To promote especially innovative research areas and interdisciplinary research projects, research platforms can be established as organizational units between at least two faculties.
Applications for such platforms are evaluated on the basis of international peer-review assessments; the Rectorate decides on their implementation after obtaining an official statement of the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Vienna.
Research platforms are initiated by individual researchers or research groups, address research questions that require an interdisciplinary approach, and are funded by the University for three years (with an option of limited extension for a maximum of six years, depending on the evaluation).
Research platforms may be turned into research centers after the completion of the funding period, which shall not exceed six years. Research centers are subunits of a faculty or a center and are partly funded by it.
They are established by the head of the research platform following a concept presentation that is evaluated internationally. The establishment is decided by the Rectorate. At the University of Vienna, research centers are not in place longer than the employment period of their heads. Research centers are evaluated on a regular basis and must raise a considerable part of their funding from third-party sources.
At the beginning of 2014, the University of Vienna’s first research networks have been established for an initial period of three years. Research networks help to reach a critical mass in socially relevant topics at the University of Vienna that are intended to be the basis for research platforms and third-party funded projects in the pillar “Societal Challenges” of the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework programme. The participating faculties and centres finance the research networks.
(Participants: Ingrid Getreuer-Kargl, Ina Hein, Susanne Hochreiter, Kirsten Rüther)