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One key objective of Germany’s education and research policy is to further support early-career researchers. A central role in this is played by the Research Training Groups (RTG) of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Since 1990 – that is to say for more than 25 years – they have been offering doctoral researchers the opportunity to complete their theses in a research and training programme at a high academic level. The DFG’s Research Training Groups not only ensure that the doctoral researchers receive the necessary academic and personal supervision; they also improve the structural and financial conditions for young researchers in Germany.
At the present time, the DFG is funding 189 Research Training Groups.
In which academic disciplines are the RTGs based?
- 30.7 percent are in the humanities and social sciences
- 23.8 percent are in the life sciences
- 30.2 percent are in the natural sciences
- and 15.3 percent are in the engineering sciences.
An additional 16 new RTGs were selected in the autumn of 2015, most of which will begin their work in April 2016. They will be funded for an initial period of four-and-a-half years, during which time they will receive a total of 72 million euros.
International Research Training Groups
Four of the 16 RTGs are International Research Training Groups (IRTG) with partners in Australia, Japan, Canada and the USA. IRTGs are based at one German and usually one foreign university and tackle a joint research programme. The DFG is already funding 38 International Research Training Groups, i.e. around a fifth of the total number. In all, 20 countries around the world are involved in International Research Training Groups.
What are the focal topics for the 16 new RTGs?
The new Research Training Groups will be focusing on all kinds of scientific fields, including topics such as the phenomenon of aggressive behaviour in patients to key mechanisms of the ageing process and cultures of critique. Details of the new Research Training Groups can be found at www.dfg.de > DFG to Fund Sixteen New Research Training Groups