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Cologne International Forum Innovative Tandem Collaborations

Cologne International Forum Innovative Tandem Collaborations

The University of Cologne will be awarding five project grants (€ 15,000 each) annually for project-related innovative tandem collaborations between University of Cologne-based academics and international junior researchers, who will take on a leading role in the collaboration.

The project grants will be awarded on an individual basis, but linked to a project. Academic tandems with one University of Cologne-based academic and one international junior academic (postdoc) can apply. The application is to be made jointly, but the funds are put at the disposal of the international partner, who also decides on their use.

Novel, unconventional formats of international collaboration are favoured.



Submissions are possible twice a year. Deadlines for applications in 2023 are 31 March (tandem starting date mid 2023) and 31 August (tandem starting date end 2023). The review process is conducted by the advisory board of the Cologne International Forum. The tandems will be announced in June and November.

Junior international researchers who have obtained their PhD within the past five years and are based outside of Germany can apply together with a postdoc host, employed by the University of Cologne.

A comprehensive project description as well as a list of the measures the funds are intended to finance and, where applicable, a clarification of innovatory aspects is required. An online form for application is available at

Application form


Selection Criteria:

  • Academic quality and significance of the project (e.g. academic relevance, innovation and originality; where applicable special interdisciplinary orientation)
  • Innovative character of the collaboration and the cooperative measures (e.g. originality of content; special formats of cooperation; constructive inclusion of teaching and professional development of junior academics)
  • Contribution to sustainable international relationships (e.g. setting up of a permanent international relationship; likelihood of follow-on projects or continued cooperation; establishment of joint teaching offers; institutional expansion)



The project funding is output-oriented. The project is concluded with a clearly defined result, which is recognisable as the collective product of the tandem partners. Beyond this general requirement, there are no stipulations (formats can be, for example: joint publication, OERs, video/film, workshop/conference, web-based application/presentation, database/web archive, collective teaching projects).

A public event (on-site/hybrid/digital) at the Cologne International Forum must be carried out in the course of the project.


Format and eligibility of measures:

Any measure that is suited to successfully completing the cooperative project is eligible for funding. The researchers have greatest possible freedom in spending the funds.


Eligible measures can be, for example:

  • Own research stay in Cologne (max. 3 months at € 3,000) or own non-residential (not tied to a location) research grant (max. 3 months at € 3,000)
  • Awarding writing grants (to third parties)
  • Clearly defined research commissions to third-parties for field research, literature reports, comparative studies, source/archive appraisals etc.
  • Workshops (on-site/hybrid/digital)
  • Conference preparation/realisation
  • Collective teaching projects (e.g. hybrid seminars/lecture series/tandem teaching)
  • Hybrid cooperation
  • One-off lectures or lectures series
  • Expert research reports
  • Mobility/travel funds (up to 40% of project funds also for travel and short stays of UoC project personnel)
  • Fees (for international authors/conference participants/speakers)
  • Undergraduate/research assistant to support project (max. 4 months per project)
  • Necessary project-related costs (e.g. printing costs, software, hardware, special technology—standard products such as laptops, tablets, webcams etc. only in justified exceptional cases)
  • Sub-projects with non-standard formats and partners
  • …and many more….

Budgetary limitations and requirements are to be respected. Please refer to the Guidelines for the Use of CIF-Funds.


Approved projects must be carried out within the course of one year from the time of approval. Later completion is only possible in exceptional circumstances.



Submission of applications: Any time through website; deadlines to be considered for selection: 31 March and 31 August

Selection decision: 15 June / 15 November respectively

Realisation (incl. Forum-event): Within a year of approval

Submission of short report: Three months after project is concluded