The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is the self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany that brings together higher education institutions and research organisations. It is the central research funding organisation in Germany and provides financial support for research in higher education and public research institutions, but does not run any research establishments itself.
The DFG funds research based in Germany in all disciplines using a bottom-up approach. That means any researcher affiliated with a German research institution holding a PhD or higher qualification can submit an application without any subject restrictions. DFG programmes offer a wide range of opportunities for various career stages. Additionally, the DFG also has agreements with specific partner organisations in other countries to fund research projects between German researchers and researchers abroad.
This begins with the funding of positions in DFG-funded projects and extends to the funding of an applicant’s own project or research group. The central element of DFG funding is what is known as the Individual Grants Programmes. These programmes allow all researchers to submit applications in relation to their own projects.
International collaborations and international interchange are possible and desired in all DFG funding programmes. Additionally, the DFG provides funds for coordination work and travel. Specific programmes focus on international cooperation. They involve not only international research training groups and coordinated research, but also DFG support for the European Research Area (in German).
Facts and figures
Approx. 850 employees
In addition to its headquarters in Bonn and the Berlin Office, the DFG also maintains representative offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, Moscow, São Paulo, New Delhi and Tokyo, as well as the Sino-German Center (SGC) in Beijing, a joint venture of the DFG and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Funding for approx. 31,000 research projects
Annual budget: 3.3 billion euros (2019)
The funds distributed by the DFG on the basis of a sophisticated evaluation system come from the Federal Government (69%) and the German states (Länder) (30%) as well as to a small extent from foundations and the European Union. In 2018 its budget totalled 3.3 billion euros.