International collaborations

doctoral student in a lab

Germany is very interested in international cooperation and exchange, and it supports not only its universities and non-university research institutes, but also its small and medium-sized enterprises when they engage in research cooperation with international partners. You can also benefit from this as a cooperation partner.

Where can I obtain more information?

The first place to look for information is the Kooperation international online portal. This website aims to be a communication platform on all aspects of international cooperation in education and research for anyone seeking information and cooperation partners. You will find details of bilateral partnerships and opportunities for participation in programmes and support measures as well as contact persons for your region or country.

First points of contact can also be, for example, the German Houses of Research and Innovation (DWIHs) in Moscow, New Delhi, New York, São Paulo and Tokyo as well as the German Science Centre in Cairo. They provide information about research and funding opportunities for international collaborations and research stays.

How can I find a suitable organisation?

If you are looking for a suitable cooperation partner, you can carry out searches of existing collaborations and research projects or directly seek an appropriate research institute. The following databases can be helpful here:

  • Cooperation with a German higher education institution
    The German Rectors’ Conference offers a database containing information on 20,000 international partnerships with German higher education institutions. You will find the postal and Internet addresses of German higher education institutions on the Higher Education Compass website.
  • Publicly funded research projects in Germany
    The databases of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) contain details of over 110,000 research projects. They enable you to find out what kind of research is being carried out in laboratories with public funds and who is working on which subjects.
  • Research directory of over 23,000 institutes
    The Research Explorer directory of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers details of over 23,000 institutes at German universities and non-university research institutions searchable by geographical location, subject and other criteria.
  • Database of DFG-funded research projects
    The German Project Information System (GEPRIS) provides information about ongoing and completed research projects funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation of the research community in Germany.

Funding opportunities for research collaborations

Research collaborations with foreign cooperation partners are supported by various funding bodies and organisations:

  • Initiating international collaborations
    The German Research Foundation (DFG) funds the initiation of international collaboration with material costs or grants to cover travel costs and exploratory visits. Applications for funding may usually only be submitted by researchers who work in Germany or German research institutions.
  • EU funding
    The European Union promotes international cooperation between researchers, institutions and companies in its member and partner countries through Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
  • Preparing an international collaboration
    The International Bureau of the BMBF will finance the cost of a stay by an visiting international researcher if his or her visit contributes to the preparation of an international collaboration. Applications for funding can be submitted by the inviting universities, non-university research institutes or small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Information on research funding
    The Research Funding section on our website offers access to the most important information about different funding programmes and grants.
  • Social media
    Why not visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter? We will keep you up-to-date on current grants and funding programmes.