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Information for Researchers No. 24 | 19 May 2014
Priority Programme „Control of London Dispersion Interactions in Molecular Chemistry“ (SPP 1807)

The Senate of the Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft has established a new Priority Programme entitled „Control of London Dispersion Interactions in Molecular Chemistry“ (SPP 1807). The programme is designed to run for six years, the present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

This Priority Programme aims at a thorough understanding and quantification of London dispersion interactions in molecular systems. These and related short-range electron correlation effects are the driving force for molecular aggregation that play a key role in thermodynamics, molecular recognition, chemical selectivity through transition-state stabilisation, protein folding, enzyme catalysis and other phenonema. While dispersion interactions help rationalise many common phenonema such as well-established π-π interactions, the related σ-π systems have been examined much less and the concept of σ-σ attraction is in its infancy.

A primary goal of this programme is the development of chemical design principles that utilises dispersion interactions in the construction of novel molecular structures and in the design of chemical reactions. This can only be achieved through a tight interplay between synthesis, spectroscopy, and theory to quantitatively determine dispersion interactions in chemical (model) systems. The experimental and theoretical capabilities have reached a stage that allows a clear-cut analysis of dispersion interactions. There are many challenges to understand and to utilise dispersion forces for the preparation of novel molecular structures, to elucidate the transition from molecular to bulk properties, and catalysis through fine tuning of dispersion-energy donors for optimising the interactions of ligands and substrates. The focus lies on the following topics:

  • structural studies and quantification of dispersion interactions
    - quantification of dispersion-energy donors
    - design and preparation of novel dispersion-stabilised structures
    - dispersion interactions in electronically excited states
  • dispersion effects on reactivity and in catalysis
    - transition-state stabilisation through dispersion-energy donors
    - solvent-induced modulation of dispersion interactions
  • theory and spectroscopy as tools for the elucidation of dispersion interactions
    - experimental and theoretical method development to address dispersion interactions
    - molecular spectroscopy to quantify dispersion effects and to validate theoretical results

Grant proposals should include several of the above aspects and methods or should mention the connection to complementary projects. Joint proposals of several PIs are also possible.

Research proposals for the first three-year funding period are now invited. Deadline for submission is 1 September 2014. All proposals must be written in English and follow the guidelines in DFG form 54.01 (Proposal Preparation Instructions – Project Proposals). Please mention your name, your address, the title of your project and the title of the Priority Programme on the first page of your application. Further relevant information on e.g. eligibility requirements can be found in DFG form 55.05, part B.

Please notice the rules for publication lists that have been modified recently: Beside the general bibliography every proposal should include a list of up to ten publications that relate directly to the project. Further the number of publications that may be listed in any academic CV has been increased to up to ten as well. These publications need to be classified as a) refereed publications (published articles and monographs; accepted articles with note of acceptance by the journal) or b) other publications (e.g. preprints on repositories).

Proposals must be submitted via the DFG’s electronic submission system elan, selecting “SPP 1807 Dispersion”. If you are using the elan system for the first time, please note that you need to register yourself and your institutional addresses before being able to submit a proposal. Also, if you are planning to move to a different institution (e.g. with a Temporary Position for Principal Investigators) you need to register the new institutional address beforehand. Please make sure that all applicants of your project (in case there is more than one) start their registration at the latest two weeks before the submission deadline. The registration requests are handled manually by DFG staff.

In addition to submitting your proposal to the DFG, please send an electronic version (pdf format) to the coordinator. The review process will most likely include a colloquium with talks and/or poster presentations tentatively scheduled to take place in Gießen in November 2014.

Further Information

Grant proposals can be submitted at:

Proposal instructions and guidelines can be found at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the coordinator of this Priority Programme:

  • Professor Dr. Peter R. Schreiner,
    Universität Gießen,
    Institut für Organische Chemie,
    Heinrich-Buff-Ring 58,
    35392 Gießen,
    phone: +49 641 9934300,

For administrative enquiries please contact: