European Research Policy

In the European Union (EU), science policy and research funding are shaped at both national and EU level. EU institutions, the national governments of the EU member states and associated European countries, as well as research organisations, have joined forces in realising a "European Research Area" (ERA). To this end, they regularly adopt joint funding programmes, the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, and decide on research-related framework conditions that also have an impact on research in Germany.

Tasks and objectives of the DFG

The DFG as the central self-governing research funding organisation in Germany engages at European level based on the needs of the German research community.

The DFG promotes bilateral and multilateral cooperation in basic research between researchers in Germany and partners in other European countries. This commitment is based on the conviction that the European Research Area is particularly powerful when strong and autonomous national research and funding systems, each with its own priorities, funding approaches and cooperation opportunities, go hand in hand with additional funding opportunities through the EU Framework Programmes.

Since research-related framework conditions are mainly set at both national and EU level, this requires sensible integration of national and European legislation and a commitment on the part of the DFG and other research organisations to engage directly at EU level:

  • The DFG monitors European research policy and positions itself as the voice of the German research community on European research policy initiatives as well as on regulatory and legislative measures at EU level which impact research.
  • The DFG works closely together with other national and European research organisations at European level, particularly within the framework of Science Europe, which represents 40 European research and funding organisations from 29 countries.
  • The DFG is involved in the implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda and participates in specific European initiatives such as the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) and the European Open Science Cloud (via the EOSC Association).

Strategy for Europe

The DFG`s Strategy for Europe (March 2024) outlines the DFG’s engagement in Europe. It defines guiding principles for the DFG's activities, describes the DFG's current involvement and lays down ten objectives within the three main areas of responsibility of the DFG, (1) the promotion of bilateral and multilateral funding opportunities in Europe, (2) the participation in strategic funding activities in Europe and (3) the creation of sound framework conditions for research at EU level.


Science Europe

The DFG is a member of Science Europe, the association, based in Brussels, representing 40 major public organisations from 29 countries in Europe that fund or perform excellent, ground-breaking research in Europe. Science Europe advocates for the interests and needs of research in the further development of the European Research Area (ERA) and cooperates closely with the EU institutions in this regard. Its current strategic priorities include shaping European research policy and further developing research culture.

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Advice on EU Research Funding

The DFG funds the "EU Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations" (KoWi) with offices in Bonn and Brussels, which provide information, advice and training on EU research funding, in particular on the funding opportunities of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. KoWi is also part of the ERC National Contact Point (NCP) together with the EU Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Other NCP of the EU Bureau provide further information on the funding opportunities under the EU Framework Programmes.


Dr. Christian Rebhan
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-2991