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Information on the Proposal Process and on the Review and Decision-Making Process


1: Preparation and Recommendation

Development of a draft proposal by researchers

Submission of the proposal to the DFG Head Office

Preliminary review session with the DFG Head Office

Recommendation by the CRC Senate Committee

Written notification of the decision, including feedback to applicantsStage

During the preparatory first stage, a preliminary review session is held to help the CRC initiators find the appropriate funding instrument and estimate the chances of success of the joint project with respect to the strict quality criteria, offering recommendations on conceptual improvement.

The preliminary review takes place on the basis of a draft proposal, which is limited to 100 pages. The draft proposal should include the common objective and the common work programme, the current state of the research, the institutional conditions, as well as the planned projects and how they will network. The objective of the meeting is to provide feedback to the initiators regarding whether, considering the stringent requirements, the draft proposal has an appropriate foundation for a Collaborative Research Centre, as well as discuss possible modifications. At the same time, the results of the preliminary review serve the CRC Senate Committee as a basis for its comparative discussion of all draft proposals that have been advised during the given time period. With the objective of inviting only truly promising drafts to submit full proposals, the Senate Committee issues a recommendation for each draft proposal. The selective effect of this recommendation is high.

Participants in the half-day preliminary review session, which is held at the DFG Head Office in Bonn, include up to five project initiators, approximately five researchers whose research interests are related to the topic at hand, a member of the DFG Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres, as well as employees from the DFG Head Office.


2: Review and Decision Process

Development of a full CRC proposal by researchers

Submission of the proposal by the university or universities to the DFG Head Office

On-site review

Discussion by the CRC Senate Committee and decision by the CRC Grants Committee

Written notification of the decision, including feedback to applicants

The second stage encompasses the review of the full written proposal submitted by the respective university and the decision-making process. For CRC/Transregios, generally up to three research universities submit a joint proposal.

At the end of each four-year funding period, Collaborative Research Centres can submit renewal proposals for a second and third funding period. Preliminary review sessions are not held in these cases.

The review takes place on-site, lasts two days and follows a uniform scheme for all Collaborative Research Centres. The peer review panel specifically assembled for the respective Collaborative Research Centre consists of approximately ten reviewers whose research interests are related to the given topic. In addition, two members of the Senate Committee and Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres (see "Decision-making bodies“), one with and one without expertise in the subject matter at hand, serve as rapporteurs to the Senate and Grants Committee, reporting on the progress and results of the review. DFG staff also participate. This peer review panel draws up funding recommendations on the individual projects and on the Collaborative Research Centre as a whole. These recommendations are recorded in minutes prepared by the DFG staff and presented to the responsible Grants Committee for decision making.

The final funding decision is made during the meetings of the Senate and Grants Committees (see "Decision-making bodies"), which are held in May and November of each year. Following a preparatory discussion by the CRC Senate Committee, the CRC Grants Committee uses the minutes from the on-site evaluation and the presentations of the two rapporteurs who were present during the review as the basis for an interdisciplinary and comparative discussion to make the final funding decision.

For further information and templates please refer to

Additional Information

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