CZS Wildcard

Within the framework of the ‘CZS Wildcard’ programme, the Carl Zeiss Foundation supports unconventional research projects from interdisciplinary groups comprising at least three scientists.


The ‘CZS Wildcard’ programme aims to support STEM research ideas at a very early stage of development. The application modalities, selection criteria and speed of the selection process as well as the formal requirements for project implementation correspond to the free nature of the programme. 

The funding amount under the ‘CZS Wildcard’ programme is up to 750,000 euros per project over a period of two years.

The following are eligible:

  • scientific and technical personnel 
  • material resources
  • networking activities

Selection procedure

Funding projects are selected through competition in a two-stage process. The originality, unconventionality and potential of the applications are evaluated in particular.