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Information for Researchers No. 3 | 15 January 2018
Joint Sino-German Research Projects

The present initiative is a bilateral funding measure by two funding bodies: the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The programme succeeds the former Joint Research Projects funded by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion.

This initiative aims to bring together relevant and competitive researchers from Germany and China to design and carry out jointly organised research projects. Funding within this initiative will be available for collaborative research projects consisting of researchers from both partner countries. Within these research teams, each national funding organisation will fund as a rule only those project components that are carried out within its own country. The collaborative research projects must involve active communication and cooperation between the participating researchers. The collaborative projects selected to take part in the initiative will receive research funding for a period of up to three years.

The objectives of the initiative are:

  • to promote high-quality research projects in the participating countries
  • to stimulate mobility of researchers between the participating countries
  • to promote training of researchers
  • to accelerate the exchange of new scientific knowledge among researchers and between researchers and other interested groups

The present initiative is open to joint research projects in all fields of the natural, life, management and engineering sciences.

This call for proposals is open to researchers based at universities, academic institutions and research centres in Germany and China. Funding is available for bilateral collaborative research projects comprising researchers from the two participating countries. Within a research project, contributions from Germany and China should be roughly balanced with regard to scientific contents. Applicants are required to fulfil any national requirements for funding and follow the general regulations of their respective funding organisation (see below). Applications that do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

The assessment of all proposals will be based on a peer review process. Collaborative projects suitable for joint funding will be selected based on this assessment.

The most important criteria applied in this selection process are the following:

  • scientific quality and innovativeness of the research project
  • feasibility of the research plan
  • cost-effectiveness of the budgetary plan
  • competence and expertise of the researchers or research teams
  • effective communication and cooperation between the researchers in each country and added value of the collaboration
  • mobility of researchers between the participating countries

All requested cost items must be in accordance with the national administrative regulations, respectively. At DFG, only costs for the German share of projects are eligible. At NSFC, only costs of the Chinese share of the projects are eligible according to the regulations of NSFC.

In the case of mutual visits of scientists between Germany and China the visiting scientist will cover international flights and the host will provide the local accommodation together with a daily maintenance allowance and domestic travel costs.

Applicants of a bilateral collaborative project within this call must submit their joint application to their respective national funding organisation. Chinese applicants submit their documents to NSFC, German applicants to DFG, following the formal requirements of their respective funding organisation. All documents must be written in English. Please note that the documents submitted at DFG and NSFC must not differ with regard to the scientific content of the proposal.

Additional specific requirements for German and Chinese applicants are outlined below. Applications arriving late and applications not fulfilling the national requirements will not be considered. No legal entitlement can be derived from the submission of a project description.

All proposals must be submitted by 7 March 2018.

Specific instructions for German applicants

Applicants to be funded by the DFG are requested to fulfil the eligibility requirements of DFG Research Grants, see the corresponding guidelines of the Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01). Please note that for the new call this also includes the obligation to cooperate (“Kooperationspflicht”) within Germany for members of non-university institutions with permanent positions. As part of the proposal, applicants from Germany may submit one or more of the modules outlined in the DFG guidelines for the Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01).

It is important to note that there are no special funds available for these efforts, proposals must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and teams in competition with all other proposals in the funding scheme “Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants”.

Proposals within this call have to be prepared according to the Proposal Preparation Instructions (DFG form 54.01) and have to be submitted to the electronic proposal processing system elan. After the log-in, please use the respective link “Proposal for a Research Grant” in the Proposal Forms column (Proposal Submission > New Project > Individual Grants Programme > Proposal for a Research Grant). Please select “DFG-NSFC 2018“ to tag your proposal for this specific call. Please also give an acronym.

If you are using the elan system for the first time, please note that you need to register yourself and your institutional addresses before being able to submit a proposal. Also, if you are planning to move to a different institution you need to register the new institutional address beforehand. Please make sure that all German applicants of your project (in case there is more than one) start their registration at latest by 21 February 2018. The registration requests are handled manually by DFG staff.

Please note additionally:

While the electronic budget figures via elan only have to be provided for the German applicant(s), the proposal itself should contain not only the German budget part but a budget overview for the Chinese part, too, to provide appropriate information to the reviewers.

In the proposal submitted by the German applicant(s) to DFG, an academic curriculum vitae including a list of his/her ten most important publications for all Chinese applicants should be submitted to complete the reviewers’ information. In the DFG proposal and the electronic submission procedure in elan, all Chinese applicants who apply for funding at NSFC need to be recorded under the category “Other Participating Individuals” > “Cooperation Partners”. Employees whose positions are requested for funding do not belong into this category.

Specific instructions for Chinese applicants

Chinese applicants are kindly requested to conform to all the requirements listed in the Chinese call for proposals that is published on the NSFC website.

Applicants will be informed in writing of the results of the review and, where applicable, of the following administrative steps according to the national regulations, respectively. The selection of the projects will be completed by the end of 2018.

Further Information

The DFG forms “Guidelines Research Grants Programme“ (50.01) and “Proposal Preparation Instructions – Project Proposals (54.01) can be found at:

General information for German applicants on Research Grants:

Contact information for Germany:

For questions concerning joint Sino-German research projects:

For questions concerning the initiation of collaborations between Germany and China by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion:

Contact information for China:

Note:

This text is available at Interner Linkwww.dfg.de/foerderung/info_wissenschaft/2018/info_wissenschaft_18_03. Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item.