Information for Researchers, No. 73 | September 1, 2021

International Cooperation Opportunities within the Framework of Standing Open Proposal Submission Procedures

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) supports international cooperation in order to facilitate transnational research activities. Based on this strategy, DFG also maintains cooperation agreements with some countries that enable continuous proposal submission within so-called Standing Open Procedures (SOP). Joint proposals with research partners in these countries may therefore be submitted at any time without having to meet a specific submission deadline. General information on SOP can be found on DFG’s website (see link below).

This joint proposal submission option exists with the following countries and their respective partner organisations and for the identified research areas:

  • Brazil, The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP): all areas; on the Brazilian side, only researchers who are located in universities / research institutions within the State of São Paulo may apply.
  • Colombia, Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES): all areas
  • Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA): all areas
  • Costa Rica, Consejo Nacional de Rectores (CONARE): all areas
  • Iran, National Institute for Medical Research Development (NIMAD): only for medicine and parts of life sciences
  • Iran, Iran National Science Foundation (INSF): all areas
  • Turkey, Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK): all areas
  • Vietnam, National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED): all areas

Proposals, which are usually written jointly, have to be submitted in parallel at the DFG and at the respective partner organisation in accordance with the applicable regulations of each organisation. Scientists in Germany must submit their proposals within the DFG’s Research Grants Programme in compliance with the guidelines outlined in DFG forms 50.01 and 54.01 (links see below) via the electronic elan-portal. These include the eligibility criteria and proposal preparation instructions for applicants to be funded by DFG.

The review process is carried out separately on each side. The results of the review process are shared between the DFG and the respective partner organisation. DFG and the respective partner organisation provide funding of joint research projects upon positive assessment on both sides. Unilateral funding of only one part of the research project is not possible.

Please note that there are no separate funds reserved at DFG for the cooperation within the SOP. These opportunities follow the general budget of DFG. The proposals must succeed on the strengths of their scientific quality in comparison with other proposals within the same research area.

Further Information

General information on Standing Open Procedures:

Apart from the SOP, the following proposal submission possibilities for Individual Research Grants exist in the context of international cooperation:

For international cooperation possibilities within other DFG funding programmes such as the Initiation of International Cooperation or Coordinated Programmes, please contact DFG’s Head Office:

Further general information on the international cooperation of the DFG:

Detailed information on the partner organisations:

Brazil, The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP):

Colombia, Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES):

Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA):


Costa Rica, Consejo Nacional de Rectores (CONARE):

Iran, Iran National Science Foundation (INSF):

Further information on elan:

The elan system can be accessed at:

After the log-in, please use the respective link “Proposal for a Research Grant” in the Proposal Forms column.

If you are using the DFG’s elan system for the first time, please note that you will need to register before you may use the system. Allow at least one business day to process your registration.

elan flyer:

elan FAQ:

DFG forms 50.01 and 54.01 can be found at:

Questions related to the Standing Open Procedures maybe directed to the responsible contact person for the respective region/country: