Clinical Research Units
Clinical Research Units provide outstanding researchers the opportunity to carry out close, medium-term cooperation in a special research project from the field of disease or patient-oriented clinical research. This cooperation must be expected to produce findings which could not have been achieved with the support available under the Individual Grants Programme or Priority Programme.
In July 2018, the DFG Joint Committee approved increasing the funding duration of Clinical Research Units to a maximum of eight years (two four-year periods).
This change, made in line with the DFG’s aim to enhance its programmes, applies to draft proposals submitted as of
1 October 2018.
Clinical research units are a way of supporting outstanding researchers in mid-term close collaboration on a particular research task, if it is to be expected that collaboration supported in this way will lead to results that cannot be reached by means of an individual grant.
One of the aims of the funding of clinical research units is to improve clinical research by creating and strengthening research-oriented structures in university hospitals, supporting performance-oriented distribution of resources, establishing or reinforcing training structures, supporting early career researchers, advancing the scientific profiling of individual medical faculties and intensifying cooperation between clinicians and basic researchers.
To fund research associations in disease- or patient-oriented (translational) clinical research and the long-term implementation of scientific working groups in clinical institutions
Scientific quality and originality of the research project at an international level
Clinical problems, incorporation of clinical material and potentially of clinical pilot studies with a topical focus on translational research with a patient-oriented approach and the investigation of disease mechanisms
Clear backing by the medical school of the establishment and support of the Clinical Research Unit and willingness to bear a share of the cost of financing it
Boost the development of the scientific profile of the university/medical school
Create and boost research-oriented structures in hospitals
Intensify cooperation between scientists engaged in basic research and clinicians.
Establish and/or strengthen training structures in clinical research.
Type and Extent of Funding
Clinical Research Units can include the following funding modules, some of which are required:
- Scientific (coordinated) projects
- The establishment of a Research Chair, the holder of which assumes the scientific and organisational leadership of the Clinical Research Unit
- Fixed-term leave/rotational positions (“gerok” positions)
- Promoting early career researchers
- Independent junior research groups in accordance with the terms of the Emmy Noether Programme
- Flexible funding to compensate for family leave
- Other staff positions
- Fellowship programme
- Transfer projects
- Coordination funding and positions
As a rule, up to six years (under certain circumstance up to eight years)
Forms and Guidelines
New proposals: no submission deadline, draft proposals may be submitted at any time. Decisions on first-time funding for Research Units are made by the DFG's Senate four times per year.
Renewal proposals: six months before the approved funds are exhausted