Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 88 | 1. Dezember 2020

Joint Sino-German Research Projects 2021 in Chemistry, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences and Management 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 chemistry, life sciences, medical sciences and management sciences. A further call for proposals, dedicated to the fields of mathematics and physics, geosciences, engineering and material sciences and information sciences, is scheduled for launch at the end of 2021 with a tentative deadline in February 2022.

Submission of project proposals

Applicants for a bilateral collaborative project within this call must submit their joint proposal to their national funding organisation. Chinese principal 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 3 March 2021 (for first-time users of the DFG’s online submission system “elan” pre-registration is necessary by 17 February 2021).

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 2021.

Please note the DFG’s data protection notice on research funding, which can be viewed and downloaded at the DFG website (see link below). If necessary, please also forward this information to those persons whose data the DFG processes because they are involved in your project.

Further Information

Full call text including specific instructions for applicants from Germany:

Please note the DFG’s data protection notice on research funding:

Contact information for Germany:

Contact information for China:

Further information for researchers in China: