Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 81 | 2. Dezember 2019

Joint Sino-German Research Projects 2020

NSFC-DFG collaboration in the fields of mathematics and physics, geosciences, engineering and material sciences, and information sciences

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are continuing their long-standing collaboration in the field of joint Sino-German research projects.

This initiative aims to bring together relevant and competitive researchers from Germany and China to design and carry out jointly organised research projects of outstanding scientific quality. Funding within this initiative will be available for collaborative research projects consisting of researchers from both partner countries. Within these research teams, each national funding organisation will generally only fund those project components that are carried out within its own country. The collaborative research projects must involve active communication and cooperation between the participating researchers.

It is important to note that there are no separate funds available for these efforts; proposals must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and teams in competition with all other proposals in the funding programme “Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants”. Applicants to be funded by the DFG are required to fulfil the eligibility requirements of DFG Research Grants. This includes the duty to cooperate (“Kooperationspflicht”) within Germany for members of non-university institutions with permanent positions.

The collaborative projects selected to take part in the initiative will receive research funding for a period of up to three years.

Research areas

The present initiative is open to joint research projects in the fields of mathematics and physics, geosciences, engineering and material sciences, and information sciences. A further call for proposals, dedicated to the fields of chemistry, life sciences, medical sciences and management sciences, is scheduled for launch at the end of 2020 with a tentative deadline in February 2021.

Submission of project proposals

Applicants for a bilateral collaborative project within this call must submit their joint proposal to their national funding organisation. Chinese principle investigators (PI) submit their documents to the NSFC, German PI to the DFG, following the formal requirements of their respective funding organisations. All documents must be written in English. Please note that the documents submitted to the DFG and the NSFC must not differ with regard to the scientific content of the proposal or with regard to the applicants involved.

For more detailed information on the call including specific instructions for applicants in Germany please refer to the full call text (see below under “Further Information”). Proposals arriving late and/or those not fulfilling the national requirements will not be considered. No legal entitlement can be derived from the submission of a project description.

All proposals must be submitted by 12 February 2020 (for first-time users of the DFG’s online submission system “elan” pre-registration is necessary until 29 January 2020).

Notification of results

Applicants will be informed in writing of the results of the review and, where applicable, of the subsequent administrative steps according to the respective national regulations. The selection of the projects will be completed by the end of 2020.

Personal data contained in an applicant’s proposal or a proposal submitted by an applicant’s institution/organisation and any data collected on the applicant in relation to DFG funding will be transferred, if necessary, to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and reviewers. Note that their base or place of data processing is not located in a member state of the European Union or in another state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. This information is transferred as part of the decision-making process on the proposal and in conjunction with implementing the project.

This transfer is permissible as an exception because it is necessary

  • for the performance of the funding contract between the applicant and the DFG and for the implementation of pre-contractual measures relating to the proposal (Art. 49 (1) (b) GDPR),
  • for the performance of the (employment) contract between an applicant and an applicant’s employer or the applicant institution/organisation (Art. 49 (1) (b), (c) GDPR) or
  • for the conclusion and/or performance of the funding contract concluded in the interest of the applicant between a third party and/or the applicant’s institution/organisation and the DFG (Art. 49 (1) (c) GDPR).

Further Information

Full call text including specific instructions for applicants from Germany:

Contact information for Germany:

Contact information for China:

  • Li Wencong
    phone +86 10 6232 7014
  • Shen Jie
    phone +86 10 6232 7017

Further information for researchers in China: