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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 31 | 13. Mai 2015
Priority Programme „Coordination Networks: Building Blocks for Functional Systems” (SPP 1928)

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced the establishment of a new Priority Programme entitled “Coordination Networks: Building Blocks for Functional Systems” (SPP 1928, COORNETs). The programme is scheduled to run for six years; the present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

The specific functionalisation of interfaces and the positioning of functional nanostructures is a topic of utmost importance in the field of material sciences. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), which are a subset of Crystalline Coordination Networks (CCNs), exhibit a unique combination of properties that have already had a landmark influence in the area of gas storage and separation. Further impact of CCNs, porous structures (i.e. MOFs) and as well dense materials, is shown by recent results within the past few years, exploiting the electrical, optical, magnetic, thermal and mechanical properties of CCNs. Through the work of various national and international research groups, the fascinating prospects of CCN-based thin films and nanostructures for opto-electronics, data storage, electro-chemistry, and sensor technologies, are tangible. The goal of the new Priority Programme COORNETs is to further strengthen the developments of these highly interdisciplinary efforts.

Aiming at producing novel functional CCN system integration requires not only tailored materials and researching methodologies for the spatially controlled deposition and positioning of CCN micro- or nanostructures at substrates. It also requires characterising the physicochemical properties of the materials, and more fundamentally, developing (further) the experimental or theoretical means for these characterisations. Advanced functions and their potentials should be explored, e.g. with regard to the construction of sensor devices and to functions in the field of molecular electronics, magnetism, photovoltaics and photo-/electrocatalysis including a fundamental understanding of the involved phenomena. Projects dealing with the synthesis, characterisation and the application of bulk properties of CCNs with the primary goals of gas storage, separation, or (thermal) catalysis and without CCN integration are explicitly to be excluded. Also, projects dealing with 2D coordination network thin films (e.g. monolayers) are not in the focus of this call.

The formation of consortia of two to three principle investigators (PIs) or research groups of complementary expertise and concentrating on a specific subject is strongly encouraged. At least one member for each proposed consortium should have already provided a significant work on CCN or related materials. Each consortium should contain research activities covering at least two of the four following thematic areas:

  • Preparation and Positioning
  • Structural Characterisation and Physico-Chemical Properties
  • Theory and Modelling
  • System Integration and Function Demonstration

Consortia with proven contributions from experiment as well as from theory shall be given highest priority. The integration of independent young researcher groups in the consortia is greatly encouraged.

Proposals for the first three-year funding period must be submitted no later than 2 December 2015 via the DFG’s electronic submission system “elan” selecting “SPP 1928”. If you are using the system for the first time, please note that you need to register yourself and your institutional address 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 update your 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.

Please follow the guidelines for project submission according to forms 50.05en (part B) and 54.01en, and please notice the rules for publication lists (form 1.91en). All proposals must be written in English and must not exceed 20 pages. A title page with your name, your address, and the title of your project should be included. The role and responsibilities assigned to each principal investigator and scientific co-worker should be evident from the work programme within the proposal, specifically the tasks to be completed by PhD students or postdocs. In the case of joint proposals, the assignment of requested funds to the individual PIs should also be evident.

Please, send a copy of the summary of the proposal by electronic mail to the programme’s office: coornets@rub.de (Coordinator: Prof. Roland A. Fischer; COORNETs’ secretary, Mrs. Jacinta Essling).

The review will be held during a proposal colloquium scheduled between late February and the beginning of March 2016.

Further information

The DFG’s electronic portal “elan” can be found at:

Proposal guidelines and preparation instructions are outlined in DFG forms 50.05en (Section B) and 54.01en, which can be found on the DFG’s website at:

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

For grant-related enquiries please contact the DFG: