The [Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft] (DFG), [Germany's] main grant agency, is soliciting proposals from universities to host a biodiversity centre that could create up to 80 postdoc and PhD positions, 6 professorships and 10 group-leader positions. The DFG will make its selection by April 2012; the host university will build a new centre or expand an existing lab. Proposals must be submitted by 14 January 2011, and applicants must show how they will collect and analyse data and set up a study programme. The DFG will provide between €4 million (US$5.5 million) and €7 million a year for up to 12 years. The successful applicant must have expertise in biodiversity theory and modelling, ecology, evolution and the science of conservation.
A center like this will make tremendous contributions to our understanding of the origins, maintenance, and consequences of biodiversity. According to the DFG's description, the new research center will focus on:
- Synthesis, theory development and modelling in biodiversity research,
- ecological research with focus on ecological interactions,
- evolution and adaptation of organisms and biocoenoses,
- scientific fundamentals of conservation.