Deadline: 2024-10-03

Internal deadline: 2024-09-19

for successful internationally visible researchers, 2-9 years after PhD, without a permanent contract

This programme will replace FWF-START and FWF-Richter.

please mind the internal deadline!

Following documents/information has to be prepared before 19.09.2024:


Target group

The funding program is aimed at successful, internationally visible researchers from all disciplines, including arts-based research, who have already achieved a certain degree of academic independence (R3 level).

Funding goals

Due to their generous endowment, FWF ASTRA Awards offer researchers ideal conditions for conducting long-term research projects at a top international level, consolidating their individual research profiles, and acquiring the necessary qualifications for academic leadership positions.

ASTRA has the following key objectives:

  • Funding excellent, innovative research, including through the development or establishment of new research fields and/or approaches
  • Attracting and retaining internationally visible researchers to help increase the international attractiveness of Austrian research institutions
  • Supporting outstanding women researchers
  • Career development: Supporting the consolidation of independent researchers’ academic careers and the achievement of the qualifications needed for academic leadership positions, especially senior faculty positions, based on a well-funded research project
  • Establishing long-term career prospects through the integration of researchers and their research fields, creating sustainable added value for both researchers and research institutions

Additional program-specific information

The program includes a number of measures for the advancement of women: Half of the FWF ASTRA awards are given to women; tenure package; career coaching and networking measures, child allowances

Funding period and funding amount

  • From €500,000 up to a maximum of €1 million for a period of five years
  • An additional €200,000 tenure package for women ASTRA principal investigators who are granted a position with a permanent employment commitment upon fulfillment of a qualification agreement (e. g. tenure-track position) or a permanent academic leadership position (professorship or equivalent position) within the first three years of the project term.


  • The applicant must have the academic qualifications needed to lead the proposed research project
  • Doctoral degree: The date of the applicant's thesis defense or final examination must fall between a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 9 years prior to September 30 of the year of submission. Possible exceptions are defined in the Application Guidelines (e.g. parental leave periods). In the field of arts-based research, researchers who do not hold a doctoral degree can also apply. The prerequisite for eligibility is proof of at least 2 to a maximum of 9 years of relevant experience in arts-based research according to international standards.
  • Individuals who hold a tenured professorship or have accepted an appointment to a tenured professorship are not eligible to apply.
  • Researchers can submit a maximum of two applications to the ASTRA program and can only apply for an ASTRA Award once as the principal investigator. When applying, please note that according to the definition of the target group, a certain degree of academic independence should already have been achieved. This can include the acquisition of competitive third-party funding in the postdoc phase, longer (at least 3 continuous months) research experience abroad, or publishing academic papers without previous dissertation supervisors.
  • Application guidelines are currently being developed and are expected to be available from July 2024.


Merit Award [optional]

  • Applicants who are invited to the hearing but do not receive an ASTRA award are funded with a so-called MERIT award
  • max. EUR 450k for 3 years; possibility to resubmit to ASTRA for the next call (one resubmission only). 
  • A 3-page project plan for the MERIT Award is already submitted together with the ASTRA application