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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.

Committee for the Coordination of International Academic Relations (AKA)

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

International Council for Science (ICSU)

ICSU (International Council for Science) was founded in 1919 as a non-governmental international umbrella organisation. Its members include national scientific bodies and international scientific unions. The DFG has been a member of ICSU since 1952 and represents all scientists in Germany. The DFG supports ICSU's work through annual contributions as well as funding to enable German scientists to participate in ICSU programmes. The DFG also convenes national committees under the umbrella of ICSU. Committee members support international discussion on important scientific issues.

International Foundation of Science (IFS)

The IFS is a foundation based in Stockholm whose aim is to support research by outstanding young scientists in developing countries in biological resource management. The DFG has been an institutional member since 1975 and helps to fund this support.

Global Research Council (GRC)

The Global Research Council (GRC) is a voluntary grouping of the heads of research councils from all over the world. The aim of this virtual organisation – which does not have an office, a permanent secretariat or a budget of its own – is to represent the majority of the world's research potential, regularly discuss research and funding issues of global interest and use the outcomes to formulate joint recommendations and standards.

G8 Initiative

The chairpersons and presidents of the major funding organisations in the G8 countries (France, UK, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada, Japan, Russia) meet once a year to discuss research policy. Germany is represented by the presidents of the DFG and the Max Planck Society.

European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD)

ECORD is a consortium of 17 European funding organisations whose aim is to focus and coordinate Europe's contribution to the international Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). The DFG handles most of the German contribution to enable German researchers to participate in IODP expeditions.

Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange is a joint initiative of the DFG, Denmark's Electronic Research Library (DEFF), the SURFfoundation in the Netherlands and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK. Its remit includes working for the establishment and expansion of information infrastructures for research data.

Science Europe (SE)

Founded in 2011, Science Europe is an association of major research funding and research-performing organisations, based in Brussels. The primary goal of Science Europe is to represent scientific interests and the interests of basic research in the creation of the European Research Area (ERA) through direct engagement with key partners. Drawing on the expertise of its member organisations, Science Europe will strengthen the collaboration between them and serve as a third voice in the European Research Area together with the European Commission and national governments.