With the establishment of the Köln Fortune Programme in 1996, the Faculty of Medicine has created an important instrument for the targeted promotion of high-quality and competitive research projects. The Köln Fortune Programme is primarily focused on the promotion of innovative contributions of younger scientific staff members in the sense of a "start-up aid" to increase the chances of success for formal funding by the DFG or comparable institutions.
The research funding programme supports three target groups:
- Young academics: Young staff with a doctorate who are given the opportunity to deal more intensively with scientific issues. As a rule, the funding serves to prepare the ground for successful external third-party funding at the DFG, Federal Ministry of Education and Research or comparable institutions.
- Successfully peer-reviewed third-party funding projects: Applicants who have already successfully obtained third-party funding and who, for example, do not have essential equipment that the DFG has included in the basic funding, or who would like to broaden their scope of research.
- Interdisciplinary cooperation: Financing of working groups that are already working successfully in scientific research and whose cooperation contributes to the emergence of highly competitive research priorities.
The Köln Fortune Programme has proven its worth as an instrument for securing and optimising research performance. It is currently endowed with EUR 3.8 million per year. An internal research advisory board has been set up for the purpose of reviewing the programme, which draws on external expertise as required.