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DFG Research Centres

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DFG Research Centres

The primary objective of this programme is to establish a limited number of internationally visible and competitive research centres at German universities. The centres should be an important element of a university’s strategic planning, serving to enhance its research profile and further research priorities. The DFG provides initial funding and support for professorships and independent junior research groups. The centres offer excellent working conditions for early career researchers and a framework for interdisciplinary cooperation.

Unlike the clusters of excellence funded under Germany’s Excellence Initiative, DFG Research Centres are set up in response to thematic calls issued by the DFG. The centres thus serve as an important strategic instrument in the DFG’s funding portfolio.

The first three centres, located in Bremen, Karlsruhe and Würzburg, were established in 2001, following an open programme announcement. Another four centres, in Berlin, Göttingen, Dresden and Leipzig/Halle/Jena, were established in 2002, 2006 and 2012 according to thematically focused calls.

Six DFG Research Centres are currently being funded, receiving a total of about €29 million per year (not including indirect programme allowances).

During the German Excellence Initiative competition, four of the centres (FZT 15 in Bremen, FZT 47 in Karlsruhe, FZT 103 in Göttingen und FZT 111 in Dresden) applied for and were granted additional funding as clusters of excellence (EXC 309 in Bremen, EXC 172 in Karlsruhe, EXC 171 in Göttingen und EXC 168 in Dresden).

DFG funding for three DFG Research Centres has ceased or will soon expire; these include the DFG Research Centre for Experimental Biomedicine at the University of Würzburg (FZT 82) in June 2013, the “DFG Research Centre Matheon - Mathematics for key technologies” (FZT 86) at the Technische Universität Berlin in May 2014 and the “Centre for Functional Nanostructures (CFN)” (FZT 47/EXC 172) in Karlsruhe in September 2014.

Additional Information

Further Information

The DFG's Senate, which is advised by the Senate Committee on Strategic Planning, is responsible for developing the programme. Funding decisions are made by the DFG's Joint Committee.

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