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The DFG in Europe

By working with its partners to promote bilateral and multilateral relationships, the DFG aims to develop joint funding models that promote high standards in competitive application and review processes and to enable flexible and science-driven cross-border research partnerships for excellent individuals and projects. As an area with free mobility, Europe also allows day-to-day networking in research. This day-to-day aspect requires the development of the best possible conditions for joint research funding. As Germany's central national funding organisation, the DFG works closely with its European partner organisations to link together various approaches and levels in research funding.

As a self-governing organisation of the German research community, the impact of the DFG extends beyond the funding of research. In addition to the impetus provided by member states and the European Union, scientific research is itself a shaping force that must be supported by a strong self-governing organisation. At the same time, the positive and productive diversity of the various national research systems in Europe must be leveraged in order to create a science-driven European Research Area. It is with these goals in mind that the DFG participates in Science Europe, the umbrella organisation for the major research funding and research performing organisations in Europe.

Organisations:

Science Europe (SE)

Founded in 2011, Science Europe is an association of major research funding and basic research-performing organisations, based in Brussels. The primary goal of Science Europe is to represent scientific interests and the interests of knowledge-driven research in the European Research Area (ERA) through direct engagement with key partners. Drawing on the expertise of its member organisations, Science Europe will strengthen the collaboration between them and serve as a third voice- that of science - in the European Research Area together with the European Commission and national governments.

European Research Council (ERC)

The ERC was founded by the EU in 2007 to promote basic research in Europe. The DFG has supported the ERC from the very beginning in recognition of its guiding principles: excellence as the sole criterion for funding, an independent and transparent peer review process, and a thematically open, bottom-up approach. Because the ERC is a science-driven organisation, its principles are upheld by the Scientific Council, which consists of 22 internationally respected scientists and scholars. The Scientific Council also defines the review and funding guidelines.

The DFG sees the ERC as a partner in Europe and actively supports its growth and development. In particular when the ERC was being set up in the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (2007-2013), the DFG contributed to the establishment of ERC funding in Germany as part of the National Contact Point (NCP). The NCP informs and advises on ERC funding programmes and supports applicants in the preparation of grant applications. Since 2014, the tasks of the ERC NCP have been handled by the EU Office of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi, a DFG-funded service provider for EU research funding).

Support from the NCP

The NCP informs and advises on ERC funding programmes and supports applicants in the preparation of grant applications, particularly foreign researchers applying for an ERC grant for a project at a German host institution.

The NCP offers:

  • Information events and workshops
  • Interview preparation
  • Individual application advice
  • Local advice

For more information visit:

European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi)

The European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) is the joint service platform of the German research organisations which are members of the Association for the Promotion of European and International Cooperation in Science e.V. As a central research facility, KoWi is funded by the DFG, which also chairs the Association. KoWi has offices in Bonn and Brussels.

For more information about KoWi, visit:

Position papers:

Science Europe Statement on the European Research Area (2012)

By signing a Joint Statement on the European Research Area (ERA) together with the European Commission and other bodies, Science Europe reinforced its commitment to strengthening the European Research Area through direct dialogue with key partners and by supporting cooperation and coordination between member organisations.

Internationalisation Strategy of the DFG (March 2012)

The internationalisation of research is extremely important to the DFG. One of its main responsibilities is to offer the best possible support to international collaboration wherever this serves the interests of research. In its internationalisation strategy, the DFG sets out the guidelines that govern its international activities as well as the specific objectives of the strategy.

DFG Statement on the European Commission Proposal for the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020) Starting in 2014 (2012)

In response to the European Commission proposal for Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation starting in 2014, the DFG published a statement on the future of EU research funding. It considers the interaction between national and European funding mechanisms, the central role of competitive basic research and the co-financing of national programmes.

DFG Statement on the European Commission Green Paper "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding" (May 2011)

In response to a consultation of the European Commission on its green paper "From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding", the DFG carried out a survey of a number of review board members. On the basis of the results it published a further contribution to the debate on the future of EU research funding.

Future Research and Innovation Funding of the European Union (March 2011)

EU research funding has a significant impact on European research. As the largest science-driven research funding organisation in Europe, the DFG is committed to participating in the debate on the structure of EU research funding. Its goal is to create the best possible conditions for scientific research in Europe. After all, knowledge and research are the continent's most important resources and the basis for technological advances and innovation. The DFG has produced a paper setting out its expectations and recommendations as to the future of EU funding for research and innovation. These are split into three main areas: early career support for researchers, various approaches to funding collaborative projects, and the promotion of research infrastructures.

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