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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 64 | 29. September 2020
Priority Programme “INtegrated TERahErtz sySTems Enabling Novel Functionality (INTEREST)” (SPP 2314)

In May 2020, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “INtegrated TERahErtz sySTems Enabling Novel Functionality (INTEREST)” (SPP 2314). The programme is designed to run for six years in two phases. The present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

Vision and Goals

Until recently, terahertz science and technology has been driven by rather isolated scientific communities. Terahertz scientists follow either photonic, electronic, or physical sciences approach to foster mostly disciplinary knowledge. This traditional approach led to bottlenecks and thereby, resisted expansion (modernisation, renewal, integration) because the terahertz range has few peculiarities that need to be considered. Today’s terahertz systems exhibit a low integration level due to the lack of scientific approaches and methods designed to combine or integrate functions from many elements/components. Integration requires significant interdisciplinary and cross-institutional activities.

The Priority Programme visions to establish a well-defined terahertz community by following a holistic “integration” approach in a dedicated coordinated initiative. The theme “Integrated Tera-hertz Systems” will enable unseen functionalities and applications in the field of terahertz science and applications. It fosters interdisciplinary science by leveraging the best of what historically have been isolated scientific disciplines. It is expected that the novel integrated terahertz systems researched within the frame of INTEREST will melt down the boundaries between different scientific disciplines and enable orders of magnitude better performance.

Research Programme

Following are the research areas, not limited, including few project ideas encompassing from basic research to specific applications, where the theme “integration” is expected to impact maximally.

Area 1: novel physical phenomena, technologies, and devices enabling integrated terahertz systems with few examples such as:

  • heterointegration of III-V with BiCMOS
  • integration of novel materials or material systems (graphene, spintronics, etc.)
  • novel scalable integrated THz arrays

Area 2: novel multi-functional integrated systems with few examples such as:

  • novel THz system partitions and integrated radio transceivers
  • integrated broadband laser-induced THz generation in silicon technologies
  • complete electronic and photonic integration of THz measurement systems on a chip level

Area 3: novel terahertz science and applications based on integrated terahertz systems with few examples such as:

  • integrated THz systems for biomedical applications
  • integrated THz systems for space applications
  • integrated THz systems for communications

Proposals seeking funding are required to follow an interdisciplinary approach and must clearly demonstrate the necessary capabilities and novelties that will enable the INTEREST programme strategies and visions described above. Projects pursuing research for the sake of understanding physics only with no application field(s) in sight or seeking only incremental improvement to their existing state-of-the-art will not receive attention.

The DFG and the United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) encourage collaborations between researchers based in Germany and the UK. DFG and EPSRC will support joint annual workshops and summer schools to which all projects funded within this Priority Programme call will be invited to participate. UK researchers who hold flexible EPSRC grants may re-direct work and funds towards collaborations with projects funded through this call. Alternatively UK researchers may apply through standard routes for projects to enable international collaboration (see link below). For more details, please contact the programme coordinator Ullrich Pfeiffer, University Wuppertal, and Damian Dudek, DFG (Germany), and Maryam Crabbe-Mann, UKRi EPSRC (UK).

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 22 February 2021. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. Applicants 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
8 February 2021 to submit a proposal under this call. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day.

For submitting a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2314” from the current list of calls. In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal. In addition to submitting your proposal via elan, please send an electronic copy to the programme coordinator.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

Application at EPSRC through standard routes for programmes with international collaboration:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

Professor Dr. rer. nat. Ullrich Pfeiffer, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Lehrstuhl für Hochfrequenzsysteme in der Kommunikationstechnik, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21,
4211 Wuppertal, phone +49 202 439-1451, ullrich.pfeiffer@uni-wuppertal.de

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Contact person at the United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC):


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