A Research Unit is made up of a team of researchers working together on a research project which, in terms of thematic focus, duration and finances, extends beyond the funding options available under the Individual Grants Programme or Priority Programme. Research Units provide the staff and material resources required for carrying out intensive, medium-term cooperative projects (generally six years). Research Units often contribute to establishing new research directions. Funding opportunities for Research Units are subject to the same principles as research grants.
In July 2018, the DFG Joint Committee approved increasing the funding duration of 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.
A research unit consists of various programme modules, weighted and combined in accordance with the respective subject-matter requirements. The funding programme therefore allows the research network to be designed in a relatively flexible way, depending on the respective research question, the research areas involved and the desired structure-creating aspect. Within this framework, research units can provide development opportunities for independent junior research groups, strengthen collaboration with partners outside universities, enable temporary exemption for researchers and intensify international cooperation. Research units can be integrated into overarching research policy initiatives in their various designs. Examples of this are “clinical research units” or “humanities centres for advanced studies”.
To fund research groups in which those involved collaborate closely on specific medium-term research projects whose anticipated findings would not be able to be achieved within the scope of the individual grants programme
Scientific quality and originality of a research project at an international level
Type and Extent of Funding
- Interner LinkBasic Module
- Interner LinkTemporary Positions for Principal Investigators
- Interner LinkReplacements
- Interner LinkTemporary Substitutes for Clinicians
- Interner LinkProfessorships
- Interner LinkMercator Fellows
- Interner LinkProject-Specific Workshops
- Interner LinkStart-Up Funding
- Interner LinkCoordination
- Interner LinkNetwork Funds
- Interner LinkPublic Relations
- Interner LinkGender Equality Measures in Research Networks
Emmy Noether Independent Junior Research Groups and Heisenberg grant holders may be associated in Research Units.
As a rule, up to six 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