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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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