretation skills. However, despite these successful endeavours, there is still only early evidence that such advanced computer-based imaging post-processing provides incremental diagnostic and prognostic information in the field of personalised medicine, and algorithms have not fully entered the clinical arena yet. Given the great promise, the Priority Programme is designed to further develop and establish the role of advanced image interpretation approaches in different clinical scenarios in personalised medicine, including prevention of disease development.

The Priority Programme requires complementary, multidisciplinary teams with expertise in different fields, including clinical imaging, computational science, epidemiology and/or health technology assessment. The interaction among interdisciplinary teams will establish a synergistic platform for successful translational research and effective clinical implementation of imaging techniques.

As the Priority Programme should have a lasting impact on the national and international scientific landscape, a mandatory prerequisite for participation is an intention to add value by collaborating with the other projects within the programme. Inclusion of female applicants, clinician-scientists, and early-career researchers is strongly encouraged.

Proposals submitted to this call should address at least one of the following fundamental aims:

  • to determine the diagnostic clinical value of advanced post-processing methods of human imaging data in different clinically relevant and/or in basic research settings;
  • to determine the prognostic value of advanced post-processing methods of human imaging data in clinically relevant settings and/or in basic research settings.

We highly encourage applications of projects within the field of cross-organ and/or cross-system research. Compared to the first funding period of the Priority Programme, particular emphasis will be given to projects that focus on the clinical implementation and value of advanced image analysis as well as the application of these techniques to gain deeper understanding of the role of imaging phenotypes in large-scale population cohorts.

Proposals eligible under the present call are proposals that:

  • stem from high-quality prospective studies with a statistically reasonable sample size and clearly defined endpoints;
  • comprise computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging data or their combination with other advanced imaging modalities.

Similar to the first call, not eligible are proposals that:

  • purely focus on the development of image analysis algorithms;
  • include image acquisition or outcome data collection.

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be submitted in English via the DFG’s electronic submission system “elan” selecting “SPP 2177/2 – Radiomics” by 15 June 2022.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not registered yet, please note that you must do so by 1 June 2022 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. Those applicants who have already an elan-account are asked to check their institutional data and update them if necessary prior preparing your electronic proposal. Elan updates will also be processed within the next two working days.

For new proposals: If you would like 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 2177/2” from the current list of calls.

For renewal proposals: Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal. Please note that you need to select your previous project first from the overview in order to get access to submit a renewal proposal. Only then the already existing project data (e.g. title, duration) are preset, but can be changed if necessary.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01), and use the project description (form 53.01). Please be aware that all CVs need to be prepared in English as well. Further, compliance with DFG’s rules for publication lists (form 1.91) is expected. These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

Proposal guidelines and preparation instructions are outlined in the forms 50.05, 54.01, 1.91, and 53.01. These forms can be found on the DFG’s website at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme’s coordinator:

  • Professor Dr. Fabian Bamberg
    Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
    University of Freiburg
    Hugstetter Str. 55
    79106 Freiburg im Breisgau

Further instructions on submitting a proposal are supplied by the DFG:

For scientific matters:

For administrative and elan matters: