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Varying groups of scientists from the Helmholtz Earth and Environment Centres work together within a chosen and designated SynCom project for a limited period of time (approx. 12 months). Guiding principles are societal relevance, goal orientation, synthesis of scientific results, and catering to specific target groups.

SynCom Projects can be proposed once a year by interested scientists within the Helmholtz community.

During the project proposal call for 2023*2024 the following projects have been selected:

Modernizing Hazard Indicators

Scaling up Carbon Dioxide Removal

Developing operational biodiversity targets

The three pilot projects are Cities and Climate Change, Digital Twins, and Early Warning for Natural Hazards.

SynCom Call Timeline

Call for Proposals: SynCom Projects 2024*2025

SynCom welcomes applications for new SynCom Projects. From March until mid of July 2024, interested researchers within Helmholtz ‘Earth & Environment’ can submit their proposals. The proposal template can be downloaded here. Please submit the proposal via e-mail to Marie Heidenreich.

About SynCom

SynCom connects 7 Centres and 9 Topics for a higher societal impact. SynCom fosters the program ‘Changing Earth – Sustaining our Future’ through cross-Centre and cross-Topic networking activities:

  • Scientific knowledge synthesis (‘Syn’)
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication (‘Com’)

SynCom Projects

SynCom Projects should be designed to build bridges across various disciplines in a cross-Centre and interdisciplinary manner and to synthesize and/or communicate research results.

In a SynCom Project, participants have the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse range of scientists from various backgrounds and disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach fosters the creation of new, synthesized knowledge through the integration of different perspectives. SynCom Projects also allow for the inclusion of partners from outside the scientific community.

An exceptional feature of SynCom is its unique science-policy network which connects participants with key stakeholders and decision-makers. SynCom offers distraction-free environments for productive exchanges and targeted interactions with stakeholders in politics, society, and industry, thereby enhancing scientific impact. SynCom promotes interdisciplinary knowledge creation and broadens partnerships beyond the scientific community.

SynCom Projects are expected to enforce activities between the Helmholtz Centres within the Helmholtz Research Field ‘Earth and Environment’. The call is open for projects with several participants comprising at least two Topics and two Helmholtz Centres. Any researcher within the Helmholtz Research Field ‘Earth and Environment’ can apply. The average duration of a project is approx. twelve months. SynCom Projects have an allocated budget for workshops and other events. However, there is no general funding. Supported SynCom activities could include, but are not limited to, research synthesis paper, synthesis workshops, mapping of expertise, joint research funding proposal, stakeholder meetings, policy briefs, fact sheets, science-policy-dialogues, and parliamentary events.

Selection criteria

For further information, please see the proposal template. The SynCom Office and the SynCom Anchor Persons offer guidance on the application process and evaluation.

After submission, the Program Board will recommend project proposals based on these evaluation criteria:

  • Integrative in terms of disciplines, Topics, Centres, and Program Objectives
  • In the frame of the research programme ‘Changing Earth – Sustaining our Future’
  • Novelty in terms of timeliness/demand and/or filling gaps in the Research Field ‘Earth and Environment’
  • Feasibility considering timeline and limited funds from the SynCom budget

Selection process

The Management Board will proceed to decide on three (or more) SynCom Projects in its meeting on September 12, 2024. At least one representative from each SynCom Project is expected to present their goals at the General Assembly of the Research Field on November 27-28, 2024 in Kiel. SynCom Projects are expected to start in December 2024 or January 2025 with a project kick-off meeting.


FAQ: SynCom Projects

SynCom Project Call - Proposal Template


SynCom Projects 2024*2025 - Call Text

PDF, 261 KB