Visit by a delegation of the Estonian Research Council (ETAG) and deepening of institutional relations

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are becoming increasingly important as partner countries for research cooperation. For this reason the DFG has been intensifying its institutional relations with research funding organisations and academies of science and the humanities in all three Baltic states. A DFG delegation visited the Estonian Research Council in Tartu last September, while an ETAG delegation paid a return visit to Bonn from 11 to 13 March. 

Anu Noorma and Heide Ahrens

DFG Secretary General Dr. Heide Ahrens welcomed ETAG General Director Professor Dr. Anu Noorma at the DFG Head Office.


The fact that the visit to Bonn was an important event for both ETAG and the DFG was demonstrated by the arrival of a nine-strong ETAG delegation and the large number of participants representing the DFG Head Office. The programme provided for an intense sharing of experience between ETAG and the DFG on various current research funding issues, with ETAG Director General Professor Dr. Anu Noorma and DFG Secretary General Dr. Heide Ahrens meeting to discuss current developments in the respective research systems, for example. Several meetings were also held with DFG representatives on various issues relating to review processes, including the work of review boards and participation in the European CoARA initiative (Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment), of which both ETAG and the DFG are members. 


Sharing of experience between interested ETAG and DFG colleagues at the DFG Head Office.


ETAG and DFG colleagues also talked about successful measures relating to the digitisation of research administration and the internationalisation of research funding. One additional item on the programme was an experience-sharing session involving those participants who are ETAG and DFG programme officers. The delegation also visited the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to discuss mobility programmes, a point that likewise met with great interest on both sides.

All in all, the delegation visit helped strengthen mutual understanding of the approaches and working methods used by each organisation, enabling a sharing of experience in areas of mutual interest while at the same time deepening and consolidating institutional and interpersonal relationships. The two organisations hope to build on this in the future with the aim of further promoting scientific relations between Germany, Estonia and the Baltic States. In addition to engaging in closer dialogue with ETAG, there are plans to undertake further activities with the research organisations in Lithuania and Latvia. 

Impressions of the delegation visit: group photo

The Estonian Research Council delegation on their visit to the DFG Head Office in Bonn.


Headquartered in Tartu and with a branch office in Tallinn, the Estonian Research Council was founded in 2012 as a subordinate authority to the Estonian Ministry of Research. The ETAG Head Office currently has a workforce of some 70 staff. Like the DFG, ETAG promotes basic and applied research at national, European and international level and is a member of numerous international networks.

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