CZS Breakthroughs

Within the framework of the ‘CZS Breakthroughs’ programme, the Carl Zeiss Foundation funds top international research from Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.


We help universities advance and expand their identified research strengths (inter)nationally. A prerequisite for funding by the Carl Zeiss Foundation is national expertise in the respective field of research. The funded research area must be structurally sound and highly relevant to the strategic orientation of the higher education institution.

The funding amount under the ‘CZS Breakthroughs’ programme is up to five million euros per project over a period of six years. 

The applying university decides for itself which type of funding is appropriate for its project.

Eligible are:

  • scientific and technical personnel including material resources
  • junior research groups and doctoral students
  • professorships (tenure track or full professorship as part of an endowed professorship) 
  • large-scale equipment and research infrastructures
  • networking activities

Selection procedure

Funding projects are selected through competition and based on excellence criteria in a two-stage review process.