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Call for Proposals

+++Submission Deadline 30 April, 2021+++

logo2.jpgGIF-Leibniz Young Scientists’ MeetingLeibniz1.png.jpg

Since 2017, the German - Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF) offers the GYSM (GIF Young Scientists’ Meetings) as a platform for young researchers from Germany and Israel to become acquainted with each other’s work, learn about funding opportunities, and discuss their ideas with established scientists in their fields of research.

(Read more about the GIF Young Scientists’ Meetings here)

In October 2021, as a first of a planned series of collaborative workshops, GIF and the Leibniz Association will host a joint young scientists’ meeting in Israel.

Workshop Title:           Post Corona: Smart photonic and molecular technologies to combat 
                                    infectious diseases

Dates:                         October 25-27, 2021 

Location:                     Yearim Hotel, Kibbutz Ma’ale Hachamisha, Israel

Scientific Committee:  Prof. Dror Fixler, Bar Ilan University
                                    Prof. Ohad Gal-Mor, Sheba Medical Center
                                    Prof. Jürgen Popp, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology
                                    Prof. Ulrich. Schaible, Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Lung Center


Description of the meeting topic:

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has an enormous impact on human health and affects societies, economies and health systems globally, while challenging past assumptions and future certainties. Nevertheless, pandemics such as COVID-19 are not entirely new phenomena. Newly emerging and reemerging infectious diseases have been affecting humankind since the neolithic revolution, 12,000 years ago. Previously, devastating pandemics caused by smallpox and measles viruses or plague yersiniae have caused a significant loss of the human populations back then. The 1918 influenza pandemic killed at least 50 million people, and is considered as the deadliest disease in recorded human history. More recently, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, emerging 1981, has taken the lives of at least 37 million people. Alarmingly, over the last decades, the frequency of recurring outbreaks has been on the rise as exemplified by Influenza, Ebola, Chikungunya, Zika and the novel corona viruses, SARS-CoV-1 in 2002, MERS-CoV in 2012 and SARS-CoV-2.

A new public health challenge is the alarming increase of infections caused by multidrug resistant bacterial and fungal pathogens, which are often associated with high morbidity and mortality. Topping the WHO list of multidrug resistant bacteria is the causative agent of tuberculosis, already the most important infectious disease worldwide. More than 50 % of all tuberculosis cases in certain East European and Central Asian countries are multidrug resistant. Infections caused by multidrug resistant pathogens fail to respond to conventional treatment and often leaves last-resort antibiotics as the ultimate therapeutic options. When those fail too, we will be back in the pre-antibiotic era.

The global challenge of new infectious agents requires innovative strategies for better prophylactics and therapies, improved diagnostics and data sharing combined with worldwide surveillance. The recent evolution of optical and Omics technologies has revolutionized medical diagnostics and generated new tools and biosignatures for pathogen identification and surveillance, point of care diagnostics and biomarker-assisted individualized therapies. Optical imaging technologies are currently capable of providing molecular-grade information, while omics-based approaches facilitate personalized precision medicine.

International and collaborative efforts between academia, health organizations and industry in developing innovative optical and molecular technologies will be needed to improve preparedness and response to the next pandemic. The current COVID-19 experience may be used as a transformation catalyst, to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovations in the post-pandemic era.

In order to discuss these important concepts with international experts, the Leibniz Association represented by the two Leibniz Research Alliances, Health Technologies and INFECTIONS, are joining forces with GIF to start an expert workshop focusing on the following topics:

  • What can we learn from the COVID-19 crisis in terms of testing, processing and sharing clinical and epidemiological information?
  • Cutting-edge photonic and molecular technologies for diagnostics, detection, surveillance, biomarkers and precision medicine driven by artificial intelligence.
  • Persistence, transmission, species crossing and control of bacterial, fungal and viral infections in different environments and under the current geopolitical changes in the world.
  • Measures to counteract the future scenario of entering the post-antibiotic era.
  • Defining the medical and market needs for novel health technologies and bringing innovations to the market.


The Scientific Committee of the workshop invites doctoral students in the final stages of their degree and scholars up to 5 years after their PhD / establishing an independent research group to submit applications to give an oral presentation as part of the workshop program. ​

Participants are expected to present a talk of 15 minutes and are required to attend the entire meeting.


Further parts of the program will include:  

  • Keynote lectures by senior Israeli and German investigators
  • A festive evening event
  • A cultural sightseeing tour on Thursday, October 28, 2021.
Young scientists interested to participate should complete the application form​, including a short description of their proposed presentation (up to 500 words) and a CV no later than 30 April, 2021.

Go to the Application form for the GIF-Leibniz Young Scientists' Meeting

​​The scientific committee will select the most appropriate candidates for a synergetic and productive workshop program, and GIF will inform all applicants accordingly. 

Travel and accommodation for the accepted participants will be arranged and covered by GIF. 



New GIF Young Scientists' Program - Sustainability (closed) 


The call in Sustainability for the new GIF Young Scientists' Program was closed on March 1, 2021. The further timeline for the submitted proposals is:  

  • September 2021 – informing the applicants of the Board of Governors funding decisions 

  • October 2021 – digitally signing the contracts 

  • November 2021 – the Grants will commence and funds will be transferred to the beneficiary institutions and grantees.

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