Information for Researchers, No. 42 | June 14, 2019

Indo-German Collaborative Research Activities in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics

DST and DFG to accept joint project proposals from teams of Indian and German researchers

Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Science and Technology, India (DST), and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), DST and DFG are opening the possibility for joint Indo-German research project funding in the fields of chemistry, mathematics, physics (DFG review boards 301 to 312). Indo-German teams of researchers are invited to submit joint proposals describing integrated research projects with a duration of up to three years. Proposals may describe either mono-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary projects. In the case of interdisciplinary proposals, however, it is important that the central parts of the project fall within the listed fields.

These joint proposals in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics have to be based on a close interaction between the German and Indian research teams and should present joint project goals and a joint work plan with balanced contributions from all project partners. DST and DFG particularly wish to encourage early career researchers to participate in this international funding opportunity, though the call is open to researchers of all career stages.

For administrative reasons, it is necessary that an Indo-German team of researchers wishing to respond to this call submit two proposals in parallel: the Indian partner to DST, the German partner to DFG. Each proposal must follow the regulations of the respective agency; proposals failing to fulfil all formal requirements will be rejected. Funds to be used by the Indian side must be requested from DST; funds to be used by the German side must be requested from DFG.

The proposals will be evaluated separately by DST and DFG on the basis of the projects’ scientific merit/quality, the justification for scientific-collaboration and the qualifications as well as the compatibility of the participating team members. The results of the review process will be shared between the agencies. Support will be granted for those proposals where both DFG and DST recommend funding.

Please note that DFG will not provide a separate budget for this call. Proposals in response to this call are submitted in the funding scheme “Sachbeihilfe / Research Grants” and will be reviewed in competition with all other proposals in this scheme.

Proposal Preparation and Submission

The following information focuses on DFG proposals. For information regarding DST proposals, see the information for Indian researchers linked below.

  • Researchers wishing to participate in this funding opportunity are strongly encouraged to contact the DFG representative named below before preparing their proposal, particularly if they are unsure whether their project falls within the DFG subjects 301 to 312.
  • Proposals submitted to DFG must follow the guidelines of the programme “Sachbeihilfe / Research Grants”, see DFG form 50.01. The eligibility to submit a proposal follows the regulations for this programme. This includes the duty to cooperate (“Kooperationspflicht”) within Germany for members of non-university institutions with permanent positions.
  • Proposals must preface the title with “India DST-DFG”; the language of the project description has to be English.
  • All proposals must include a joint and complementary research plan explaining the linkage between all partners and any expected scientific synergy emerging from this cooperation (DFG form “Beschreibung des Vorhabens”: question 2.3; DST form: questions II.4, II.7).
  • Along with the joint and integrated research plan, proposals must describe the total resources for the joint project (that is, the funds requested for both the Indian and German side). However, the budget form submitted to DFG should only indicate the amount requested from DFG.
  • For visits of principal investigators to the respective partner country, the expectation is that the sending side covers the cost of travel (including insurance, visa etc.), while the receiving side covers the cost of the stay / local hospitality.
  • German applicants are requested to upload their proposal via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system, following the DFG’s guidelines.
  • When submitting the proposal via elan, please select “India DST-DFG 2019 Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics” from the list of calls (Go via Proposal Submission – New Project – Individual Grants Programme. In the field “Proposal for a Research Grant”, click “Start online form”, then “Continue”. You can now select the call.).

Please note that if you are using the “elan” system for the first time, you need to register yourself and your institutional address before being able to submit a proposal. Also, if you are planning to move to a different institution (e.g. with a temporary position for principal investigators) you need to register the new institutional address beforehand. Please make sure that all German applicants of your project (in case there is more than one) start their registration at the latest two weeks before the submission deadline. The registration requests are handled manually by DFG staff.

Submission Deadline

The deadline for the submission of proposals in response to this call is 
Wednesday, 20 November 2019 (Midnight, Berlin time).

Further Information

Guidelines for the DFG Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01)

Proposal Preparation Instructions (DFG form 54.01):

DFG’s Electronic Proposal Processing System for Applicants – elan:

Further information on elan:

FAQ about using elan:

Information for Indian researchers will be made available under:


Contact person at DFG in Bonn, Germany:

Contact person at DFG India Office in New Delhi:

Contact person at DST, New Delhi:

  • Dr. Chadaram Sivaji 
    International Bilateral Cooperation Division 
    phone +91 11 26590489