Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 89 | 21. Dezember 2017

DFG and NSFC Fund 131 Joint Sino-German Research Projects

Next call for proposals on joint Sino-German research projects coming up in January 2018

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) have approved the funding of 131 proposals for joint Sino-German research projects. This was decided by the responsible DFG Grants Committee and the respective statutory bodies of NSFC. The new research projects, which have been submitted within the first open-topic call for proposals launched jointly by DFG and NSFC, encompass a variety of fields in the natural, life, management and engineering sciences. They will receive a total of €33 million in funding over a three-year period, starting at the beginning of 2018. There will also be a 22 percent programme allowance for indirect project costs.

This initiative, which succeeds the former programme Joint Research Projects funded by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion, aims to bring together relevant and competitive researchers from Germany and China to design and carry out jointly organised research projects. With a total number of 576 proposals submitted at both partner organisations it attracted a great deal of interest. The peer review process which has now been completed had as a result a success rate of 23 percent, and a funding rate of 19 percent.

The next open-topic call for proposals on joint Sino-German research projects will be launched by DFG and NSFC in mid-January 2018. All applicants of a bilateral collaborative project within this call must submit their joint application to the respective national funding bodies (DFG and NSFC). All documents must be written in English. The assessment of the proposals will be based on a peer review process; it will be completed by the end of 2018. The collaborative projects selected to take part in the initiative may start at the beginning of 2019. They will receive research funding for a period of three years. It is important to note that there are no special 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 scheme “Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants”.

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 (DFG form 50.01). Please note that for the new call this also includes the obligation to cooperate for scientists working at non-university research institutes in Germany. As part of the proposal, applicants from Germany may submit one or more of the modules outlined in the DFG guidelines for the Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01). Proposals to DFG within this call have to be prepared according to the Proposal Preparation Instructions (DFG form 54.01), and have to be submitted to the electronic proposal processing system (elan).

Applicants from China are kindly requested to conform to all the requirements listed in the Chinese call for proposals that will be published on the NSFC website.

Further Information

The DFG forms “Guidelines Research Grants Programme“ (50.01) and “Proposal Preparation Instructions – Project Proposals (54.01) can be found at:

General information for German PI on Research Grants:

Contact information for Germany:

For questions concerning joint Sino-German research projects:

For questions concerning the initiation of collaborations between Germany and China by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion:

Contact information for China: