International Networks and Organisations

The DFG is actively involved in international research policy. As well as being a member of various umbrella organisations and bodies, it supports scientific and academic societies in Germany in their membership of international networks.

The major German science and research funding organisations are represented on the Committee for the Coordination of International Academic Relations (AKA). The purpose of the committee is to

  • facilitate informal discussion on current developments in international cooperation,
  • develop ideas for joint strategies,
  • coordinate the international activities of member organisations,
  • serve as a platform for joint initiatives (e.g. European Charter for Researchers, Code of Conduct, etc.).

The AKA is a staff-level working committee of those responsible for international relations at the German science and research funding organisations. The committee meets twice a year and presents an established information network open to lively exchange with any institution involved in international academic relations. AKA members are particularly interested in continuous information-sharing with the cultural and academic relations officers at German and foreign embassies. The AKA’s secretariat is run by the Humboldt Foundation.

The member organisations of AKA are:

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH)
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft(FhG)
  • Fulbright Commission
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • German Council of Science and Humanities (WR)
  • German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • German Rectors' Conference (HRK)
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)
  • Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF)
  • Leibniz Association (WGL)
  • Max Planck Society (MPG)
  • Max Weber Foundation
  • Volkswagen Foundation

  • DFG contact: Dr. Jörg Schneider

For some time now, the international scientific community has been discussing the future of research assessment. The aim is to focus more on content and resort less to quantitative metrics such as the H-index or the journal impact factor when assessing proposals, applications and manuscripts. In addition, other achievements by researchers are to be recognised in addition to subject-specific papers – such as the creation of research software, the curation of data and many other such activities.

The DFG is among those to have joined the international Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA), which was established with a view to initiating and shaping this cultural change in research assessment. Its approximately 600 member organisations – including research institutes, universities, research funding agencies and associations – are looking to share ideas regarding concrete reform measures in the coming years.

ECORD is an association of 17 European countries and Canada with the aim of participating in the IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program) with its own expeditions. The DFG pays the German annual membership fee in order to enable scientists at universities in particular to participate in IODP expeditions.

The Global Research Council (GRC) is a voluntary association of the heads of research councils of research and research funding organisations from all over the world. The aim of this virtual organisation – which does not maintain an office, a permanent secretariat or its own budget – is to represent most of the world’s research potential, to discuss issues of global interest in research and its funding on a regular basis, and to incorporate the outcomes of this discussion in joint recommendations and standards.

The International Science Council (ISC) is a non-governmental organisation with a global membership that brings together 40 international scientific alliances and more than 140 national and regional scientific organisations, including academies and research councils. The ISC was established in 2018 as a result of a merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).

Knowledge Exchange is a joint initiative of the DFG, CSC in Finland, CNRS in France, DeiC in Denmark, Jisc in the UK and SURF in the Netherlands which is dedicated to infrastructural issues in the area of Open Access and Open Scholarship.

Science Europe is an association of the most important research and funding organisations in the field of basic research in Europe; it is based in Brussels and was founded in 2011. The priority objective of Science Europe is to represent the science-driven concerns and interests of basic research in the further development of the European Research Area (ERA) through direct cooperation with key partners. Based on the competencies of its members, Science Europe therefore seeks to strengthen the cooperation between them and in particular act as the third force in science – alongside the European Commission and the Member States in the European Research Area.

Further information