Bonn-Melbourne Research Excellence Fund

Critical Dates

5 July 2023

Applications open 

25 September 2023 at 15:00 [AEST]

Applications close 

Mid-November 2023

Communication of results


The Bonn-Melbourne Research Excellence Fund fosters the development of high-quality research activities that include Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in a significant role. Applications from all schools and disciplines are encouraged. These should propose innovative and sustainable activities, built around collaborative research, linking researchers from the University of Bonn and the University of Melbourne. The workshops or research projects may take place in any country as long as they are undertaken collaboratively. The expectation is that these initial activities will lead to long-term collaborations, institutional and research relations, and when applicable, generate publications, exhibitions, and/or external funding for ongoing collaboration.

Principal Investigator Eligibility:

All proposals must be led by, or include in a significant role, ECRs. For the purposes of the fund, an ECR is within 10 years of the conferral date of their PhD, excluding periods of career interruptions.

University of Bonn:

Principal investigators from the University of Bonn must be research staff who have completed a doctorate and be able to show proof of their employment at least until the end of the collaborative research project. Past recipients may apply for funding no sooner than two years from the end date of their previous Bonn-Melbourne Research Excellence Fund project. Bonn PIs must not have outstanding Progress or Final Reports from any other International Office excellence funding schemes.

University of Melbourne:

Principal investigators from the University of Melbourne must hold an appointment at the University of Melbourne that meets the following requirements at the time of application and for the duration of the award:

  • Academic Level A6 or higher; and
  • 0.5 FTE or higher.

Honorary employees whose primary academic affiliation is the University of Melbourne are eligible to lead an application if:

  • Their primary employer has entered into an agreement with the University to support the Australian component of the collaborative activity, using the provided approval form under 'Supporting Documents' below; or
  • They agree to participate in their own expense if they are otherwise unaffiliated. For example, they hold an emeritus position.

Melbourne PIs must not have outstanding Progress Reports or Final Reports from any other University of Melbourne Researcher Development Scheme.

Additional information:

  • All applications must be endorsed by the PI’s Head of Department/School
  • Funding received through the scheme may be used to support mobility costs for collaborating academic staff, and graduate researchers enrolled at Melbourne, to meet the objectives of the project. Academic staff must meet the same eligibility requirements as the PIs, as outlined above.


In 2024, up to three applications will be funded (each with two Principal Investigators: one from Bonn and one from Melbourne). Each application will receive up to 10,000 € or $16,000 AUD from their respective institution. These funds must be used for research (broadly defined) and follow the budget guidelines below. Proposals may include targeted research support such as joint workshops, researcher exchanges, and the formation or development of a collaborative network. Applications with a smaller budget seeking funding for an exploratory workshop in either Bonn and Melbourne are also encouraged.

How to apply

  1. Review the guidelines

    Under 'Supporting Documents' below.

  2. Prepare and submit your application

    Collaborating applicants from the University of Bonn and from the University of Melbourne should submit their proposals in a joint submission via the University of Bonn application portal.

  3. Themis Submission

  4. University of Melbourne PIs are also asked to attach the PDF of the application to a Themis Workbench submission in order to obtain their Head of Department's approval.

    The scheme title in Themis is "Bonn-Melbourne Research Excellence Fund".

Supporting documents

University of Bonn scheme webpage

Scheme Guidelines

Honorary Deceleration form

Instructions for creating a grant submission record in Themis.


Melbourne contact
Bonn contact

Researcher Development Schemes Team

Research, Innovation & Commercialisation

The University of Melbourne

Dr. Christian Klöckner

Partnerships and International Researchers

International Office

University of Bonn