General STEM funding

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics

ongoing projects
70.2 m
€ invested funding budget

We promote research and teaching in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition to thematic funding in three focus areas, we keep an eye on the entire spectrum of natural and technical sciences.

What do we mean by general STEM funding?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Within the scope of our funding offer, we provide programmes without thematic specifications, for example for the establishment of interdisciplinary postdoc groups that are aligned with all STEM disciplines. Moreover, we fund selected individual projects that fall outside our thematic priorities of Resource Efficiency (RE) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Why do we have open-topic offerings for STEM subjects?

The statute of the Carl Zeiss Foundation provides for the funding of research and teaching across the entire spectrum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 
We fulfil this mission primarily within the setting of our current high-priority topics of Artificial Intelligence and Resource Efficiency. We are also open to other exciting topics and research approaches that address new scientific, economic and social challenges. It allows us to detect innovations and trends and specifically address the specific needs of individual partners in our three funding states.

What do we want to achieve with our general STEM funding?

With our programmes and individual funding, we want to create momentum through funding, especially at the interfaces of science. 

We want to promote collaborations across the entire spectrum of STEM subjects

  • between scientific disciplines (e.g. interdisciplinary STEM research)
  • to benefit society (e.g. science communication), 
  • to benefit the economy (e.g. preparation of spin-offs), or 
  • to benefit other areas of education (e.g. transition from school to university, lifelong learning).


Judith Hohendorff

Program Manager

Phone: +49 (0)711 - 162213 - 12


Dr. Phil-Alan Gärtig

Program Manager

Phone: +49 (0)711 - 162213 - 10