Applicants contact a subject representative with extensive experience of third-party funding as a potential coach. This expert assesses the project outline and decides whether he/she would like to take on the role of a coach in the application phase. In the event that funds are successfully acquired, the coach receives a share of the overhead budget (if provided by the third-party financer) after the start of the research project for further use upon application.
Following the assessment by the subject representative (coach), the university board of management issues a decision on the funding. The criteria for the acceptance or rejection of an application are:
- the applicant's previous outstanding academic achievement (including the final dissertation assessment, academic awards, distinguished publications, previous acquisition of third-party funds)
- a project idea relevant to the current state of research
- the likelihood that the proposed project will receive funding
- the feasibility of the planned third-party funded project
The commencement and duration of a "TRAc Starter Project" is arranged individually for each participant. The duration reflects the amount of time usually required to apply with respective funding agencies for third-party funding - from the application preparation and submission process until the issue of a final decision. This generally ranges from three months to a maximum of one year. This period can be extended, particularly if
- the period between successful third-party funding acquisition and the start of the project must be bridged (by up to a maximum of one year);
- a third-party financer suggests that a submitted application be revised and that this revised version has a distinct chance of being approved (by a maximum of up to one year);
- work has had to be interrupted due to family-related responsibilities (maternity leave, parental leave, caring for relatives).
Unprompted, and at defined intervals, programme participants submit brief reports on the progress of their application. These reports also list the advisory, coaching and advanced training services the participants have utilised. Participants are to use the template provided by TRAc for these reports.
With the incorporation as a "TRAc Starter Project", participants may receive interim funding. In the event of successful acquisition of third-party funding, a participant’s employment at the University of Bamberg is covered by project funds during the project career, provided he or she fulfils the necessary requirements.