Information for Researchers, No. 28 | May 20, 2020

Extra Financial Support for DFG-Funded Research During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mitigating financial impacts / Allowance made for project delays / Funding recipients to receive additional staff and project funding with minimal bureaucracy

Mitigating financial impacts / Allowance made for project delays / Funding recipients to receive additional staff and project funding with minimal bureaucracy

The Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has approved extra financial support for DFG-funded research during the coronavirus pandemic. The core of the package of measures, available in a range of funding programmes, is the option of applying for additional funding to allow research that cannot be carried out in line with the planned schedule and productivity due to the current situation to be continued and successfully completed.

The measures introduced in Germany to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which are having an ongoing impact on day-to-day life for everyone in the country, are also affecting DFG-funded research projects, causing significant restrictions and delays. The DFG responded early on to keep funding activities running as smoothly as possible and to mitigate the financial impacts and delays to research projects caused by the pandemic. Measures include the cost-neutral extension of Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups and the option of carrying funds for 2020 forward to subsequent years, as well as compensatory, bridge and completion funding and the extension of call deadlines, fellowships and doctoral researchers' employment contracts.

In the next step, the DFG aims to give funding recipients and the staff employed on research projects security for the continuation of their work.

Project funding

If delays have been caused to a DFG-funded project due to the precautionary and protective measures taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and additional funds are needed for the proper completion of the project, the DFG will make available additional staff and project funding (including funds for temporary principal investigator positions) for a period of up to three months. These funds can be requested using DFG application form 41.47 if the funding period for ongoing projects ended or will end between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021. On the one-page form, the need for extra funds is explained by selecting the appropriate checkbox (e.g. temporary closure of an institution, lack of access to the necessary research infrastructures or a travel ban affecting international travel required for the research project).

These arrangements apply to all research grants, Research Units, Priority Programmes and many other project funding programmes, and therefore cover the majority of DFG-funded projects. They exclude funding through Germany’s Excellence Initiative and the Excellence Strategy, central research facilities, research centres and the funding of major research instrumentation in accordance with Article 91b of the Basic Law. For Collaborative Research Centres, Research Training Groups and fellowships, the following arrangements apply.

Collaborative Research Centres

All Collaborative Research Centres whose funding ends on 30 June 2020, 31 December 2020 or 30 June 2021 without the option of a renewal proposal may receive an additional three months' funding from the end of the funding period, as a one-time fixed amount. No formal application procedure is required. Eighty percent of the previous funding for the equivalent period is available. In the request for additional funding, the causal relationship with the measures taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic must be briefly explained. The additional funding should be settled with the annual report on the use of funds.

Research Training Groups

If research has been adversely affected by the measures taken to contain the coronavirus, all Research Training Groups can extend the contract period for doctoral researchers funded from RTG funds – beyond the normal 36 months – by up to 12 months to a total of 48 months. The Research Training Group itself is responsible for deciding in which cases an extension will be offered and for what period (a maximum 12-month extension for a contract period of up to 48 months). If the approved funds are not sufficient, even after reallocation within the budget year, the DFG will provide funds for contract extensions equivalent to up to three monthly payments for a staff post or fellowship per doctoral researcher. In justified individual cases, additional funds equivalent to up to three monthly payments for a staff post or fellowship can also be approved for other staff categories. Funds should be requested from the DFG in the year for which they are needed for contract extensions, by 30 September of that year. A form is available for this purpose.


For fellowships outside Research Training Groups and Collaborative Research Centres, the arrangements announced in the letter of 20 March 2020 continue to apply (see Further Information).

Cancellation costs

Cancellation costs for events that have had to be cancelled due to coronavirus measures can be settled as project expenses in all programmes. For funded events that are rescheduled up to 30 September 2021, the original approval will continue to apply and the approved amount can be supplemented by the cancellation costs if necessary. Funds can be requested using DFG application form 41.47.

Further Information

DFG application form 41.47 is available at:

Applications should be submitted by e-mail to the central e-mail address

Letter of 20 March 2020:

For questions relating to Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups, please get in touch with the contact person for your programme.

In urgent cases, the contacts for all other programmes are:

  • Sonja Auen, phone +49 228 885-2521
  • Claudia Eich, phone +49 228 885-2167
  • Nadine Mechtersheimer, phone +49 228 885-2141

You can also send questions by e-mail to .