The German Research Foundation (DFG) is a self-governed organization which funds and supports research in Germany. With a funding volume of approximately EUR 3 billion per year, it is the largest third-party funding provider in Germany and Europe. DFG funding is allocated for individual projects, collaborative projects and infrastructure.
Below you will find information on the major funding and support programs offered by the DFG.
Collaborative Research Centers are interdisciplinary research associations of outstanding scientists and researchers at a single university which offer long-term funding and support (up to 12 years). Transregional Collaborative Research Centers may include up to three universities. Collaborative Research Centers promote excellent interdisciplinary research, develop priorities and structures at the applicant university and support junior researchers and equal opportunity measures.
Research Training Groups support junior researchers by providing training for doctoral candidates within an interdisciplinary, focused research program and a structured training strategy. In International Research Training Groups, researchers at a German university collaborate with a partner research group in another country.
Research Units consist of a team of researchers working together on a medium-term research project which in terms of focus, duration and funding aim to achieve research results beyond the individual grant programs and establish new collaborative structures.
Centers for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Science are a special type of funding instrument suited to the working methods in these fields and are targeted at proposals which adopt a comparative or experimental approach. Interdisciplinarity is not mandatory.
Clinical Research Units offer funding for translational clinical research, supporting collaboration between physicians and scientists in patient-orientated basic research and the development of research priorities at medical institutions.
Individual Grants Programs
The DFG offers various programs for researchers with a doctoral degree. The funding options for research fellowships and temporary positions for principal investigators are aimed at junior researchers. The Emmy Noether and Heisenberg programs are designed for postdoctoral researchers, preparing them for a professorship and a position in scientific management.
The DFG co-finances the acquisition of major instrumentation at universities in cooperation with the Federal states.