The DFG is the self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany. It serves all branches of science and the humanities. In organisational terms, the DFG is an association under private law. Its membership consists of German research universities, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the Academies of Science and the Humanities.
The DFG receives the large majority of its funds from the federal government and the states, which are represented in all grants committees. At the same time, the voting system and procedural regulations guarantee science-driven decisions.
The main task of the DFG is to select the best projects by researchers at universities and research institutions on a competitive basis and to finance these projects. Individuals or higher education institutions submit proposals in a particular field of curiosity-driven basic research that they themselves select. Interdisciplinary proposals are also considered.
In a multi-layered decision-making process, the proposal is evaluated by voluntary reviewers exclusively according to scientific criteria; on the basis of this expert review, it is assessed by elected members of a review board, and the final decision is made by a grants committee. In this way, DFG funding guarantees quality-based differentiation in the German research system. The DFG is thus a cornerstone of Germany's strength as a research location and also helps to shape the European Research Area.
Early career support
The DFG awards the best researchers with funding and, at the same time, gives them the means and freedom necessary for successful research.
One of the DFG's key objectives is the advancement of early career researchers. It therefore offers them programmes which provide appropriate support at every phase of their qualification. The DFG is especially committed to the early independence of researchers and supports the recruitment of talented scientists and academics from at home and abroad for German research.
The DFG funds excellent science without regard to extra-scientific factors. Equal treatment of men and women and broad representation of the scientific disciplines in the self-governance of the DFG ensure the diversity and originality required for outstanding research.
The DFG supports projects from all areas of science and the humanities and especially promotes interdisciplinary cooperation among researchers. DFG funding enables cooperation between researchers from all branches of science as well as the formation of internationally visible priorities at universities and non-university research institutions.
The DFG actively encourages international research cooperation: all of its programmes promote cooperation between scientists and academics in Germany and their colleagues abroad. It places special emphasis on scientific collaboration within the European Research Area.
The DFG funds knowledge-oriented research, and it welcomes and supports the cooperation of science with those who apply science in all areas of social life. This includes the interaction of scientific findings withthe private sectorand institutions such as museums, academies of music, hospitals, and in public-private partnerships.
The DFG provides scientific policy advice. As the voice of science in political and social discourse, it counsels and participates in political decision-making processes with scientific expertise. With the deliberations of its Senate commissions and the publication of their findings, the DFG makes recommendations concerning fundamental issues in science and concerning the responsible application of scientific findings in society.
For this purpose, its regulations on good scientific practice provide internationally recognised guidelines.
Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany
The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany is a union of the most important German research organisations. It issues statements relating to research policy and funding and the structural development of the German research system.