Topics and Projects

We are addressing current scientific, economic and social challenges within the range of applications of the fields science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Our funding programmes give researchers the space they need to develop scientific solutions for overcoming these challenges. 
Basic and applied research – as well as the practical application of research results – are equally important to us in this regard. Particular emphasis is placed on funding multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research approaches.
Around 150 projects are currently being funded. Click here for the overview. 

Addressing topics – bundling knowledge

The Carl Zeiss Foundation’s funding strategy provides for targeted funding formats on specific priority topics in addition to non-specific funding offers in the STEM subjects. 

This focus on specific topics makes it possible to sustainably master challenges that the Foundation believes are of particular relevance. These perennial topics are developed together with experts from science and industry. 

The topics represent a contemporary interpretation of the founder’s will and provide a range of links for the profiles and specialisms of universities and research institutions in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia. 

All of the focus topics stay on the agenda for a period of at least five years.

Funded people in conversation

This scholarship allows me to focus more on my studies and also finance smaller projects, such as my 3D printer, hackathons or working on a Raspberry Pi.
Dominik Rebholz
Germany scholarship holder
Albstadt-Sigmaringen University
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first and only endowed professorship in Germany – and one of the first in the world – to deal exclusively with the interface of AI and law. I really appreciate being able to focus entirely on these research questions in my chair – and to have a great team of young researchers doing research on similar topics.
Prof. Dr. Michèle Finck
CZS Endowed Professorship for Artificial Intelligence Law
University of Tübingen
The Carl Zeiss Foundation is a blessing for science. It provides funding precisely where usual funding instruments stop, where taking chances at the highest risk level can lead to breakthroughs at disciplinary boundaries, and always with a view to young scientists – with a great deal of freedom and in an uncomplicated, transparent fashion.
Prof. Dr. Joachim Ankerhold
Vice President for Research
University of Ulm
For us students, this scholarship is a great honour, an award and recognition for our achievements. Our monthly allowance means we can look towards the new year with a sense of optimism.
Paula Knögel
Germany scholarship holder
University of Applied Sciences Jena
In the global competition between top universities, funding from foundations and the business community plays a major role in determining success. For over 130 years, the Carl Zeiss Foundation has supported the University of Jena and its partners in making Jena internationally visible as a location for business and science.
Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal
President
Friedrich Schiller University Jena