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Research Funding: Get Paid First, Then Research

By Julia Becker

One thing that remains the same no matter which rung of the career ladder you are on is that high-quality research costs a lot of money. Thankfully, in Germany there are numerous research funding programmes. In this article we take a look at the funding and support options available to scientists and early career researchers.

Research Funding© Oliver Klimek - Fotolia.com
In Germany the sheer breadth of research funding opportunities is enormous with universities, political institutions, society, industry, research and churches, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), state governments, the national government and the EU all offering their own research funding programmes.

When looking for support for your own research it is worth looking at university websites because they often offer a wide range of support for research whether at doctoral or post-doctoral level or as part of the habilitation process for those aiming to achieve the level of full professor in Germany.

There are also various special support programmes which are aimed at scientists at specific stages in their careers:

Research funding while working towards a doctorate
Research funding after obtaining a doctorate
Research funding for those seeking to become full professors
Research funding for full professors and those eligible for such positions

In addition to the research support programmes described on such sites there are other options which are aimed specifically at members and employees of certain research institutions such as the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society or the Leibniz Association. Details of these programmes are available on the websites of each organisation.

Don't forget that there are numerous scientific prizes awarded by foundations, federal government, regional governments and other organisations which fall under the category of research funding. The support comes in the form of a once-off payment of prize money which can then be used for research purposes. This type of funding, however, only considers individual scientists of outstanding calibre. For more information on which awards are available in Germany, search our database of scientific prizes (on academics.de).

More information about research funding organisation in Germany, funding programmes and databases can be found here: www.research-in-germany.de.