Structural Funding – Mercator Research Center Ruhr

Structural Funding

Together, the UA Ruhr universities provide a wealth of degree courses in different disciplines. This diversity offers considerable potential for Master’s and PhD-level education: by bundling the individual universities’ main areas of research and competencies, degree programs with raised profiles emerge that have a strong pull on the national and international level.

The funding line “structural funding” provides grants for:

  • devising and establishing new inter-university, structured PhD programs in specific disciplines/topics
  • devising and establishing new inter-university Master’s degrees or the systematic integration of existing Master’s degrees in specific fields, especially by defining specific local profile and creating coordinated, mutually accessible teaching modules
  • the development and establishment of new collaborative teaching formats in Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees

Master’s and PhD programs

When submitting the draft, the applicants must in all cases provide proof that the universities/faculties involved are prepared to continue the program established within the framework of this funding line after the expiration of the MERCUR grant.

In case of applications pertaining to degree courses, any capacity and resource issues are to be resolved and agreed on with the respective Vice Rectorates for Education and Studies prior to the submission of the draft.

The funding period in Master’s degrees is laid out for the duration of between twelve and 24 months. Establishing a new joint degree course may be subsidized with up to 120,000 euros.

The creation of inter-university programs for PhD students may be subsidized with max. 550,000 euros – depending on the organization and the status quo in the respective discipline. The maximum funding period is four years.

Collaborative teaching projects

In 2018, this line of funding was expanded, and applications may now be submitted for grants for inter-university teaching and module-based projects in Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees that contribute to structure building, are sustainable, and increase the appeal and visibility of UA Ruhr as a shared study space. Teaching and learning formats that are eligible for funding are established in accordance with essential qualification demands and the students’ acquisition of competencies, as well as the UA Ruhr’s networking and profile-raising opportunities with regard to education and studies. They focus primarily on one of the following three objectives:

1. Internationalization of study space
2. Digitalization of education and studies
3. Trials for innovative teaching & learning settings

In order to be eligible for funding, projects must comply with one of the objectives listed above and must be jointly carried out by at least two UA Ruhr universities. They should be scheduled for long-term implementation and, at the same time, address current challenges resp. developments in education and studies (e.g. student heterogeneity, specific demands for teacher qualification, strong research focus). The developed formats must be carried out at least twice within the funding period, and the products resulting therefrom (e.g. tutorial video pool, remote lab) must be made available at all three universities after the termination of the project.

The maximum funding period is 24 months. The maximum funding amount is 80,000 euros. Examples of formats eligible for funding are available here .

Application requirement(s):

The initiative must be led by faculties resp. institutions at least two of the three UA Ruhr universities. When submitting the draft, the applicants must in all cases provide proof that the universities/faculties involved are prepared to continue a program established within the framework of this funding line after the expiration of the MERCUR grant. In case of applications pertaining to degree courses, any capacity and resource issues are to be resolved and agreed on with the respective Vice Rectorates prior to the submission of the application.

Application process:

For the Master’s and PhD funding programs, two application rounds are carried out. In order to meet MERCUR’s strategic requirements, each application process is subdivided into two stages (draft application proposal, full application proposal). The deadlines for the draft application proposals are 15/05 and 15/11 of the respective year. In joint consultation with the Rectorates at all three UA Ruhr universities, MERCUR invites applicants whose projects meet most of the funding program’s objectives to file a full application proposal.

A shortened process has been introduced for reviewing full application proposals for collaborative teaching projects. It is a one-stage process, draft application proposal is not required. Full application proposals are to be submitted without prior notice by the same deadlines as full application proposals for project, individual, and structural funding. For deadlines, please see the current Request for Proposal.

For details on the application process, please refer to the application requirements, as well as the our application guidelines.