Information for Researchers, No. 73 | September 22, 2023

The DFG Provides Information on Mitigating Bias in Review Processes

Short film “Unbiased Review” / information compiled in an online dossier

Science-led and therefore discrimination-free processes are essential to the funding activities of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) when reviewing, evaluating and making decisions about research projects. It is laid down in the statutes of the DFG that excellent research requires “a broad spectrum of ideas and pluralistic debate”. The DFG therefore promotes the avoidance of bias (both conscious and unconscious prejudices) in its review, evaluation and decision-making processes. No person is to be prevented or excluded from pursuing an academic career because of non-scientific factors.

The DFG has recently developed further measures for mitigating bias and has implemented these as part of its integrated equity and diversity concept that was adopted by the Joint Committee of the DFG in summer 2022. The objective is to ensure that reviewers and committee members of the DFG are informed and sensitised.

To this end, a five-minute film on “Unbiased Review” was produced in German and English. An accessible version is due to be published soon. The film provides a brief introduction to the topic and introduces reviewers and researchers who speak about their experiences and approaches for mitigating bias in their activities.

In addition, information in German and English on mitigating bias in scientific evaluation and decision-making processes can be found in an online dossier on the DFG website. This dossier includes concrete recommendations for action, an outline of the general conditions of the respective review, evaluation and decision-making processes of the DFG, and background information about the film.

Since the content presented in the film and online dossier is applicable to other peer review situations, examination situations, the selection of staff, and even to everyday scientific discourse, the DFG would like to invite you to use these formats across the scientific community, as well as in institutions and facilities dedicated to science and the humanities.

Further information

The film “Unbiased Review” is available on the “DFG bewegt” YouTube channel:

The online dossier is available on the DFG’s website:

Information about the equity and diversity concept can be found in press release no. 27 dated 5 July 2022:

Information about equity and diversity is provided here:

Contact at the DFG Head Office: