Six German researchers secure Russian mega-grants

Sechs deutsche Wissenschaftler gewinnen russische Mega-Grants

(31.01.14) The Russian government has held its fourth competition inviting top-flight international researchers to apply for a series of mega-grants. By October 2013, the competition had attracted a total of 503 proposals. Of the 42 winners, each of whom will receive RUR90 million (approximately €2 million) for their work at 23 different research institutions, six are from Germany. The most successful nations (according to stated nationality) were Russia (19), Germany (6), France, and the USA and the Netherlands (2 each). The six German researchers will collaborate with partners in Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhni Novgorod and St. Petersburg in the fields of physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, forestry, environmental sciences and geosciences.

Over the next few years (2014-2016), these mega-grants will enable the researchers to set up research laboratories and undertake teaching duties in Russia for up to four months. The funding is a move by the Russian government to promote internationalisation and increase the country's attractiveness as a place to research. As part of the process of university reform, this individual funding is being accompanied by a massive expansion of infrastructure at the new Federal Universities and National Research Universities.