Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 60 | 14. September 2020

DFG-RSF Cooperation: Possibility for Joint German-Russian Project Proposals in all Fields of Science

To facilitate the support of collaborative work between German and Russian research groups, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) have opened the possibility for joint German-Russian project proposals for the funding period 2022–2024 in all fields of science. Collaborations of research teams from both countries are invited to submit joint proposals.

At the DFG these proposals are submitted in the funding scheme „Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants“ and will be reviewed in competition with all other proposals in this scheme. It is important to note that there are no separate funds available for these efforts, proposals must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and teams in competition with all other proposals in the funding scheme “Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants”. At the RSF the proposals will be part of an open public competition for the activity “Basic Scientific Research and Exploratory Scientific Research, Conducted by International Research Teams”.

All proposals will be reviewed by both organisations separately. The results of the review process will be shared between the agencies. Support will be granted for those proposals where both DFG and RSF recommend funding.

Proposal preparation and submission

The eligibility to submit a proposal follows the regulations for the programmes for “Basic Scientific Research and Exploratory Scientific Research, Conducted by International Research Teams” at RSF side and for the funding scheme „Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants“ at DFG side (DFG form 50.01). This includes the duty to cooperate (“Kooperationspflicht”) within Germany for members of non-university institutions with permanent positions.

Proposals must be submitted to both organisations in parallel in accordance with the proposal preparation requirements of each side, respectively. For German groups this means submission via DFG’s elan system according to the guidelines for the Research Grants Programme (form 50.01).

All German applicants are requested to use the “Joint Project Description Template” (see link below) instead of form 53/01-04/20. For the RSF, the competition documentation for an open public competition to receive grants from the RSF should be consulted.

For submission via the elan system German partners should select under “Call for Proposals” “DFG-RSF 2021”. In the elan system please go via Proposal Submission – New Project – Individual Grants Programme. In the field “Proposal for a Research Grant” click the button “Start online form” – “Continue”. There you will find the call.

The proposal must include a description of the full proposed research programme and research team and describe the total resources for the joint project (that is, the funds requested for both the Russian and German groups). However, in the elan-budget forms submitted to the DFG, only the amount requested from the DFG should by entered. For the project description please use the “Joint Project Description Template”. This document will be the basis for the review process at DFG as well as at RSF to ensure that both sides will judge the project on the same basis.

Additional documents as CV of the principal investigators (PI) from both sides must be uploaded following the rules of each organisation respectively. Please note that the reviewers on both sides will need the full information on the PI from Germany as well as from Russia.

For German partners – please note, that if you are using the elan system for the first time, you need to register prior submitting your application with your complete personal and address details via elan by 7 December 2020 at the latest.

German applicants should notice, that the RSF expects a letter signed by the Russian and German institutions (preferably by the dean of the faculty or the director of the institute) where the project will be conducted, that the institutions agree with the realisation of the project in case of funding, that the project will be supported with the necessary infrastructure and that the partners agree on the property rights. The German groups will receive the template for the letter from their Russian partners.

In accordance with the full proposal target date of the RSF proposals to the DFG should be submitted not later than 14 December 2020.

Data Protection

Please note the DFG’s Data protection notice on research funding (link see below). If necessary, please also forward this information to those persons whose data the DFG processes because they are involved in your project.

Descriptions of investigations involving dual use research of concern, foreign trade regulations

Please examine whether your proposed project involves an immediate risk of yielding knowledge, products or technology that could intentionally be misused (also by third parties) to cause substantial harm. If such a risk exists, please describe the benefits of pursuing this work weighed against the risks of potential misuse and what measures are planned to minimise these risks. Refer to the guidelines contained in the publication Scientific Freedom and Scientific Responsibility – Recommendations on Handling Security-Relevant Research, published by the DFG and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 28 May 2014. If your university or research institution has a research ethics committee, consult with them in advance and attach a statement by the committee with your proposal.

Projects must comply with foreign trade regulations (especially the War Weapons Control Act [Kriegswaffenkontrollgesetz], EC Regulation No. 428/2009 [EC Dual Use Regulation], the Foreign Trade and Payments Act [Außenwirtschaftsgesetz], the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance [Außenwirtschaftsverordnung] or embargo regulations) relating to the non-proliferation strategy and the handling of potentially critical goods, including technologies, software and sensitive knowledge transfer; applicants are advised to examine their projects accordingly. Information for researchers is available on the website of the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA; link see below).

If you require further clarification, please contact BAFA directly. For projects subject to licensing, please note that licences must be obtained from the responsible authority prior to beginning research on the project.

Further Information

Joint Project Description Template:

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

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

DFG’s Data protection notice on research funding:

German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA):

Contact persons at the DFG:

Administrative inquiries: Michael Sommerhof, phone +49 228 885-2017,

Social Sciences and Humanities: Dr. Niklas Hebing, phone +49 228 885 2949,

Life Sciences: Dr. Katharina Hartmann, phone +49 228 885-2342,

Natural Sciences: Dr. Ilka Paulus, phone +49 228 885 2021,

Engineering Sciences: Dr. Xenia Molodova, phone +49 228 885 2374,

International affairs: Mechthild Köhler, phone +49 228 885-4322,

DFG Moscow office: Natalja Dobrowolskaja, phone +7 495 956-2699,