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News | 2016



IV. Quarter 2016

New Instrumentation for Research

(14.12.16) The DFG is funding new instrumentation for various fields of knowledge-driven research through two calls. The Joint Committee took the relevant funding decisions at its December session: the first relating to the call “New Instrumentation for Research”, designed to enable the development of new instrumentation technologies, and the second relating to a major instrumentation initiative. Through this initiative, the DFG will fund a system for the X-ray examination of reinforced concrete components at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern.

Excellence Strategy: 192 Letters of Intent Received for Clusters of Excellence

(09.12.16) In Germany’s Excellence Strategy, the successor programme to the Excellence Initiative, there is now an initial indicator of the universities’ interest in the programme. By 1 December 2016, the DFG had received a total of 192 letters of intent to submit draft proposals for Clusters of Excellence, including 44 from university consortia. The letters, which are not binding, will help the DFG plan the review process. Following these letters of intent, the universities can submit detailed draft proposals between now and 3 April 2017.

Scientific Misconduct: Decisions in Two DFG Cases

(09.12.16) The DFG is again taking steps in response to scientific misconduct on the part of researchers in receipt of DFG funding. At a meeting in Bonn on 8 December 2016, the Joint Committee decided to take disciplinary action in two cases in accordance with the DFG Rules of Procedure for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct, thereby following the recommendations of the DFG’s Committee of Inquiry on Allegations of Scientific Misconduct.

DFG Announces Winners of 2017 Leibniz Prizes

(08.12.16) The latest recipients of Germany's most prestigious research funding prize have been announced. In Bonn today, the Joint Committee of the DFG chose ten researchers to receive the 2017 Leibniz Prize. The recipients were selected by the Nominations Committee from 134 nominees. Each of the ten winners will receive €2.5 million in prize money, which they can use to fund their research work for up to seven years. The awards ceremony for the 2017 Leibniz Prizes will be held on 15 March in Berlin.

DFG Announces Winners in Second Round of International Research Marketing Competition

(08.12.16) The DFG today announced the winners of the second round of an ideas competition in international research marketing. Awards will go to the Humboldt University of Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. The three institutions will each receive prize money of €100,000. In addition, a special start-up prize of €75,000, offered for the first time this year, will go to the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. The award ceremony will be held on 16 February 2017 in Potsdam.

DFG to Fund Seven New Research Units

(08.12.16) The DFG is establishing seven new Research Units, which will receive approximately €17 million in total during the first funding period, following a decision by the DFG Senate in Bonn. The research collaborations will enable researchers to pursue pressing current issues in their research areas and take innovative directions in their work. The maximum funding duration of Research Units is two periods of three years. Together with the new collaborations, the DFG will be funding a total of 242 Research Units, including Clinical Research Units.

DFG Congratulates Manfred Curbach on Winning the Deutscher Zukunftspreis

(01.12.16) The DFG congratulates Dresden-based construction engineer Professor Dr.-Ing. Manfred Curbach on winning the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2016. On 30 November 2016, Curbach and his team were selected from among three candidates for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis – the Federal President’s Award for Innovation and Technology. Federal President Dr. h.c. Joachim Gauck presented the award, worth €250,000, in Berlin. Curbach and his colleagues, Professor Dr.-Ing. Chokri Cherif and Professor Dr.-Ing. Peter Offermann, developed an innovative concrete composite material.

14 New Collaborative Research Centres

(21.11.16) The DFG is establishing 14 new Collaborative Research Centres (CRC), including seven CRC/Transregios (TRR). This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee during its autumn session in Bonn. The new CRCs will receive a total of €117.4 million in funding. There will also be a 22 percent programme allowance for indirect project costs. The centres will be funded for an initial four-year period, starting on 1 January 2017. In addition to the 14 new Collaborative Research Centres, the Grants Committee also approved the extension of 15 existing CRCs for an additional funding period.

DFG to Fund 20 New Research Training Groups

(14.11.16) The DFG is establishing 20 new Research Training Groups to further support early career researchers. They include three International Research Training Groups with partners in the UK, New Zealand and Austria. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee in Bonn. In addition to the 20 new collaborations, the Grants Committee approved the extension of seven Research Training Groups for another four and a half years. In total the DFG is currently funding 206 Research Training Groups, including 41 International Research Training Groups.


 

III. Quarter 2016

Germany’s Excellence Strategy: DFG and WR Issue Calls for Proposals for Clusters of Excellence and Universities of Excellence

(30.09.16) On 28 September 2016, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Wissenschaftsrat (WR, German Council of Science and Humanities) issued calls for proposals in the Clusters of Excellence and Universities of Excellence funding lines, marking the start of the Excellence Strategy. The DFG is responsible for implementing the Clusters of Excellence funding line and the German Council of Science and Humanities for the Universities of Excellence funding line.

DFG to Fund Five New Research Units, One Clinical Research Unit and One Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies

(29.09.16) The DFG will fund five new Research Units, one new Clinical Research Unit and one Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies. This was decided by the DFG Senate during its autumn session in Bonn. The DFG will now fund a total of 195 Research Units, 20 Clinical Research Units and 10 Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies.

Research Careers: Targeted Funding Creates Much Better Opportunities

(14.09.16) Preliminary findings of a comprehensive DFG study show that researchers funded through early career support programmes have a higher chance of having a successful research career. The initial findings, presented yesterday by DFG Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek at the 16th annual conference of the German Academic International Network (GAIN), indicate – using the DFG’s Emmy Noether Programme and Heisenberg fellowship as examples – how effectively these funding instruments are at moving early career researchers further along the path towards a professorship.

DFG Awards 2016 Bernd Rendel Prize

(31.08.16) This year’s winners of the DFG’s Bernd Rendel Prize are recognised for their multifaceted research in the geosciences. Max Frenzel, whose doctoral thesis at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg focuses on ore deposit research, and Andreas H. Schweiger, who is undertaking doctoral research in ecology/biogeography at the University of Bayreuth, were selected by the expert jury. They will each receive €1,500 to be used for research purposes. The prizes are funded by proceeds from the Bernd Rendel Foundation, which is managed by the Stifterverband. The prize will be presented on 28 September as part of the annual meeting of the German Geological Society (DGGV) in Innsbruck.

Attracting young academics to Germany

(31.08.16) The Junior Researcher Pact, the Fixed-term Employment in Higher Education and Research Act and the Excellence Strategy – these three academic policy measures aim to increase the attractiveness and viability of Germany in the coming years. But how do German junior researchers in the USA and Canada view these developments and how will they influence their future careers paths? The questions will be the focus of discussion at the 16th annual GAIN conference in Washington D.C. from 9 to 11 September 2016.

DFG funded Junior Researchers Sceptical of Recent Political Decisions

(27.07.16) Researchers whose goal is a professorship are sceptical about the amended Fixed-term Employment in Higher Education and Research Act and the Early Career Researcher Pact. This became clear at the science policy evening of the 15th Emmy Noether Meeting. Some 150 funding recipients attended the meeting to take part in in-depth discussion on this and other topics.

DFG Awards Prize for Alternative to Animal Experiments

(27.07.16) This year’s Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize, which is endowed with €100,000, will go to Dr. Birgit Kegel and Dr. Beate Krämer together with four other members of the working group they head at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in Langen. The researchers have developed a form of testing that can be used in place of experiments that have been necessary up to now but stressful to animals. The prize recognises this outstanding contribution to implementing the principle of the 3Rs (reduction, refinement and replacement).

Two New Vice-Presidents – One Male, One Female – for the DFG

(11.07.16) At its session during the annual meeting in Mainz, the General Assembly of the DFG elected Munich-based chemist Professor Dr. Roland A. Fischer and Frankfurt-based literary scholar Professor Dr. Julika Griem to the Executive Committee. Fischer will take over from Bonn-based biochemist Professor Dr. Michael Famulok; Griem will succeed Münster-based ancient historian Professor Dr. Peter Funke. Vice-President and experimental physicist Professor Dr. Wolfgang Ertmer has been re-elected for a further four years alongside the two new members.

DFG Research Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) to Receive Funding for Another Four Years

(11.07.16) The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), set up as a DFG Research Centre in 2012, is to receive funding for another four years. This was decided by the Joint Committee of the DFG at its summer session during the annual meeting in Mainz. From October 2016, the three applicant institutions – the University of Leipzig, Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg – will receive around €36.5 million plus a 22% programme allowance for indirect project costs.

Health and Safety at Work: DFG Senate Commission Submits 52nd List of MAK and BAT Values

(11.07.16) In 2016, the DFG's Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area presented the 52nd issue of the List of Maximum Workplace Concentrations (MAK values) and Biological Exposure Limits (BAT values), delivering it to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs on 1 July. In providing this list the DFG has fulfilled its statutory mandate to advise on science policy. The list includes 86 changes and additions and is available in digital open access format as well as in a printed version.

Eight New Research Units, One New Clinical Research Unit

(11.07.16) The DFG is to set up seven new Research Units and one new Clinical Research Unit. This was decided by the Senate in its summer session during the DFG Annual Meeting in Mainz. In addition, another Research Unit is now in a position to start work. This Unit is funded jointly by the DFG and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). In the initial funding period, the nine new groups will receive approximately €23 million in total.

DFG Approves Participation in “Excellence Strategy”

(06.07.16) The current situation regarding research policy in Germany and in particular the new federal-state initiative for the funding of top-level research at universities (the “Excellence Strategy”) was the main theme at the DFG’s annual meeting, which concluded on Wednesday at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. At the end of the three-day meeting, representatives of the DFG’s member organisations in the General Assembly voted unanimously in favour of participation in the Excellence Strategy.


 

II. Quarter 2016

DFG Europa-Preis Awarded to Five Winners of the National "Jugend forscht" Competition

(30.05.16) At this year’s award ceremony for the national “Jugend forscht” competition in Paderborn, five young researchers had two reasons to celebrate: Not only did they take first place in various fields, they were also awarded the DFG’s Europa-Preis. DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Wolfgang Ertmer presented them with the award, which is intended to prepare them specifically for the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Brussels in September.

DFG to Fund 20 New Collaborative Research Centres

(27.05.16) The DFG is establishing 20 new Collaborative Research Centres (CRC), including six CRC/Transregios. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee in Bonn. The new CRCs will receive a total of €174 million in funding. There will also be a 22% programme allowance for indirect project costs. The centres will be funded for an initial four-year period, starting on 1 July 2016. In addition to the 20 new Collaborative Research Centres, the Committee also approved the extension of 24 existing CRCs for an additional funding period.

DFG to Fund Eighteen New Research Training Groups

(23.05.16) The DFG is establishing 18 new Research Training Groups to further support early career researchers in Germany. They include two International Research Training Groups with partners in Italy and South Korea. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee during its spring session in Bonn. The Research Training Groups will receive approximately €74 million in funding for an initial period of four and a half years. The Grants Committee also approved the extension of 14 Research Training Groups for another four and a half years.

Copernicus Award 2016 for German-Polish Collaboration in Molecular Cell Biology

(11.04.16) For their services to German-Polish research cooperation, Professor Dr. Agnieszka Chacińska, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, and Professor Dr. Peter Rehling, University of Göttingen, have been chosen to receive the Copernicus Award 2016 from the DFG and the FNP. The jury representing the two organisations selected the two researchers for their “pioneering work” in the field of molecular cell biology. The Copernicus Award will be presented on 7 June 2016 in Warsaw.

Andreas Zick Wins 2016 Communicator Award

(08.04.16) Dr. Andreas Zick, professor for socialisation and conflict research at the University of Bielefeld, is the winner of this year's Communicator Award, conferred by the DFG and the Donors' Association. Zick will receive the award, valued at €50,000, for his achievements in communicating his research findings on the causes, forms and consequences of conflicts, discrimination and violence within a society to the media and the wider public. He will be presented with the award on 4 July during the DFG’s Annual Meeting in Mainz.

Ten Researchers to Receive 2016 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes

(07.04.16) This year's recipients of the most important prize for early career researchers in Germany have been announced. The selection committee, appointed by the DFG and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has chosen ten early career researchers, five women and five men, to receive the 2016 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes. The prizes of €20,000 each will be presented on 18 May in Berlin.


 

I. Quarter 2016

Six Universities Receive New X-Ray Microscopes

(21.03.16) The DFG is equipping six universities in Germany with new X-ray microscopes. As part of its current major instrumentation initiative, it is providing €13.4 million to establish the technology in Bremen, Dortmund, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Halle, Hannover and Saarbrücken. Proposals from these institutions were selected from a total of 19 proposals by the DFG's Joint Committee.

DFG Establishes 17 New Priority Programmes

(21.03.16) The DFG is to establish 17 new Priority Programmes (PP) for 2017. Priority Programmes are established for the purposes of research into the fundamental scientific issues of particularly topical or emerging areas. The new PPs were chosen by the DFG Senate from 76 submitted initiatives. Over the coming months, the DFG will announce a separate call for proposals for the programmes. A total of approximately €108 million will be available for the 17 new programmes in the first three-year funding period.

Reprimand and Ban on Submission of Proposals for Three Years

(18.03.16) The DFG is again imposing sanctions following an instance of scientific misconduct. At its session in Bonn, the Joint Committee announced that it will issue a written reprimand to a life sciences researcher and bar her from submitting proposals for a period of three years on account of deliberate data manipulation. Both actions were implemented in accordance with the DFG Rules of Procedure for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct and at the recommendation of the Committee of Inquiry on Allegations of Scientific Misconduct.

Four New Research Units Established

(18.03.16) The DFG is establishing four new Research Units. This was decided by the DFG Senate in Bonn. The research collaborations offer researchers the possibility of pursuing current and pressing issues in their research areas and establishing innovative work directions. The maximum funding duration of Research Units is two periods of three years. In the initial funding period, the four new groups will receive approximately €7 million in total. This brings the number of Research Units currently funded by the DFG to 197.

Final Results of the 2015 DFG Review Board Election Announced

(04.03.16) Following acknowledgement by the DFG Senate on 3 March 2016, the results of the 2015 DFG review board election are now final. A total of 613 researchers have been elected to a total of 48 review boards, representing 213 subject areas. Constitutive meetings of each newly elected review board will be held in April and May 2016.

DFG Welcomes Imboden Report on the Excellence Initiative

(29.01.16) Commenting on the report of the "Imboden Commission" presented on 29 January 2016 in Berlin, DFG President Peter Strohschneider said: "The report is a clear call for the targeted funding of top-level research at universities. We share the positive summary of the two phases of the Excellence Initiative so far and we are especially pleased at the assessment of the clusters of excellence. We also believe that the Commission's recommendations set the course for the design of a new federal-state initiative."

Kicking Off a New Year for Science Policy: DFG Underlines Expectations of New Excellence Initiative

(11.01.16) At the start of 2016, the DFG has underlined the expectations of the research community with regard to the planned new federal-state initiative for the further development of the Excellence Initiative. At a press conference in Berlin on Monday morning, DFG President Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider and Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek shared their views on the possible objectives and format of a new round of the programme first launched in 2006. On Monday evening, the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation of the research community in Germany welcomed more than 300 guests to its traditional New Year reception.


 

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