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German Research Foundation

  • Individual funding for doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers, including those pursuing a habilitation
    • Project funding by means of an individual research grant
      with the basic module funding line and, if applicable, additional modules via building block principle
      (personnel, material and travel funds, if necessary additional funds for publications, workshops, public relations, visiting academics, research sabbaticals etc.).
    • Postdoctoral funding for your own position
    • Walter Benjamin Programme = for academics in the early career phase after their doctorate to carry out a research project in Germany or abroad.
      The research fellowship section was terminated in summer 2019.
    • Emmy Noether Programme = early career researchers
    • Heisenberg Programme = preparation for a professorship
  • Coordinated programmes = research in alliance
    • Priority Programmes = sub-projects in a large consortium project, via call for proposals
    • Research Units
    • Research Training Groups
    • Collaborative Research Centres

DFG: Notes for German-Russian applications and cooperation projects

Cooperation to be suspended as a consequence of the Russian attack on Ukraine / Funding of German project parts by DFG still guaranteed

  • The DFG is currently not accepting new applications or continuation applications that are based on German-Russian cooperation. Applications that have already been submitted are suspended until further notice and will not be processed further. Bridging funding is also not possible.
  • If the DFG directly funds Russian project parts, for example within the framework of research groups or priority programs, these cannot be funded further.
  • Cooperation with Russian partner organizations is to be suspended (no exchange of data, samples and equipment as well as other scientific material). Whether projects are continued or changed under these circumstances is at the discretion of the project responsible in Germany, but overall the projects are to be continued as far as possible even without cooperation; funding for the German part of the project is still guaranteed by the DFG.
  • All events with scientists from Russian research institutions should not be carried out. Ongoing guest visits do not have to be terminated, but new guest visits should not be planned and carried out.
  • Scientists who have currently applied for a fellowship abroad for Russia can change their applications and state other target countries. Fellowships that have already been approved should not be started. Current fellowships can be converted into domestic fellowships or positions after approval by the DFG Head Office; here, too, there is the option of changing to another country.

Further information can be found on the DFG Webpage.

The DFG funds knowledge-driven basic research in all disciplines in a wide variety of project forms and sizes.

  • Eligibility to apply: from doctorate.
  • Deadlines: at any time; exception: time-bound special calls for proposals.
  • Review procedure: usually at least 6 months.
  • In addition to its regular funding lines, the DFG invites tenders for certain funding formats separately, such as project funding in priority programmes, centres, international collaborations and prizes, which are published via the DFG Newsletter.
  • The University of Passau supports the development of DFG applications in the internal funding programme Research Pool - as start-up funding in the form of personnel and, if necessary, material resources!

The DFG provides comprehensive information on the review process on its website.

Please also take note of the DFG's guidelines for reviewers, which provide information on the criteria and structure of the reviews.

You can also view the processing status of your submitted application in the elan portal.
There are 5 different stages (see page 4 of the elan brochure):

  1. Processing stage (= proposal is being checked for formal criteria)
  2. Review stage (= undergoing scientific review)
  3. Decision stage (= scientific review complete; proposal is at decision-making phase)
  4. Notified (= a decision has been made)
  5. Other (= you have withdrawn your proposal).

DFG emphasises the importance of gender and diversity for research projects

In a statement issued in May 2020, the DFG Senate underlined the importance of considering gender and diversity for research projects. While internationally, the relevance of gender and/or diversity is already requested by many funding organisations, the DFG is taking a pioneering role in the German research system. By considering gender and diversity in the preparation and implementation of a research project, "blind spots" can be avoided and thus the scientific quality of the results can be increased.

"It is important to us to encourage researchers to reflect on the dimensions of gender and diversity for their research work, because in many cases these are relevant," says DFG President Professor Dr Katja Becker. "However, we also know that the importance of gender and diversity varies depending on the research context, topic and methods, which is why the information on this is not mandatory when applying to the DFG."

DFG statement on "Gender and Diversity – Significance for Research Projects" (includes further  information and examples for all academic disciplines).

Specialist contact at the DFG Head Office:
Dr Christina Elger
Equal Opportunities
Research Integrity and Cross-Programme Development
Phone +49 228 885 2612
E-mail

Source: DFG Information for Researchers No. 31 | 25 May 2020

The DFG sets its own guidelines for the format of the publication lists and the number of publications in the application (chapter 1.2) and in your academic CV in the attachment. The rules are a common stumbling block and, if not followed, will be treated by the DFG as a formal error, with the application returned for correction!

Please also note that for publications with the status "accepted"/"in publication", the manuscript as a PDF and an informal confirmation from the editors/publisher are obligatory attachments to your application – otherwise this is also considered a formal error.

According to the DFG guidelines on the format of publication lists:

  • Chapter 1.2: Project-related publications
    A maximum of 10 publications related to the project (including preliminary studies, studies on methodology etc.) by the applicants in total
  • Chapter 3: Bibliography
    no limit – here you list all the literature you have cited in the application (in the bibliographical style of your subject); the chapter may be presented in a slightly smaller font size for reasons of space
  • Attachment: Academic curriculum vitae
    A maximum of 10 publications per applicant with the criterion "Your 10 most important publications"

Sources: DFG Leaflet 1.91 "Notes on publication lists" (last updated: February 2020) and
FAQ of the DFG on publication lists

If possible, work with tabular representations and the current rates of the DFG and the University of Passau in chapter 5 of the financing plan.
Our team in section III/2 can make figures, examples and fact sheets available to you.
Calculate moderately and clearly; each amount must be derivable!

Chapter 5.1 asks for “Details of the planned examinations for experiments on humans or on material taken from humans, or on animals as well as on experiments with possible safety-relevant aspects (dual-use research of concern)".

If necessary, you should indicate "not applicable” here.

Since March 2018, based on the recommendation of the DFG and the Leopoldina on how to deal with safety-relevant research, a statement must also be made on possible significant risks.

If necessary, the Committee for the Ethics of Security-Relevant Research established at the University of Passau must be consulted. Please clarify the question of whether a statement by the Ethics Committee is required with the relevant department at the DFG Head Office.

The DFG has published additional information on the legal framework of the international Nagoya Protocol that are relevant for research projects involving biological material, see press release of 13 December 2021 [German content]

For chapter 2.4 "Handling the research data", the DFG has published recommendations and a checklist that you can use as a guide – in addition to conventions of your specialism.
Further information can also be found on the website of the AG Forschungsdatenmanagement at the University of Passau.

In 2020, the DFG restructured and, in some cases, fundamentally updated the guidelines for project proposals.
This concerns the description of the project in the case of project applications within the framework of an individual research grant, a research unit, the priority programmes and the Emmy Noether Programme.

Applications for an individual research grant may now, for example, be 25 pages long (instead of 20 previously).
As a result of various new rubrics, however, this does not mean more page space: The state of research and the work programme must be presented in a much more streamlined way in future.

You can find the current forms and information sheets on the DFG website.

In April 2021, the DFG issued guidelines specifying how to present one's own preliminary work and co-publications so that the information provided complies with good research practice and the Code of Procedure for dealing with scientific misconduct (VerfOwF).

The DFG provides comprehensive information and guidelines on the electronic submission of applications in the elan portal on its website.

You can access the DFG's portal for submitting your application online, known as "elan", at https://elan.dfg.de/my.policy.

Please note that registration is required as the DFG will check your eligibility to apply (= belonging to a member institution of the DFG, i.e. the University of Passau). This process may take 2 to 3 working days.

You can also view the processing status of your submitted application in the elan portal.
There are 5 different stages, (see page 4 of the elan flyer):

  1. Processing stage (= proposal is being checked for formal criteria)
  2. Review stage (= undergoing scientific review)
  3. Decision stage (= scientific review complete; proposal is at decision-making phase)
  4. Notified (= a decision has been made)
  5. Other (= you have withdrawn your proposal).

Last revised: 21 January 2021

For initial guidance in preparing a proposal for an individual grant, we recommend that you read the DFG's guidelines on submitting applications and, specifically for an application for an individual research grant, our overview of the structure and details of a DFG application (German) (last updated: 2 July 2021; both files are currently being revised).

If you have any questions about which DFG funding line your project idea is eligible for and how to submit an application to the DFG, the staff in  Section. III/2 and the relevant subject sections of the DFG will be happy to advise you.

Please briefly inform our DFG Liaison Officer, Professor Carolin Haeussler and the Research Officer, Dr Kerstin Theis, if you have submitted an application to the DFG.
An informal e-mail stating the title, chosen funding line and subject area is sufficient.

In cases of conflict within the scope of DFG proposals or projects, you can contact DFG liaison officer and the elected ombudspersons for good research practice at any time.

Further information on the role of the DFG liaison officers.

Nancy Scharpff
Nancy Scharpff
Room N12 109
Nikolastraße 12
Phone: +49(0)851/509-1119
Consultation hours: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or by appointment
Claudia Martin
Claudia Martin
Room N12 110
Nikolastraße 12
Phone: +49(0)851/509-3057
Consultation hours: Tuesdays to Wednesdays all day, Thursdays to Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 01:30 p.m.
Ines Brachmann
Ines Brachmann
Room N12 110
Nikolastraße 12
Phone: +49(0)851/509-3404
Consultation hours: Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

DFG Laison Officer

Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler
Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler
Room WIWI 112
Innstraße 27
Phone: +49(0)851/509-2480
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