Breakthroughs - excellence in research

As part of the “Breakthroughs” programme, the Carl Zeiss Foundation promotes top international research from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.

We help universities advance and expand their identified research strengths.
Funding under the “Breakthroughs” programme is up to € 5 million per project over a period of six years (in cases of co-application for a professorship: up to six years).

The applying university decides which type of funding is preferred.
Generally 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
Funding projects are selected through competition and based on excellence criteria.

Prerequisite for funding by the Carl Zeiss Foundation is proven, national expertise in the respective field of research. This should be embedded within a corresponding structure and be relevant to the strategic direction of the university.