Information for Researchers, No. 24 | March 21, 2024

National Research Data Infrastructure: Programme and Proposal Documents for the Second Funding Period

2024 call for proposals (renewal proposals by consortia from the first round of calls)

In November 2018, the German federal government and the federal states decided to establish a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). The NFDI is being set up by means of a science-driven process as a networked structure of consortia acting on their own initiative, with the aim of establishing and advancing overarching research data management and increasing the efficiency of the research system as a whole. Since the start of funding in October 2020, three rounds of calls for proposals have been held, with funding being provided for a total of 27 consortia. At the end of the first funding period, the nine funded consortia from the first round of calls have the opportunity to apply for funding for an additional five years, whereby the focus here is on consolidation. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is responsible for the selection, review and evaluation process for the funding proposals.

Financial Framework Conditions in the Renewal Phase

The current NFDI agreement between the German federal government and the federal states expires on 31 December 2028, i.e. before the end of the consortia’s second funding phase. Nonetheless, proposals for continued funding should still cover a period of five years. Consortia are asked to initially base their funding calculations for the years from 2029 onwards on the assumption that the total funding available per year for all consortia in the NFDI will be at a similar level to that of the years 2019 to 2028. 

When considering the renewal proposals, the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz – GWK) will initially only decide on the allocation of funds for the period covered by the current agreement between the German federal government and federal states. If the federal government and federal states continue to provide funding for NFDI consortia beyond 2028, the funds applied for by the consortia for these later years will be subjected to further evaluation, as soon as it has been established how much funding is actually available.

If a consortium does not receive further funding due to a negative assessment of its renewal proposal by the NFDI Expert Committee, it is to be provided with degressive completion funding limited to two years. In this case, a consortium will be allocated funding as follows: in the first 12 months after the end of regular funding it will receive up to 70 percent, in months 13 to 24, it will receive up to 40 percent of the funds approved for the last fiscal year.

Deadlines and Proposal Submission

This first of three calls for proposals is exclusively for NFDI consortia that have been in receipt of funding since 2020, with the aim of providing continued funding from 1 October 2025 onwards. For this reason, it is not possible to submit proposals which involve the establishment of a new consortium. 

Before submitting a renewal proposal, all applicants must submit binding letters of intent, which will be made publicly available on the DFG’s website. The letter of intent must contain binding information on all applicant and co-applicant institutions, the spokesperson, all co-spokespersons and all participants. For formal reasons, it will not be possible to add (co-)applicant organisations or participants at a later stage before submission of the proposal.

Please submit the binding letter of intent (DFG form nfdi10) via the DFG’s elan portal by no later than 18 June 2024.

The deadline for submitting the renewal proposal (DFG form nfdi110) via the DFG’s elan portal is 6 August 2024. The entire proposal and review process is conducted in English. Please note the information on the NFDI funding criteria (DFG form nfdi120).

Each consortium must submit a data sheet (DFG form nfdi1000) in addition to its renewal proposal. When completing the data sheet, please refer to the relevant guidelines on the DFG’s NFDI website.

Further information

Key points on the second funding period of the NFDI consortia:

Forms and guidelines for the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI):

Notes on writing the binding letter of intent:

Data sheet supplementing an NFDI consortium’s renewal proposal:

Guide to filling out the data sheet:

Further information on the NFDI:

Contact at the DFG Head Office:

Contacts for questions relating to the NFDI

Dr. Jan Rohden
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-2596
Dr. Lina Wedrich
Telephone: +49 (228) 885-2036