Information for Researchers, No. 69 | August 21, 2023

National Research Data Infrastructure: Key Points for the Second Funding Period Published

Consolidation of consortia as the overarching goal

Consolidation of consortia as the overarching goal

As a result of its consultations on the most important priority areas for the proper evaluation of the consortia in the second funding period of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) starting in 2025, the NFDI Expert Committee has published a key points paper which states that the consolidation of the consortia is the overarching objective.

The NFDI aims to establish and further develop overarching research data management and increase the efficiency of the research system as a whole. To this end, it is being built up by means of a community-driven process as a networked structure of consortia acting on their own initiative. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is responsible for selecting, reviewing and evaluating the funding proposals.

In the course of three rounds of calls, 26 subject-specific and methodological consortia have been awarded funding since the funding started in October 2020, along with one consortium for realising basic services. The NFDI consortia provide needs-based services for various communities as well as driving forward the clarification of important cross-disciplinary issues in the field of research data. In this way, the consortia not only make a key contribution to the further development of research data management, they also help establish a networked national information infrastructure.

The NFDI Expert Committee’s deliberations on the second funding period of the NFDI starting in 2025 focused on the question of how to enable the consortia to make this contribution in the long term. In order to achieve this, the NFDI Expert Committee believes it is necessary to consolidate the consortia so as to ensure both ongoing operation and demand-driven further advancement in the long term, thereby preserving the consortia’s capacity for innovation.

The key points paper also notes the considerable diversity of the consortia, not only in terms of the communities they address, their composition and the focus of their work, but also in particular with regard to their maturity and their target groups in research data management. In order to take such differences into account in the upcoming evaluation of all consortia and enable a differentiated assessment, the consortia will be required to submit a data sheet as a supplement to each NFDI proposal and report from the upcoming second funding period onwards. This data sheet is to act as a supplement to the largely qualitative explanations of the proposals or reports by providing predominantly quantitative information. In all and from a long-term perspective, the data sheets are intended to provide a clearer understanding of the status of consolidation achieved by a consortium and its development in general.

Further information

NFDI Expert Committee: Key points for the second funding period of the NFDI consortia

Contact at the DFG Head Office:

Contact persons for questions regarding the NFDI: