Project application

Calls and tenders

Support is principally awarded on the basis of calls in which the submission of projects is requested. The calls are prepared by the implementing bodies for the corresponding investment priorities and published on the ESF website. Calls for tenders can also be made according to the Federal Act on the Award of Public Contracts. The announcement of tenders is also carried out via the ESF Website, but available in German only. (link to all calls and tenders)

Facilities, organisations and businesses can apply for ESF funding by taking part in a current call. Private individuals cannot apply for subsidies. However, they benefit by participating in projects and subsidy programmes funded by the ESF. Projects are chosen on the basis of selection criteria and realised by the project organisers.


Co-financing with ESF funding is tied to a series of conditions which are regulated by a special Directive (link to the legal framework). Measures are only funded if – among other things – the following obligations are fulfilled:

  • adherence to the priorities in terms of content, goals and measures of the operational programme;
  • pre-financing of the project costs;
  • observance of the principals of frugality, economy and expedience;
  • retention of all the documents and vouchers related to the project and its financing for ten years;
  • notification of the funding agency in the case, for example, of delays or changes to the project or its goals.Application of the publicity regulations
  • Observance of horizontal principles  such as the equality of men and women, non-discrimination and access for people with disabilities

The ESF ZWIMOS database

Applications for calls take place via the ESF ZWIMOS database. The database is the instrument of the ESF managing authority for the electronic documentation and processing of projects taking place within the framework of the European Social Fund and is based on the EU Regulation no. 1303/2013 – article 122. Alongside the online submission of project applications, monitoring, post-processing and all other project-relevant communication are handled via the database.

In practice this means for you that you can provide all of your (application) data and any other information via a (secure) web page, and that you can view and handle your project online via the same page in all stages (from the application phase to the drawing up of a contract, carrying out the project, reporting etc.).

In order to be able to submit your applications to the intermediate bodies in response to calls, registration for the ZWIMOS database is mandatory.

If you do not yet have a user profile for ZWIMOS, you can use the following link to register a new user. Please note that in order to register you first need to accept the conditions of use:

If you have already registered you can log into the ESF database directly:

In order to make your first steps in the database easier, we have created guidelines for the first steps in ZWIMOS (in German only)

For enquiries related to the content of calls, please contact the person indicated in the call documents. For other issues you can contact:

  • Technical issues:
  • General enquiries about the ESF: