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Funding Instruments

The IAS - Luxembourg will achieve its missions through four strategic funding instruments:

  • Distinguished: Attraction of distinguished international visiting fellowships
  • Audacity: Leveraging bold and interdisciplinary projects at the very forefront of science
  • Young Academics: Attraction of talented PhD candidates and Post-Doctoral researchers
  • Brainstorm: Small group brainstorm meetings on emerging research questions and topics


Description. The main purpose of the instrument Distinguished is to enable and encourage research groups of the University of Luxembourg to engage with distinguished international researchers, teachers and thinkers. Within the third mission of UL, Outreach to Society, the instrument can also attract international policy makers, and representatives of the arts, government or industry. Distinguished fellows will strengthen UL’s activities and reinforce the development of new ideas on fundamental research, teaching approaches and for addressing global challenges, there by enriching Luxembourg’s academic and intellectual environment. In order to ensure that a wide cross-section of the University community as well as Luxembourg society benefits from the impact of the visit, IAS Visiting Fellows will take part in activities such as: (i) research/training events targeted at early career scholars, (ii) interdisciplinary activity, including the writing of audacious research projects aimed at an audience beyond the Fellow’s immediate field of specialism, (iii) public events to engage society, together with the UL community and other IAS Visiting Fellows, (iv) and, where appropriate, in teaching activities.

Selection principles. Applicants to the “Distinguished” fellowship will be selected by the College of the IAS fellows. The duration of stay can be from a minimum of a week to a maximum of 6 months. The selection is based on the quality of the applicant and their fit with the host research group at UL.

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Description. The aim of the instrument Audacity is to enable audacious interdisciplinary research, breaking the barriers between scientific disciplines and sectors, and fostering increased collaboration at UL. The projects are expected to be at the forefront of science and to have a distinctly bold and audacious character with a high element of risk. The projects can act as preliminary studies thereby enabling and reinforcing later submissions to external funding instruments used by UL such as FNR, Horizon Europe, ERC, ESA etc. Securing such follow-up funding will be considered as a success measure of the Audacity instrument.

Selection principles. The IAS will open a yearly call for projects with a maximum lifespan of 4 years. The Scientific Council of the IAS, composed of UL-internal and UL-external experts, will select the project proposals after oral presentations by the applicants potentially supported in their task by international experts. The presentations will be open to the UL community, thereby making the selection process an open scientific event of the UL. The selection criteria are the excellence, audacious character and interdisciplinarity of the submitted projects. Principal investigators having been granted an IAS Audacity project are not eligible to submit a new project for the 2 years following their grant acquisition.

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Young Academics

Description. The instrument Young Academics aims to attract outstanding PhD candidates and Post-doctoral researchers, who wish to conduct their interdisciplinary research in a consortium grouping distinct UL’s departments (faculties), research groups (ICs), or entities. Their interdisciplinary project would be run under the responsibility of two academic staff holding Thesis supervision rights. This instrument contributes to positioning UL as the place to be for interdisciplinary research, and as an attractive employer with appealing working conditions. For their career development, the selected Young Academics will benefit from schemes such as the University of Luxembourg Leadership Academy (ULLA), a catalogue of interdisciplinary and short courses or lectures in transversal skills.

Selection principles. Applicants to “Young Academics” will be selected by the Scientific Council of the IAS, potentially supported in their task by international experts. The selection criteria are excellence of the candidate and the quality of an interdisciplinary project. Professors affiliated to the University of Luxembourg (in the sense of Professeurs affiliés, Law on the organisation of the University, Art. 28) are eligible to co-supervise Young Academics of the IAS with UL ADR-holders, under the conditions that the doctoral position is co-funded by, and contracted with, their respective institution. Young Academics co-supervised by an Affiliate Professor will undergo the same selection process and will integrate the community of doctoral candidates of the IAS – Luxembourg.

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Description. This instrument shall support small-size brainstorm meetings (15 to maximum 30 people), considered as the ideal forum for exchanges on emerging research questions, often spanning more than one discipline or sector. Such workshops, organised by a member of the UL or an IAS - Luxembourg visiting distinguished fellow, are expected to bring together a selected group of international scientists to discuss the latest pre-publication research at the edge of the concerned field. The target audience will include international experts, researchers from UL and/or Luxembourg’s Public Research Institutes, IAS’ Young Academics and UL PhD candidates or Post-doctoral researchers.  Junior participants will gain new understanding of emerging fields through dialogue with more senior experts. The Brainstorm workshops are expected to lead to new research projects, networks or short position/white papers, published on an international level, further increasing UL’s visibility.

Selection principles. Applications to the Brainstorm workshops will be selected by the College of IAS fellows. The selection is based on the quality of the Brainstorm idea, the international recognition of the participants, and the potential to lead to new ideas and initiates.

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