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IV. Quarter 2017

The DFG Funds 15 New Collaborative Research Centres

(27.11.2017) The DFG (German Research Foundation) has approved the establishment of 15 new Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs). All of the new CRCs will be funded for an initial four-year period, starting on 1 January 2018. The committee also approved the extension of 21 existing CRCs for an additional funding period. As of January 2018 the DFG will be funding a total of 269 CRCs.

Interner LinkPress Release
Link auf PDF-DateiList of CRCs extended for another funding period

Manuel Amann Wins the 2017 von Kaven Award

(16.10.17) The DFG's von Kaven Award for 2017 goes to Dr. Manuel Amann. Since October 2017, the mathematician has been researching in the differential geometry group at the University of Augsburg with a DFG Heisenberg fellowship, working on Lie group operations in geometry and topology. The award, which is worth €10,000, is being conferred for the eleventh time and will be presented on 23 October 2017 in conjunction with the Gauß lecture given under the auspices of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Regensburg.

DFG to Fund Electron Microscopes for University Research

(05.10.17) At its autumn session, the Joint Committee of the DFG approved the funding of 17 high-performance electron microscopes with a total sum of €43 million. Funding for seven microscopes, amounting to €24 million, was awarded in the spring. This instrumentation will enable universities to benefit from state-of-the-art technology in life sciences research and physical materials science.


III. Quarter 2017

Excellence Strategy: 88 Draft Proposals for Clusters of Excellence to Compete in Final Selection Round

(29.09.17) Initial decisions have been made in Germany’s Excellence Strategy. The international Committee of Experts convened in Bonn on 27 and 28 September 2017 and selected 88 projects from 195 draft proposals for Clusters of Excellence to proceed to the full proposal stage. The list of successful applicant universities and their projects has now been published.

DFG Establishes Two New Senate Commissions

(27.09.17) At its autumn session, the DFG Senate approved the establishment of two new Senate Commissions. The Permanent Senate Commission on Fundamental Issues of Biological Diversity will provide expert advice on legal and policy developments and represent the interests of basic research. The Senate Commission on Earth System Research will handle topics relating to research on the Earth’s surface and interior, water and air. It will have an initial term of six years.

DFG Approves Three New Research Units and One New Clinical Research Unit

(22.09.17) At its autumn session, the DFG Senate established three new Research Units and one new Clinical Research Unit. Through research groups of this type, the DFG supports collaboration between researchers interested in a specific area of research. The new units will receive funding of approximately €15 million for an initial period of three years. The DFG now funds a total of 195 Research Units and 17 Clinical Research Units.

Germany Woos Young Academics Working in North America

(15.08.17) Germany’s academic system offers good career prospects for young academics who are currently working abroad in the US and Canada. The 17th annual meeting of the German Academic International Network (GAIN) will be held in San Francisco on 25–27 August 2017. At the event, they will have the chance to network with high-ranking German representatives from academia, politics and industry and establish contacts for their future careers. The GAIN annual conference is jointly organised by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service and the DFG.

Bernd Rendel Prize 2017: DFG Recognises Early Career Achievements in the Earth Sciences

(14.07.17) Three researchers at the start of their careers in the earth sciences will receive the DFG’s Bernd Rendel Prize this year for their multifaceted and original research in the earth sciences. Jaayke Lynn Fiege, Sinikka Tina Lennartz and Sebastian Sippel were singled out by the jury from the 16 applications submitted. They will each receive €1,500 for scientific purposes from the Bernd Rendel Foundation, which is administered by the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany.

Building Bridges between Japan and Germany

(07.07.17) Immunologist Prof. Dr. Takeshi Tsubata and architect Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bock have been selected to receive the DFG’s Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize in recognition of their many years of successful and dedicated contributions to academic and cultural exchange between Germany and Japan. The Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize, which is generally conferred biennially by the DFG to Japanese and German researchers, has been awarded since 1997. The prize, worth €10,000, will be presented on 10 October 2017 in Bonn.

High-Throughput Methods: DFG Funds Modern Research Infrastructures in the Life Sciences

(06.07.17) The DFG aims to strengthen the use of so-called high-throughput methods at German universities. These methods have become key technologies in life sciences research in recent years. During the annual meeting in Halle (Saale), the Senate of the DFG approved a funding initiative which for the first time will provide targeted financial resources for sequencing projects and the associated expansion of university-based infrastructures. The funding volume amounts to a total of €42 million for an initial period of three years.

€3 Billion in Funding and 31,000 Funded Projects

(05.07.17) In 2016, the DFG funded more than 31,000 research projects with a total funding volume of around €3 billion. Of these projects, about 7,900 were newly approved projects which received approximately €2 billion in funding. These figures are taken from the 2016 Annual Report, which was presented on 5 July 2017 at the DFG’s General Assembly in Halle (Saale). The presentation and acceptance of the annual report marked the end of the DFG’s three-day annual meeting.

Gender Equality in Research: DFG Steps Up Its Engagement

(05.07.17) The DFG intends to further advance gender equality in research through additional measures and a refocusing of its efforts. On 5 July 2017, the statutory bodies of the DFG adopted a multipart resolution on this issue during the annual meeting in Halle (Saale). The resolution envisages the continued implementation of measures within the scope of the Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. In addition, gender equality is to play an even more prominent role in DFG funding activities.

DFG Approves Seven New Research Units and One New Clinical Research Unit

(04.07.17) At its summer session during the annual meeting of the DFG in Halle (Saale), the DFG Senate established seven new Research Units and one new Clinical Research Unit. This funding instrument enables researchers to cooperate closely on specific research projects. The collaborations will receive funding of around €19 million for an initial period of three years. The DFG now funds a total of 190 Research Units and 16 Clinical Research Units.

Britta Nestler Cleared of Scientific Misconduct: Researcher Presented Belatedly with Leibniz Prize

(04.07.17) The DFG has cleared Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler of allegations of scientific misconduct and now presented her with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2017. The presentation of Germany’s most important research funding prize to Nestler was halted in March, when shortly before the award ceremony the DFG received anonymous information in connection with Nestler’s research work. The presentation took place during the DFG’s annual meeting in Halle (Saale).

Health and Safety at Work: DFG Senate Commission Presents 53rd List of Maximum Workplace Concentrations and Biological Tolerance Values

(03.07.17) The Permanent DFG Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area has presented the 2017 List of Maximum Workplace Concentrations and Biological Tolerance Values. The DFG has now submitted the list to the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. It includes 89 supplements and new entries in comparison to last year’s list and is available in a printed version as well as in digital open access format. The digital version of the 53rd list of MAK and BAT values is available in German and English.


II. Quarter 2017

DFG Europa-Preis Awarded to Six Winners of the National ‘Jugend forscht’ Competition

(29.05.17) The DFG has awarded its Europa-Preis to six young researchers. They were presented with the award at the final of the national “Jugend forscht” competition in Erlangen on 28 May 2017, in addition to their prizes in various competition categories. The aim of the Europa-Preis is to prepare the pupils for the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), which will be held in September in Tallinn.

DFG to Fund 15 New Collaborative Research Centres

(26.05.17) The DFG has approved the establishment of 15 new Collaborative Research Centres. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee in Bonn. Three of the fifteen centres are CRC/Transregios, spread across multiple applicant research sites. The new centres will be funded for an initial four-year period, starting on 1 July 2017. In addition to the 15 new Collaborative Research Centres, the Grants Committee also approved the extension of 17 existing centres for an additional funding period. As a result, the DFG will be funding a total of 267 Collaborative Research Centres from July 2017.

DFG to Fund 15 New Research Training Groups

(15.05.17) The DFG is establishing 15 new Research Training Groups to further support early career researchers in Germany. They include two International Research Training Groups with partners in Australia and China. This, along with the extension of five Research Training Groups for another four and a half years, was decided by the responsible Grants Committee. The Committee also approved continued funding for transferable skills training.

DFG Statement on the Replicability of Research Results

(25.04.17) In April 2017, the DFG published a statement on the replicability of research results and thus took a differentiated position in the on-going public debate on the “replication crisis”. “The question of the replicability of research results essentially touches on the question of the quality of research and concerns all of science”, says DFG President Peter Strohschneider. The discussion was triggered by a series on the replicability of research results (in biomedicine) in the scientific journal Lancet in 2014.

Germany’s Excellence Strategy: Finalising the Next Steps

(12.04.17) The Committee of Experts for the Excellence Strategy met for the second time in Bonn on 5 and 6 April 2017 to discuss the programme’s next procedural steps and determine the requirements for proposals in the Universities of Excellence funding line. The Committee consists of 39 researchers, based primarily outside of Germany, with proven track records who represent the full range of academic disciplines. The meeting was co-chaired by the heads of the German Council of Science and Humanities and the DFG.

Excellence Strategy: 195 Draft Proposals for Clusters of Excellence

(05.04.17) The first stage of the selection process for new Clusters of Excellence in the Excellence Strategy can now get underway. By the submission deadline on 3 April, 195 draft proposals for Clusters of Excellence had been received by the DFG, which is managing this funding line. The proposals come from 63 universities representing all 16 federal states. A total of 47 were submitted by multiple universities, including six proposals submitted by three institutions. At the end of September, once the draft proposals have been evaluated by international review panels, the Committee of Experts for the Excellence Strategy will decide which draft proposals will be invited to submit full proposals.

DFG Establishes 17 New Priority Programmes

(03.04.17) The DFG is establishing 17 new Priority Programmes for 2018. Priority Programmes aim to advance knowledge in current areas of research interest and emerging fields. The new programmes were chosen by the DFG Senate from 66 submitted initiatives. Over the coming months, the DFG will announce a separate call for proposals for each of the programmes. A total of approximately €100 million will be available for the 17 new programmes in the first three-year funding period.


I. Quarter 2017

Scientific Misconduct: Written Reprimand and Five-Year Ban on Submitting Proposals

(31.03.17) The DFG is again imposing sanctions following an instance of scientific misconduct: At its meeting in Bonn on 31 March 2017, the Joint Committee decided to take disciplinary action against molecular and cell biologist Dr. Tina Wenz in accordance with the DFG Rules of Procedure for Dealing with Scientific Misconduct. Wenz, who previously worked at the University of Cologne and has since left the research community, has received a written reprimand and a ban on submitting proposals for a period of five years.

DFG to Fund Four New Research Units and Two Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies

(31.03.17) The DFG is establishing four new Research Units and two new Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies. This was decided by the DFG Senate in Bonn. In addition, another Research Unit, funded jointly by the DFG and the Swiss National Science Foundation, will begin its work. The collaborations will enable researchers to pursue pressing issues in their research areas. Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies are specifically tailored to the working methods used in the humanities.

Stefan Kröpelin Wins 2017 Communicator Award

(30.03.17) Geologist and climate researcher Dr. Stefan Kröpelin is the winner of this year's Communicator Award, conferred by the DFG and the Stifterverband. The researcher from the University of Cologne will be presented with the €50,000 prize for his long-standing commitment to sharing his research on the Sahara. The Communicator Award jury highlighted the international appeal and impact of Kröpelin's work and dedication in particular. He has long been a strong advocate for the regions where he has conducted research, garnering much success in the area of nature conservation.

DFG Presents the 2017 Leibniz Prizes

(16.03.17) The DFG awarded the 2017 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizes today in Berlin. Nine recipients who were selected by the DFG’s Joint Committee in December 2016 were recognised with Germany’s highest research honour. Shortly before the awards ceremony the DFG received anonymous comments concerning the research work of Prof. Dr. Britta Nestler, a materials scientist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, which require further examination. In agreement with Prof. Nestler, this examination is currently taking place. The awarding of the prize will be halted until the matter has been resolved.

DFG and BMBF Honour Ten Researchers

(23.02.17) This year ten researchers – including four women and six men – will receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. The recipients were chosen by a selection committee in Bonn appointed by the DFG and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The awards, each worth €20,000, will be presented on 3 May in Berlin at a ceremony to be followed by the 40th anniversary celebrations for the prize.

“Science Is International”

(03.02.17) The DFG and other German science organisations have issued a joint statement criticizing US President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The order represents “an act of aggression against the fundament values of science” and gravely impairs the international exchange that is of such critical importance for scientific collaboration. The organisations are calling on the United States government to repeal the order immediately.

DFG New Year’s Reception 2017

(17.01.17) “The Society of Science – and Why We Must Argue for It” was the title of the address given by DFG President Professor Peter Strohschneider at the New Year’s reception on 16 January 2017 in Berlin.



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