A Seed Money Initiative for Research Project Development

Call for Applications

The first call for applications closed on 15 January 2022. The next call will be published in autumn 2022.


Advancing Music and Minorities Research (AMMR) is a novel initiative by the Music and Minorities Research Center (MMRC) at mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.

AMMR is a "seed money" initiative aimed at supporting talented researchers in acquiring funding for their project ideas and boosting high-quality research on music and minorities at MMRC: The initiative provides financial support and expert advice on scholarly matters as well as grant acquisition for postdoctoral researchers from all around the world who intend to develop their cutting-edge project ideas in the field of music and minorities research into competitive grant applications submitted to selected funding agencies. If these funding applications are successful, MMRC will serve as the host institution of the former AMMR grantees and their research projects. (Note that the location of MMRC in Austria does not result in regional limitations of the project topics.)

MMRC invites excellent postdoctoral researchers with innovative and promising project ideas to seize this unique opportunity and submit their applications!

Within the present call, MMRC awards up to four AMMR seed money grants of 8,000.00 EUR each. The recipients are selected by an international jury of senior experts in music and minorities research. The money is paid on a freelance basis and in two instalments according to progress of the proposal preparation.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates for an AMMR seed money grant are expected to

  • have a PhD in ethnomusicology or a related discipline.
  • have a robust track record with regards to their current career stage.
  • have relevant and substantial experience in music and minorities research, visible in peer reviewed publications (see MMRC’s definition of the concept of "minority").
  • have an original, innovative, and feasible idea for a research project on a self-selected topic in the field of music and minorities research that fits the criteria of one of the supported funding programs (see list below) and that the candidates would like to conduct at MMRC as principal investigators in the case of receiving funding from these programs.

Furthermore, candidates need to fulfil all eligibility criteria of the funding programs to which they intend to submit the applications they will write as AMMR grantees. Researchers interested in applying for an AMMR seed money grant are encouraged to ask MMRC’s research coordinator (Malik Sharif, in advance for advice on whether they and their project ideas are suitable for their intended funding program or not.

There are no restrictions on age, nationality, or current residence of candidates, but specific funding programs may have requirements in these regards.

AMMR grantees are not required to stay in Vienna over the duration of the grant. Work meetings, presentations, etc. can all take place online. If feasible, grantees are of course welcome to visit MMRC. In this case, MMRC will cover hotel costs but grantees will not receive additional travel funds.

What do we support?

AMMR supports primarily the development of applications to the following funding programs (follow the links for detailed information on each program and study the respective guidelines closely before preparing your application for an AMMR seed money grant):

  • FWF Stand-Alone Projects
    • no application deadlines
    • project duration of up to 48 months
    • Applicants need to fulfil the territoriality principle: Either the researcher’s main residence must have been in Austria for at least three of the past ten years at the time when the application is submitted, or the applicant must have been working continuously as a researcher in Austria for at least two consecutive years preceding the submission of the application.
  • FWF ESPRIT Career Advancement for Postdocs
    • no application deadlines
    • project duration of 36 months
    • doctoral degree awarded no more than five years prior to the time of application
    • no territoriality principle: applicants may at the time of application (and before) reside in any country
  • FWF Elise Richter Programme
    • two submission windows per year in spring and autumn
    • project duration 12 to 48 months
    • eligible are only female senior postdocs
    • Applicants need to fulfil the territoriality principle: Either the researcher’s main residence must have been in Austria for at least three of the past ten years at the time when the application is submitted, or the applicant must have been working continuously as a researcher in Austria for at least two consecutive years preceding the submission of the application.
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – European Postdoctoral Fellowships
    • one call per year, deadline in October
    • project duration 12 to 24 months
    • Applicants must have a maximum of 8 years experience in research, from the date of the award of their PhD degree. Years of experience outside research and career breaks will not count towards the above maximum, nor will years of experience in research in third countries, for nationals or long-term residents of EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries who wish to reintegrate to Europe.
    • Applicants must comply with the mobility rule: They must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Austria for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline.

The proposed projects should have a prospective duration of more than 12 months and a project budget of 100,000.00 to 400,000.00 EUR, depending on the provisions of the given funding program. If a given funding program allows for this option, proposed projects may include further project staff in addition to the principal investigator. The development of funding applications for projects with a shorter duration or a lower budget is not supported by AMMR grants.

A note on other funding programs:

MMRC may consider to support applications to other, comparable funding programs within which a research project at MMRC may be funded. This may include, for example, applications for ERC grants, applications to national funding agencies in countries around the world, or also applications to foundations and other private funding bodies. Minimum conditions for the support of applications to other funding programs are:

  • The program funds research projects hosted by MMRC, i.e., by a research center that is part of an Austrian public university.
  • The program funds research projects with a duration of more than 12 months.
  • The program funds research projects with a budget of more than 100,000 EUR.

In such a case, candidates have to inquire in advance with MMRC’s research coordinator (Malik Sharif, whether the development of an application to the respective funding program would be eligible for an AMMR grant.

What do we offer?

AMMR grantees receive:

  • 8,000.00 EUR of financial support for the scholarly work of developing their project ideas into concrete project plans and competitive funding applications. This money is paid on a freelance basis via a contract for works and services. (Note that grantees are responsible to report all amounts received to the competent tax authority for the purpose of calculating the corresponding taxes. Additional charges such as wire transfer fees may apply.) The money is paid in two instalments of 4,000.00 EUR according to work progress. The first instalment is due after a draft project concept is produced, the second instalment is paid when the full project application is completed and submitted. Due to statutory reasons, down payments are not possible.
  • scholarly counseling by MMRC’s academic staff and associates.
  • advice on funding application writing by MMRC’s research coordinator.
  • if necessary, English language editing of funding applications (additional funds will be provided).

Furthermore, MMRC will promote the selected candidates as AMMR grantees via the center’s communication channels.


  • 15 October 2021 – call for applications opens
  • 15 January 2022 – call for applications closes
  • January/February 2022 – selection of candidates by the AMMR jury, consisting of selected MMRC staff members and members of MMRC’s international advisory board
  • February 2022 – notification of candidates, initial online meetings, closing of contracts of works and services
  • April 2022 – online presentations of draft project concepts to MMRC’s academic staff and associates
  • Summer/autumn 2022 – submission of funding applications

Grantees meet the director of MMRC and the center’s research coordinator in regular online meetings throughout the work process which are arranged individually.

How to Apply

Application documents:

  • letter of motivation (not longer than 2 pages)
  • CV (not longer than 3 pages)
  • lists of publications (indicating peer reviewed publications), grants and awards, and other academic achievements
  • abstract of the project idea that will be developed into a funding application, indicating the intended funding program (not longer than 2 pages)
  • a short text addressing the eligibility criteria of the intended funding program and demonstrating that the candidate and the project idea fulfil all criteria
  • recommendation letter by a senior scholar (required); applicants may at their own discretion include additional and optional recommendation letters by persons/organizations relevant to the project idea, such as musicians or representatives of minority communities or NGOs

Please send your application documents in one PDF file and in the listed order to:

Deadline for applications: 15 January 2022