This years forum is a platform of exchange for the "Experiment!" grantees of 2018. They will present preliminary results, including failed attempts, after having explored a radically new or controversial approach in the life sciences, natural sciences and engineering. The broad mix of topics gives an exciting opportunity to share and discuss results, open questions and opinions beyond ones own academic background.
The audience is comprised of grantees coming from various subject areas in the life sciences, sciences and engineering as well as Foundation staff. They share a common interest in high-risk topics. All are curious to learn from each other about achievements, surprises and (un)foreseen difficulties that were encountered during the exploratory research undertaken. In the "Experiment!" initiative, failure with respect to reaching the original aim is not considered negative but a valuable learning experience, which can bring science forward. Therefore, all speakers are explicitly encouraged to mention disappointments and challenges rather than only stress highlights.
Back in 2018, 37 projects out of 645 proposals were awarded after three selection steps: first, shortlisting; second, double-blind review; and third, decision by jury and by lot. Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, not every project is present at this forum.
More information on the "Experiment!" grants is available on the Foundations website under Funding: Grants Awarded (Project-Persons-Search).
The funding initiative "Experiment!" started in November 2012 and ended in December 2020 after eight calls for proposals. The scientific community received the initiative exceptionally well with about 5.050 applications. In total, 183 grants have been awarded. The Foundation introduced a partially randomized selection (i.e. additional decision by lot) in 2017, which is also the subject of accompanying research undertaken by EVACONSULT, Berlin.
Please find the program under downloads.