Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 66 | 31. Juli 2023

AEI-DFG Call for Joint Spanish-German Research Projects in the Fields of Psychology, Mathematics, Atmospheric Science, Oceanography and Climate Research

Pilot for a joint AEI-DFG Lead Agency Procedure

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) together with the Agencia Estatal de Investigatión (AEI, State Research Agency) is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot for a joint Lead Agency Procedure. The pilot is intended to encompass two calls. In this first pilot call, the DFG will act as the lead agency and will be responsible for the review and evaluation process. After successful completion of this first pilot call, a second call with the AEI as the lead agency is envisaged.

In the current pilot call, Spanish-German research teams are invited to submit joint research proposals in the fields of:

  • Psychology (DFG Review Board 110, AEI Area 8. PSI)
  • Mathematics (DFG Review Board 312, AEI Area 9. MTM)
  • Atmospheric Science, Oceanography and Climate Research (DFG Review Board 313, AEI subareas CYA and MAR of the Area 16, CTM)

Applicants should ensure that their project falls within one of these fields, i.e. is covered by both the above-mentioned DFG review boards (“Fachkollegien”) and the AEI areas and subareas (see links below).

Applicants should demonstrate how bringing together researchers based in Spain and Germany will add value and advance their research. It is expected that each partner substantially contributes to the common project. Projects should be integrated but do not have to be symmetrical. However, work packages are expected to be delivered with a reasonably equal distribution between the partners and schedules should be well-coordinated. The team of applicants should ensure there is a plan for effective delivery and coordination of research across the partners.

Please note that there are no separate funds available for this joint initiative. These opportunities follow the general funding lines and budget of the AEI and the DFG. Proposals must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and teams in comparison with other proposals.


Proposals must address the above-mentioned research fields of the call. Each research project must be jointly conducted by a team of Spanish and German applicants. The principal investigators on each side must be eligible to apply to their respective funding agency. Applicants in Spain must meet the eligibility requirements of the AEI. Please be aware that a maximum of two Spanish partners/principal investigators are allowed to apply for funding from the AEI in the same proposal. Applicants in Germany must meet the eligibility requirements of the DFG’s Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01). Please note that the rules for funding eligibility apply to all applicants from Germany, including the duty to cooperate for non-university researchers. Any duty to cooperate for DFG applicants at non-university research institutions can only be fulfilled through cooperation with a partner at a German university (see DFG form 55.01).

Please note that the duration of the projects must not exceed 36 months. Proposals must be written in English. Commercial companies must not be included as research/cooperation partners.

Please make sure to carefully review the call text as well as the DFG guidelines for proposal preparation prior to submission. In addition, the Spanish partners should familiarise themselves with the AEI requirements. Respective links can be found under further information below.

Lead Agency Procedure

This bilateral call will be managed via a Lead Agency Procedure. The DFG will act as the lead agency in this call, i.e. proposals have to be prepared in DFG format according to the DFG guidelines and the DFG will be in charge of organising the review and evaluation of the proposals.

Submission of proposals to the DFG (lead agency)

  • Please prepare the proposal according to the guidelines for the Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01, see link below).
  • The proposal should indicate that it is to be considered under the pilot call by prefacing the title with “AEI-DFG”.
  • The proposal must include a description of the full proposed research programme and research team and the total resources for the joint project (meaning the funds requested for the Spanish and German side). All budget items must conform to the national rules applicable to each applicant.
  • Proposals must be submitted by the German principal investigator via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. Please select “AEI-DFG Pilot Call 2023-2024 DFG-Lead” under “Proposal Data”. Enter a project acronym for your proposal.
  • For each module, please only enter the funds requested from the DFG. Note that only Germany-based applicants should be entered as “applicants”. Spanish partners (and potential further international partners) should be entered as “cooperation partners”.
  • A CV for each of the applying individuals in Spain and Germany should be provided, formatted according to the DFG guidelines (see DFG template 53.200, link provided below). Please upload the CVs of all principal investigators combined in one PDF document.
  • Only one Germany-based applicant should upload the proposal to elan. Please note that this person will have to enter address details and funds for the other Germany-based applicants.

Submission of copies of the proposals to the AEI (partner agency)

  • At the time the proposal is submitted to the DFG, the Spanish partner is required to submit a copy of the proposal to the AEI (within 7 days after submission of the proposal to the DFG, until 2 November 2023 at the latest; otherwise the whole proposal may be declared ineligible). The AEI may request some additional documents (i.e. for the budget). For details, please view the AEI website (see link below).

Deadline for Submissions

Proposals must be submitted by 25 October 2023 to the DFG by the German principal investigator. Please note that if you are using the elan system for the first time, you will need to register in the elan portal prior to submitting your proposal with your complete personal and address details by 18 October 2023 at the latest.

The Spanish partner is required to submit a copy of the proposal to the AEI within 7 days after submission of the proposal to the DFG (until 2 November 2023 at the latest).

Following submission, both funding organisations will conduct their regular formal checks and exchange the results.

Evaluation and decision process

The DFG as the lead agency is in charge of administering the evaluation phase. The proposals will be assessed in accordance with DFG standard procedures (see link below). The results of the evaluation will be shared with the AEI. Each organisation will pursue its own decision processes. Only if both organisations decide positively, funding can be granted. If granted, each organisation supports the researchers under its responsibility.

Notification of results

Results can be expected in autumn 2024 (from late October). Applicants will be informed in writing of the decision and, where applicable, of the subsequent administrative steps according to the respective national regulations.

Funding will be provided according to the funding rules (incl. reporting) of the respective funding organisation.

Grant holders are requested, where possible, to keep their project components synchronous and initiate their grants in a timely manner.

Good research practice

Please note that according to a resolution of the DFG General Assembly, as of 1 August 2019, DFG funding may only be awarded to institutions that have implemented the guidelines laid down in the Code of Conduct for Safeguarding Good Research Practice in their own regulations in a legally binding manner. This means that also for international proposals, funding from the DFG can only be received if the guidelines for safeguarding good research practice (see link below) have been implemented by the German applicant´s institution. If you have any questions on this subject, please contact the Research Integrity Team at the DFG Head Office (see contact below). Further information regarding the implementation can be found on Research Integrity website (see link below).

Equity and Diversity

The DFG strongly welcomes proposals from researchers of all genders and sexual identities, from different ethnic, cultural, religious, ideological or social backgrounds, from different career stages, types of universities and research institutions, and with disabilities or chronic illness.

Further Information

DFG review boards
(relevant for the pilot call are: Review Board 110 Psychology, Review Board 312 Mathematics, Review Board 313 Atmospheric Science, Oceanography and Climate Research):

AEI areas and subareas
(relevant for the pilot call are: AEI Area 8 PSI, AEI Area 9 MTM, AEI subareas CYA and MAR of the Area 16 CTM):

Proposal Preparation:
General Information on the DFG’s Research Grants Programme:

Guidelines Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01) – includes eligibility requirements:

Project Description Template (DFG form 53.01 elan):

CV Template (DFG form 53.200):

Proposal Submission:
Joint Proposals are to be submitted by the German principal investigator via the DFG´s proposal submission system, which can be accessed at

For the submission of a copy of the proposal to AEI (and selected additional documents), information for the Spanish partners is available at the AEI website at

DFG´s Review and Decision Process:
Arriving at a decision in individual grants programmes:

DFG´s Data Protection Notice:
Please observe the DFG’s data protection notice on research funding, which can be viewed and downloaded at
If necessary, please also forward this information to those individuals whose data will be processed by the DFG due to their involvement in your project.

Good Research Practice:
Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice – Code of Conduct:

Information on the implementation of the Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice (Code of Conduct):

Contact of the DFG´s Research Integrity Team (Good Research Practice):


DFG, Germany:
General inquiries about the AEI-DFG Pilot Call:

Scientific questions for proposals within the remit of DFG Review Board 110 Psychology:

Scientific questions for proposals within the remit of DFG Review Board 312 Mathematics:

Scientific questions for proposals within the remit of DFG Review Board 313 Atmospheric Science, Oceanography and Climate Research:

AEI, Spain: