DST and DFG announce new programme for large consortia

Indo-German International Research Training Groups

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(03.02.22) For many years, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) have provided joint project funding for Indian and German P.I.s collaborating in Indo-German research projects. Through many projects, the Indian and German communities have strengthened their ties. It is a mark of DST’s and DFG’s success that the two agencies have started to receive enquiries about funding opportunities for larger consortia with plans for complex projects of longer duration.

In response to these enquiries, DFG and DST have established co-funding options within the programme “International Research Training Groups” (IRTG).

Indo-German IRTGs, in which Indian and German universities cooperate with each other, combine innovative top-level research and structured PhD courses for excellent early career researchers. As bilateral collaborations set up by experienced scientists, IRTGs promote systematic scientific cooperation through joint research programmes and corresponding qualification measures for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. IRTGs run for nine years, conditional on a successful mid-term review. Typically, there are between 10 and 15 doctoral students in each participating institution at each moment, and two to three cohorts pass an IRTG during its life span.
A central feature of IRTGs are coordinated and reciprocal research visits by doctoral researchers at the respective partner institutions. Additionally, each PhD student of an Indo-German IRTG will have supervisors from both countries in her or his respective dissertation committee.

“After a long, successful and cordial cooperation between DST and DFG, this new programme is the logical next step for us.” Matthias Kiesselbach, director of DFG India Office, is in a celebratory mood. “We know from our experience with the collaboration with other countries that IRTGs not only produce great dissertations and papers – they also strengthen durable international ties. A researcher who has done their PhD within an Indo-German unit will also be a bridge between our two countries.”

For pre-proposals, there will be two deadlines per year, one on 1 February and one on 1 August. If the pre-proposal is positively evaluated, the participating institutions are invited to submit full applications. Interested researchers and institutions are requested to consult the Information for Researchers (Information für die Wissenschaft) No. 9 / 2022 for details and get in touch with the respective colleagues in DFG or DST. Of course, DFG’s India Office and DST’s International Division are also happy to guide prospective applicants.

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