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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 62 | 4. Oktober 2016
Priority Programme “Material Synthesis near Room Temperature” (SPP 1708)

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme entitled “Material Synthesis near Room Temperature” (SPP 1708) in March 2013. The programme is scheduled to run for six years; the present call invites researchers to submit proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Chemical synthesis of materials is facing enormous challenges: Energy turnaround for sustainability requires completely new materials with outstanding properties on the one hand, while there is the imperative for resource-efficient use of raw materials and energy through more efficient production of well-known and already used materials on the other hand. Sustainable chemical processes must be conceived and developed, which are working at lower temperature, to allow for higher purity and yield, simultaneously producing less waste.

A promising option is the use of ionic liquids (ILs) – organic salts that are liquid below 100 °C or, for some examples, even at room temperature – as unique reaction media. The features of these solvents can be widely adapted by variation of their chemical composition. Recent research demonstrated that various inorganic materials (metals, alloys, semiconductors, hard materials, functional materials, etc.) can be produced in ILs near ambient conditions. Hence, this approach enables an enormous reduction of energy usage and technical effort compared to the so far applied high temperature processes. At the same time, chemical material syntheses become better controllable, also increasing the energy and resource efficiency. Syntheses in ILs also provide great opportunities to discover completely new compounds with potentially outstanding and useful chemical and physical properties.

The Priority Programme bundles and coordinates efforts and competencies to promote the scientific and technological development of the IL-based synthesis of inorganic materials. Explorative synthetic chemistry, studies on dissolution, transformation and precipitation processes in ILs, as well as the theoretical modelling of these processes are subject of the research programme. Alternative approaches for low-temperature syntheses, such as the use of other solvents or application to predominantly organic materials, are not in the focus of the programme. Proposals must clearly demonstrate the benefits of the use of ILs for the synthesis (such as purity, yield, energy efficiency, savings of raw materials) or for the product characteristics. Efforts regarding materials that can already be synthesised without substantial disadvantages via alternative approaches will not be considered. Proposals on the development of new ILs or their characterisation are not encouraged and will only be accepted in direct connection with an essential material synthesis task of the programme. Significant previous work on the subject is expected. In order to allow maximum diversity within the Priority Programme, a principal investigator (PI) should only contribute to one proposal.

Proposals for the second three-year funding period, written in English, have to be submitted no later than 30 November 2016 via the DFG’s electronic elan system. To enter a new project, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select the appropriate programme “SPP 1708”. To enter a renewal proposal, go to Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal and select the current project. General information on proposals in the framework of a Priority Programme (in particular concerning eligibility and admissible funding requests) can be found in guideline 50.05en (part B). See also guideline 54.01en for instructions how to prepare a proposal.

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. If you are planning to move to a different institution (e.g. with a temporary position for principal investigators) you need to register with the address of the new institution. Please make sure that all (co-)applicants are registered two weeks before the submission deadline, as registration requests must be handled manually by DFG staff.

The responsibilities assigned to each 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 notice the rules for publication lists: Beside the general bibliography, every proposal should include a list of up to ten publications that relate directly to the project, independent of the number of applicants. Further, the number of publications that may be listed in any academic CV is 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. publications without peer review).

The proposals will be evaluated by a review panel, which is planned to meet in Dresden on 2 March 2017. The envisaged start of funding is June 2017.

Further Information

Please submit proposals electronically through the DFG’s elan portal:

The DFG forms 50.05en and 54.01en can be found at:

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

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

For scientific matters:

For administrative matters: