Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 34 | 25. Juni 2020

NSF and DFG Opportunity for Collaborations in Advanced Manufacturing

The pursuit of scientific goals recognizes no geographic boundaries and as such, international collaborations are today more the norm than the exception. To facilitate the support of collaborative work between US groups and their German counterparts, NSF’s Civil Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division (CMMI) and DFG’s Division of Engineering (ING) have recently agreed on a lead-agency activity in Advanced Manufacturing. US researchers are invited to read the Dear Colleague Letter NSF 20-088.

US-German collaborations are invited to submit joint proposals in the areas described in NSF’s Advanced Manufacturing programme and DFG’s review board 401 Production Technology. As the projects must be fully integrated US-German research projects, it is expected that the joint proposals contain detailed information about the mode and essentiality of collaboration between the US and the German side. These proposals will be reviewed in a review panel according to the NSF review guidelines in competition with other proposals received in the same NSF programme. A member of DFG’s review boards will be involved in the review process. It is important to note that there are no separate funds available for these efforts on each side; proposals must compete with all other proposals in this area. The result of the review process will be shared between the agencies to make final decisions on this basis. Support will be granted for those proposals with both DFG and NSF recommendation for funding.

Proposal Preparation and Submission

  • The eligibility to submit a joint proposal follows the regulations for the NSF and DFG programmes for individual funding respectively. If in doubt, researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the corresponding programme officers.
  • Joint proposals must be submitted in accordance with the proposal preparation requirements of the NSF via Fastlane (NSF), see PD 19-088Y. This includes a description of the full proposed research programme, and the research team, as well as the funds requested from the NSF. In parallel a supplement (max. 10 pages) must be prepared for the DFG. It must contain the information required in sections 5 to 7 of the DFG research grant project description – cf. DFG guidelines 54.01 and 53.01. This includes among other information the funds requested from DFG.
  • The joint proposal should preface the title with “NSF-DFG:”.
  • The joint proposal must first be submitted NSF’s Advanced Manufacturing programme via Fastlane. After receiving the proposal number issued by the NSF, the joint proposal has to be submitted to the DFG via elan. The submission to DFG must contain the original proposal submitted to the NSF, the aforementioned supplement and a cover letter stating the NSF proposal number (this is needed for matching the submissions). The submission to DFG must select its primary subject area from DFG’s manufacturing subject areas (i.e. 401-01 to 401-06).

Please note that for the part to be financed by DFG only those projects are eligible that fall within DFG’s funding responsibility and that fit into the funding scheme „Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants“.

Proposals are accepted anytime. No specific deadlines apply.

Applicants to be funded by the DFG are requested to fulfil the eligibility requirements of DFG Research Grants, see the corresponding guidelines of the Research Grants Programme (cf. DFG form 50.01). This includes the duty to cooperate (“Kooperationspflicht”) within Germany for members of non-university institutions with permanent positions.

Privacy and data protection

Personal data contained in an applicant’s proposal will be transferred, if necessary, to the NSF. 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

The Dear Colleague Letter NSF 20-088 can be found at:

The scope of NSF’s Advanced Manufacturing programme is described at:

DFG’s review board 401 Production Technology is presented at:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms and guidelines 50.01, 53.01 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

Contact persons

NSF (Civil Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation):

DFG (Office North America):

DFG (Head Office – Engineering Sciences I):