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German Research Foundation

The German Research Foundation specialises in research projects. It offers a wide range of research project options. It funds both individuals and researcher groups working with priority programmes and interdisciplinary approaches.

DFG - German Research Foundation© DFG - German Research FoundationDFG Head Office in Bonn
The German Research Foundation (DFG) is an independent organisation and funds one-off projects, research training groups and collaborative research. Being represented on the International Council for Science (ICSU), the DFG has research relationships throughout the world and has established a network with affiliated organisations outside Germany. The organisation is keen to help foreign academics to spend time in Germany in order to collaborate on research projects. Funding is provided for both institutions and individual academics who have been awarded a PhD.

How the DFG funds your research project

Assistance is provided based on the DFG's collaborative agreements with its foreign partner organisations and the relevant rules. The assistance may relate to preparing a research project - so-called preparatory trips (of up to three weeks). If you are already involved in a project, cooperation visits (of up to three months) may be subsidised. Funding is provided for a guest visit, with the travel expenses to Germany being subsidised. Accommodation expenses (DFG flat rates) and any transport expenses within or outside of Germany may also be funded.

Requirements for funding a preparatory trip or a cooperation visit

The DFG requires that a specific collaborative project is involved. If you are planning a preparatory trip you should be able to explain the relevance of the trip. So a sound project outline must be submitted with the application. Similarly, talks must have taken place with the collaborative partner and the partner must have issued an invitation. If you are seeking funding for a cooperation visit, the application must clearly show how the visit to the partner institute will assist your own research work. The application must also include a work plan for the period covered by the funding.

Funding for academic careers

The DFG's research programmes are very varied, so they have different underlying conditions. For instance, the Emmy Noether Programme is a specific research project that qualifies young post-doctorates for a career teaching at university. There are also special, long-term research projects with interdisciplinary partnerships and research training groups which can also be made international and virtual. Various junior research groups and scientific awards are also funded. For scientists who fulfil the requirements for an appointment to a long-term professorship, the Heisenberg Programme offers a number of research options that can reinforce your academic reputation. For all the funding programmes at a glance, go to: www.dfg.de/en

Teach as a visiting professor at a German university

For highly-qualified, foreign academics, the Mercator visiting professorship scheme offers the chance to obtain funding for a stay (duration: three to twelve months) in Germany. Access is via the universities - academics with a specific research profile are invited when they have particular specialisations that are to be studied in more depth through teaching. Specific issues that the academic him/herself has identified are the key criteria for a Mercator visiting professorship. Applications may be submitted informally to the DFG at any time and should be supported by the university.

academics.com :: March 2008