Europe and Global Challenges

This funding initiative encourages European and international researchers to work together on important global issues. This call's focus is health and environmental challenges.

This scheme is jointly funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the Volkswagen Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Scheme at a glance

This scheme is now closed

Level of funding:

From €500,000 to €900,000

Duration of funding:

Up to four years

Who can apply

The initiative supports collaboration between researchers based in different parts of the world. Groups must:

  • include researchers based in Europe and at least one other region (eg Africa or Latin America)
  • have the majority of their participants working outside European Union countries.

Ideally, groups should:

  • involve 1-4 research institutions
  • include at least one principal investigator from Germany, Sweden or the UK.

Who can't apply

We won't consider proposals that are awaiting a decision at another funding organisation.

What we're looking for

The initiative funds research into issues that need a coordinated global response. 

These global challenges cover a broad spectrum and are often interrelated. They include issues like poverty, infectious disease, global warming, water scarcity and regional conflicts.

In this call we're accepting proposals related to:

  • climate change
  • global health
  • terrorism and/or radicalisation
  • migration
  • social inequality.

We're looking for proposals that address these themes in an innovative way. Your research group is free to define its own research topics and questions.

The disciplinary focus within your group should be the social sciences. We expect you to work with other disciplines where necessary.

Groups will receive from €500,000 to €900,000, for projects of up to four years. Funds can be provided for staff costs and non-staff costs, including travel.

All applications will be dealt with jointly by the supporting organisations. 

Apply on the Volkswagen Foundation website.

Disabled applicants

If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.


  • Deadline for pre-proposals

    1 September 2016

  • Decisions on shortlisted pre-proposals


  • Deadline for full proposals

    27 January 2017

  • Interviews with shortlisted research groups in Stockholm

    2–3 March 2017

  • Grant decisions

    End of March 2017

Funding partners


Contact us

If you have a question, contact Dr Anika Haverig at the Volkswagen Foundation: