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.
© DAAD/Volker Lannert
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).
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)
Source: DFG; deviation in the total amount is due to rounding
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.
Collaborative Research Centres offer PhD students and junior researchers opportunities to pursue an outstanding research programme that crosses the boundaries of disciplines, institutes, departments and faculties.
Research training groups are set up by universities and pursue a focused research programme. PhD students and postdocs can complete a doctorate or engage in independent research activities.
Outstanding junior researchers can rapidly qualify for leading positions in science and research or for a university teaching career by heading an independent junior research group and assuming relevant teaching duties.
These grants support international collaboration by enabling eligible German and international researchers and academics to plan partner visits, trips abroad and/or joint workshops with their partners.
Junior and senior researchers can realise a research project on a specific subject within a limited period of time. The programme can provide support for project costs, staff and equipment required to carry out the project.
Excellent researchers can prepare for a leading position in science and research and spend time working on an advanced research topic at an institution of their choice.
Higher education institutions can set up interdisciplinary research centres with DFG support. Up to six professorships and supplementary junior research groups can be funded in this way.
www.dfg.de > DFG Research Centres