Information for Researchers, No. 17 | April 18, 2017

Refugee Scientists and Academics: DFG to Facilitate Participation in Research Projects

Higher education institutions and project leaders can again apply for additional staff in 2017 / Contribution to integration in research and society

Higher education institutions and project leaders can again apply for additional staff in 2017 / Contribution to integration in research and society

In December 2015, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) made funding options available for scientists and academics who had fled their home countries. So far this has allowed mainly young refugees in the doctoral phase to be supported by integrating them in established projects. The DFG is now once again inviting the leaders of DFG projects and universities to take advantage of these possibilities.

In all general research funding programmes offered by the DFG, supplemental proposals can continue to be submitted for refugees and at-risk researchers who have already completed a degree programme. Funding is available for individuals with a residence status in the context of an asylum-granting procedure that confirms a recognised threat.

Supplemental proposals can be submitted for any funding which allows refugees to be integrated in a project, especially guest funding, the Mercator module and staff posts.

Proposals can be submitted informally at any time and should not exceed five pages (not including CV and bibliography). Applicants should however ensure that the proposal is clear and detailed enough to allow prompt review in accordance with the DFG's standard quality criteria. An explanation must be provided as to how the participation of the refugee makes an additional, value-adding contribution to the project. The proposal must also include information about the foreign researcher’s refugee or residence status.

Refugee scientists and academics can also be funded directly in Research Training Groups, Collaborative Research Centres and other DFG-funded coordinated projects. The financial resources for this do not have to be specially requested with a supplemental proposal, as appropriate measures can also be financed from previously approved funds. For example, refugees with a bachelor's degree or comparable qualification can receive a qualifying fellowship for later doctoral research in a Research Training Group or be accepted directly into such a group.

The legal framework for the integration of refugee scientists and academics is the responsibility of project leaders and of universities or non-university research institutions. This includes the verification of academic qualifications and the checking of legal requirements, for example for the purposes of fellowship or employment contracts.

Further Information

More information about funding opportunities and submitting supplemental proposals is available from the contact persons below.

For all general research funding programmes:

For qualification fellowships, Research Training Groups, Graduate Schools, Collaborative Research Centres, Research Centres and Clusters of Excellence:

For more information visit: