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Collaborative Research Centres

Collaborative Research Centres are long-term university-based research institutions, established for up to 12 years, in which researchers work together within a multidisciplinary research programme.

They allow researchers to tackle innovative, challenging, complex and long-term research undertakings through the coordination and concentration of individuals and resources within the applicant universities. They therefore enable institutional priority area development and structural development. Cooperations with non-university research institutions are expressly encouraged.

Collaborative Research Centres consist of a large number of projects. The number and scope of these projects depend on the research programme. Individual projects are led by one researcher or jointly by several researchers.

Note

At its meeting on 13 December 2017, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) decided to introduce a two-year pilot phase for the cross-format comparison of draft proposals in the Research Unit, Research Training Group and Collaborative Research Centre programmes, with effect from 1 January 2018.

Information about the Programme

Purpose

The realisation of excellent research within the group; the development of priority areas and structural development at the applicant university/universities; interdisciplinary cooperation; support of early career researchers and equal opportunity for women and men in research

Eligibility Requirements

Universities (and institutions of equivalent status entitled to confer doctorates) in Germany; other research institutions which are to make essential contributions to the research programme can be integrated

Proposal Requirements

High scientific quality and originality at an internationally competitive level; a complex, long-term research programme; coherent interlinking of projects; researchers with very good track records; appropriate staffing, funding and infrastructure; convincing contributions to development of priority areas and structural development at the applicant universities; support of early career researchers and equality for women and men in research; professional management

Type and Extent of Funding

Funding for staff (including the replacement and rotation posts modules), funding for scientific instrumentation, funds for consumables, travel, colloquia, guests, visiting professorships (Mercator Fellow module), international cooperations, early career support including Integrated Research Training Groups, equality measures, public relations, information infrastructure, transfer projects and group coordination, see also:

Funding Duration

Up to 12 years; one funding period lasts four years

Forms and Guidelines

Programme Variations

The traditional Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) is proposed and carried out by one university. It addresses an extensive research programme by combining the resources available at the institution.

The CRC/Transregio (TRR) is proposed and carried out jointly by two or three universities. It allows close cooperation between these institutions and the researchers based there, including the shared use of resources. The contributions of the partner applicants are essential to the joint research goal, complementary and synergistic.

Collaborative Research Centres and CRC/Transregios can also integrate projects led by researchers at other universities and non-university research institutions.

It is also possible to integrate projects at research institutions abroad; foreign universities can be participating institutions in a CRC/Transregio.

In addition, Collaborative Research Centres can integrate projects in cooperation with partners in industry or other application partners with the goal of knowledge transfer.

Proposal Deadlines

The establishment of a Collaborative Research Centre involves a two-stage decision process.

New proposals: no submission deadline, but proposals may only be submitted following the submission of a draft proposal and a consultation;

Renewal proposals: must be submitted within the final year of the current funding period of the Collaborative Research Centre;

Decision-Making Bodies

The Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres is...

  • is appointed by the DFG's Senate
  • is composed of up to 40 researchers who automatically serve on the Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres as representatives of the scientific community
  • has members that serve as rapporteurs on initiative consultation panels and in on-site reviews of Collaborative Research Centres
  • discusses the results of consultation panels on initiatives
  • prepares strategies for further developing the Collaborative Research Centre programme.

  • Interner LinkMembers of the Senate Committee

Meeting of the Senate Committee:

  • Wednesday, 16 May 2018 (09.00 - 12.00)

Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres

  • is composed of all scientific members of the DFG's Senate Committee (numbering up to 40), one representative of the federal government, and one representative from each of the 16 federal states
  • decides on funding for each Collaborative Research Centre in the relevant fiscal year
  • decides on the further development of the Collaborative Research Centre programme. If fundamental questions arise that involve other DFG funding programmes, the DFG Joint Committee will address these questions upon recommendation by the Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres.

  • Interner LinkMembers of the Grants Committee

Meeting of the Grants Committee:

  • Wednesday, 16 May 2018 (from 14.00)
  • Thursday, 17 May 2018 (full-time)

International Cooperation in Collaborative Research Centres

The aim of promoting international cooperation through the Collaborative Research Centre programme (or CRC/Transregio programme) is to establish and/or expand international networking structures with scientists and academics abroad. Prerequisites for their integration are the scientific excellence of the projects in question and their logical thematic relationship to the overall concept.

Aims

Cross-border scientific cooperation is essential for the international competitiveness and attractiveness of Collaborative Research Centres and CRC/Transregios. The aim of funding this type of cooperation through the CRC programme is to establish and expand international networking structures between Collaborative Research Centres and scientific partners abroad.

Type and Scope of Funding

The DFG makes funding available to the Collaborative Research Centres or CRC/Transregios for travel, colloquia and visiting professors for the purposes of maintaining international contacts and presenting findings to an international audience. Additional funding may be applied for in order to develop project-like cooperation structures. This funding can also be used to finance long-term cooperation projects with comparable centres of excellence abroad (centre-to-centre cooperation). Scientists and academics can also lead (either individually or jointly) their own projects abroad, although funding for these is to be received by one of the DFG's international partner organisation..

Foreign Locations of CRC/Transregios

As part of the CRC/Transregio programme, one of the locations may be abroad. This usually requires intensive coordination between the DFG and the participating foreign partner organisation in order to regulate funding and review procedures and funding decisions.

Funding Requirements

Project requirements include scientific excellence, logical thematic integration into the overall concept and a high level of added value for the Collaborative Research Centre or CRC/Transregio. The programme’s aim of creating local structures must also be given due consideration.

Co-Funding by the Foreign Partner Organisation

The promotion of cross-border cooperation projects is based on the principle of mutual responsibility. It is expected that the expenses occurred by scientists and academics abroad will be borne either by their institution or by a funding organisation in the country in question. The DFG supports this integration by providing additional funding for travel, colloquia and visiting scientists. Provided that certain conditions are fulfilled, the DFG may also provide funding for research cooperation with developing countries.

Further Information

Cooperation with Developing Countries

Other cooperation agreements with DFG partner organisations abroad may also apply

International Cooperation

Additional information on international cooperation within Collaborative Research Centres is available in (Chapter III.3):

Promoting Early Career Researchers within the Collaborative Research Centre Programme

Early career Support is a key goal of the DFG and is, therefore, also an important review criterion in assessing Collaborative Research Centres. The main aim of early career support is to provide young scientists and academics with early opportunities to independently carry out research. The programme further takes care to closely integrate early career researchers into an academic network, ensuring appropriate equipment and administrative structures.

Facts and Figures

The DFG currently funds 267 Collaborative Research Centres (CRC) with a total of €661 million (incl. programme allowances) for 2017 (figures as of 1 July 2017). This accounts for approximately 22% of the DFG’s total budget.

Contact

General Information

Review Session Scheduling

Preliminary Review Session Scheduling

Use of Funds

Use of Funds for

Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein

Bayern, Hessen, Thüringen

Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland

Berlin, Niedersachsen, Sachsen

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