Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

The CMMC funding strategy

The CMMC provides various innovative measures to support research groups at the UoC working in the areas of molecular medicine, to attract new talents with specific programs and to educate scientists at all levels of their career. These funding programs have been essential for the CMMC to achieve its goal of better promoting high-quality biomedical research as well as supporting the career paths of young scientists and clinician scientists.

The CMMC provides the following nine different funding programs that support clinicians and researchers at different stages and settings of their education and scientific academic career: 

The IPMM is aimed at early stage research-oriented physicians and postgraduate natural scientists and is designed to provide doctoral candidates with a comprehensive range of relevant and timely training to better promote his/her career in the field of molecular biomedical research.

The CMMC’s BGP facilitates the ad hoc recruitment of excellent scientists by providing immediate support for pertaining clinical departments or institutes in cases of budget shortage. The advantage of this program is that it avoids time-consuming recruitment procedures, thereby enabling competitive international headhunting.

This program benefits from the CMMC´s dynamic allocation concept of laboratory/research space in the CMMC Research Building. For example, the Center integrates Junior Research Groups funded by internal institutions (for example by the Medical Faculty) or by external institutions (for example DFG or Deutsche Krebshilfe) and provides access to lab/research space, core units and support from the Central Office. At the moment six JRG are associated with the CMMC.

Since the CMMC’s foundation in 1994 the JRGP has been an integral part of its support measures for junior researchers’ careers. Currently the Center provides funding for three internationally competitive JRGs, which is comparable to the Emmy Noether-Program by the DFG and equivalent to a non-tenured Assistant Professorship with a running period of 5 (+3) years.

The recently established Career Advancement Program (CAP) is a funding instrument that has been specifically designed to support high-potential mid-career scientists of the Medical Faculty aiming for professorships or equivalent leadership positions at non-university research institutions. Currently the CMMC supports eight CAP-groups.

To ensure that young physicians have enough time to devote to their research endeavors, the CMMC provides up to three rotating positions for young physician scientists to withdraw from clinical tasks and responsibilities and to spend more time on their research. The RPP has proved to be highly successful in allowing physician scientists to focus on and advance their research. 

The CMMC implemented this program to further promote the scientific exchange in the field of Molecular Medicine within the Life Science Campus at the University of Cologne, the University Hospital Cologne and the other institutions.

The CMMC associated research groups are integrated in CMMC-relevant processes in an advisory capacity (no voting rights), and involved in all CMMC activities. The CMMC provides access to CMMC/CECAD Proteomics Facility and the CMMC House Services.

The Individual Project Funding Program (IPFP) supporting individual projects for three years has been a cornerstone of the CMMC funding policy right from the foundation of the Center. The submission of project proposals refers only to members of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Cologne working in biomedical research areas. Research proposals that meet the formal criteria qualify for the scientific evaluation process.

The CMMC aims to promote the development of innovative, long term and high-risk research projects in an individual or collaborative setting that demonstrate a clear disease-oriented focus. To facilitate the integration of a wider range of research groups at the Medical Faculty and the Science Faculty the submitted proposal should fit into one of the three CMMC research areas:

This highly competitive research fund strictly correlates to the three-year funding period of the Center.

In January 2023 the CMMC started the 10th funding period (01/2023-12/2025) supporting 41 research projects funded by the CMMC Individual Project Funding Program (IPFP).

The CMMC has provided support since 2008 to outstanding, officially retired senior scientists, who demonstrate a sustained high level of productivity and whose expertise and research accomplishments have been and will continue to be crucial to the CMMC. In line with this, the CMMC awarded Prof. Wilhelm Stoffel (Emeritus, Lab. for Molecular Neurobiology) simce  2008 and Prof. Thomas Krieg (Translational Matrix Biology) since 2020 as CMMC SRG Leader.