Small Disciplines – Big Dynamism

Participation of Small Disciplines in DFG Funding Programmes

Cover Studie: "Kleine Fächer - große Dynamik"

“The study ‘Kleine Fächer – große Dynamik’ (Small Disciplines – Big Dynamism) investigates how often researchers in small disciplines submit proposals to DFG funding programmes. The study focuses on their participation in coordinated programmes such as Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups.

The figures suggest that DFG programmes are broadly used by representatives of small disciplines. In coordinated programmes, researchers in small disciplines are represented to an above-average extent in research groups with an especially broad disciplinary basis.

The analysis presented in the study benefits from the fact that the authors were able to access the subject area catalogue of the Small Disciplines Working Group ( in Mainz. This currently lists close to 120 disciplines in the humanities and natural sciences at 80 universities. By referring to this catalogue, the authors were able to identify projects in the DFG individual grants programme that can be classified as belonging to (selected) small disciplines. They then investigated the extent to which projects in these disciplines received funding during the period in question (2003 to 2016). For coordinated programmes, special attention was paid to the interdisciplinarity of these research groups. The data on the spectrum of disciplines they cover derives from special surveys of a total of 1,330 groups carried out between 1999 and 2014.”