Flex Funds Call for 2024

The NFDI4Microbiota Flex Funds call for 2024 is closed. The next call for 2025 will probably open in the middle of June 2024.

Aim of the NFDI4Microbiota Flex Funds

The NFDI4Microbiota consortium aims to realize the dynamic adaptation of services and support of further data types, development of new training programs, and improvement of the ability to react to unforeseen technical challenges. Therefore, within the NFDI4Microbiota project work, flexible funding (so called ‘Flex Funds’) for small projects within the research community are available for the years 2023 to 2026. To implement a dynamic system that stays on track with new trends in the field, the Flex Funds will support small projects and active Use Cases from the community as they arise over time. In the following, a guideline regarding the application and allocation process is provided.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible projects must be related to the field of microbiology and must contribute to the objectives of NFDI4Microbiota. Projects must be related to a specific task area or measure of the NFDI4Microbiota work program. Details of the NFDI4Microbiota work program can be found on our web portal. Purely scientific research projects without the described infrastructure components are not eligible.

Eligible topics

Applications must address services to be developed and deployed that are related to the NFDI4Microbiota proposal. This could include, but is not limited to, the following topics

Prerequisites to receive funding

Certain administrative and financial requirements must be met to be eligible for funding.


All documents can be requested in advance from the NFDI4Microbiota Administration Unit via contact@nfdi4microbiota.de.


General Procedure



Application process
  1. The call opens 2023-07-10 and closes 2023-08-20. By then, applicants can send the filled word and excel files (.docx and .xlsx) to contact@nfdi4microbiota.de.
    This includes:
    • the Application Form
    • the Budget Calculation and
    • a Data Management Plan (if applicable)
    • If an active NFDI4Microbiota Use Case applies, please also hand in a recommendation letter by your supervisors at NFDI4Microbiota (contact Maja Magel, RWTH Aachen).
    • If you adress the topics ‘Infrastructure/Services’ and ‘Data storage and workflow execution’ a letter of support by the respective measure is required. Please write to contact@nfdi4microbiota.de for the contact mediation under indication of the respective measure number. All measure goals are briefly described on the web portal.
  2. Projects are evaluated and ranked by the NFDI4Microbiota Project Review Board (PRB) based on a set of predefined criteria until 2023-10-31. These criteria are as follows (each one is rated by reviewers on a scale of 0-5 (5 being the most)):
    • Linked to the NFDI4Microbiota proposal (Objectives and task areas/measures)
    • Related to NFDI4Microbiota topics
    • Synergies with consortium activities
    • Relevance and benefits
    • Quality of the proposed work
    • Approach, work plan and feasibility
    • Overall evaluation These criteria may be further refined and modified in subsequent calls. In the case of a conflict of interest of a reviewer, they will be excluded from the process.
  3. The NFDI4Microbiota General Assembly and/or the Board of Directors will select eligible projects for funding. Results of the review process will be communicated until 2023-11-15.
  4. Funded projects and their personnel are expected to take up their work immediately with the beginning of their funding period.

Selection procedure

The Flex Funds will be awarded annually through a process with external peer reviewers with a diverse background on the topics NFDI4Microbiota addresses. For this purpose, a Project Review Board (PRB) – an external body whose members were selected based on suggestions made by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) – was implemented. It consists of renowned scientists in changing compositions, based on the topics required for review and excluding members with potential conflicts of interest. The PRB will:

Reporting and controlling

After a project time of six months, the work and progress of the funded projects have to be presented to and discussed with the NFDI4Microbiota consortium. A final project report (max. 5 pages, template will be provided) needs to be handed in by the 31st of January of the following year. Financial controlling will be specified in the funds transfer agreement.

Contact details

In case of further questions you can get in touch with the administrative unit of NFDI4Microbiota via contact@nfdi4microbiota.de.

Your contact persons are Barbara Götz, Dr. Carmen Paulmann and Dr. Cordula Hege.

Files for download:
  1. Download Flex Funds 2024 Application Guideline Application Guideline

  2. Download Flex Funds 2024 Application Form Application Form

  3. Download Flex Funds 2024 Budget Template Budget Template

  4. Download Flex Funds 2024 DMP template DMP Template