Funding organisations

There are various organisations in Germany that fund research projects and individual researchers. 

The largest organisations that award financial support to individuals and their research projects are the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In addition to these large funding organisations, many other public and private bodies provide financial support for science and research. Important donors include not only Germany’s federal and state governments, but also the European Union. A large number of charitable foundations have also set themselves the goal of supporting research and junior researchers.  

When it comes to the support and funding of research projects, non-university research institutions and industry play a major role in Germany’s funding system. They especially support young researchers with job offers.  

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is the central funding organisation for research at higher education and public research institutions in Germany. It supports research projects and funds cooperation between researchers – also at an international level.

Logo of the German Ressearch Foundation (DFG)

European Union

The European Union (EU) funds research in a variety of ways through its research and innovation framework programme. These measures include not only support for basic and applied research, but also funding programmes for collaboration and exchange in higher education.

The flag of the European Union. It consists of twelve yellow stars on blue background.


The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft based in Germany is the world’s leading applied research organisation. Prioritising key future-relevant technologies and commercialising its findings in business and industry, it plays a major role in the innovation process. A trailblazer and trendsetter in innovative developments and research excellence, it is helping shape our society and our future.

Logo of the Fraunhofer Association

German Academic Exchange Service

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the world’s largest funding organisation for the international exchange of students and researchers.

Logo of the German Academic Exchange Service: A blue circle wherein is written DAAD in white capital letters.

Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Association is the largest German research organisation. It offers several opportunities for young researchers.

Logo of the Helmholtz Association

Leibniz Association

The Leibniz Association brings together 97 independent research institutions covering various scientific disciplines. Leibniz Institutes offer opportunities for doctoral students, postdocs and senior researchers alike.

Logo of the Leibniz Association


The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent non-profit research organisation. The 86 Max Planck institutes and research facilites focus on basic research, often taking an interdisciplinary approach. They are also engaged in supporting young researchers.

Logo of the Max Planck Gesellschaft


Thirteen organisations that work nationwide have come together to form StipendiumPlus under the umbrella of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. They support outstanding undergraduate and doctoral students.

A bunch of young people are standing in a semicircle and are laughing at the camera.


More than two-thirds of the annual funds invested in research come from industry. Companies either conduct research themselves or collaborate with research partners. (Early career) researchers are supported not only with job offers, but also with scholarships and prizes from corporate foundations.

In the foreground are parts of a complex machine, behind parts of the head of an old researcher with short white hair and glasses can be seen.