The Administrative Agreement on the Excellence Strategy makes provisions for a call for proposals for the second round of funding to begin in 2026. If successful in the competitive procedure, up to four new universities can be included in the Universities of Excellence funding line. The call for proposals will be organised by the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR).
All universities or consortia that meet the formal proposal requirements will be eligible to submit a proposal. Formal eligibility for the Universities of Excellence funding line is determined as soon as the funding decisions in the Clusters of Excellence funding line are taken by the Excellence Commission in the second round of calls for proposals. As in the first round, an individual university is formally eligible to apply if it can prove that it has achieved the required number of two Clusters of Excellence. The proposal as a consortium of two or three jointly applying universities requires the funding of a total of at least three Clusters of Excellence at these universities, whereby each of the universities participating in the consortium must either have acquired at least one Cluster of Excellence or be involved in a joint Cluster of Excellence as an applicant (FAQ, as of December 2021). See also the information and fact sheets provided in the call for proposals and the reviews of the first competition round here (German version only).
The timetable for the second round of calls for proposals with funding starting in 2026 is currently being drafted. Information and proposal documents will be published on the website of the WR at a later date. The universities will be notified of all dates and deadlines in due time.
The Committee of Experts issued a statement on the future framework conditions for the next competition round in February 2021. The joint press release of the WR and DFG can be found here (German version only).