Information for Researchers, No. 44 | July 14, 2017

Changes to the Emmy Noether and Heisenberg Programmes

The Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) decided at its meeting on 4 July 2017 to make changes to the Emmy Noether Programme and the Heisenberg Programme with effect from 1 January 2018. New versions of the general programme guidelines, the guidelines for use and the accompanying text will be published on the Internet in the next few months. The relevant passages for electronic proposal submission will also be available by the end of the year.

Key decisions on changes to the Emmy Noether Programme

  • In the interests of balancing a research career and family, the requirement for evidence of a twelve-month visit to another country as proof of international research experience will no longer apply. International research experience will remain a requirement for proposals, but may be presented as the applicant chooses and will be evaluated as appropriate to the subject area during the review process.
  • The regular funding duration will be extended by one year, making it six years in total (3+3).
  • W2 professors will now also be eligible to submit proposals, provided they are still at the qualification stage. In other words, they must hold temporary posts and must be at an early stage of their research careers.
  • Researchers who also work in clinical practice are to be given the option to apply for a rotation post instead of a position as junior research group leader in order to leave a proportion of their time free for research.
  • An earmarked family allowance of up to €6,000 per year may be requested and approved for the care of children and relatives in need of care during conference or research trips, to help researchers balance family with work (the proposal guidelines, amended accordingly, and the form for ELAN submissions will be available from 1.10.2017).

Rules for proposals submitted up until 31 December 2017

Proposals submitted up until 31 December 2017 will be subject to the current programme rules, with no changes.

Transitional rules

As of 1.1.2018, individuals who already receive funding in the Emmy Noether Programme but have not yet obtained a permanent professorship, will have the option of submitting a renewal proposal for a sixth year for project-specific reasons and therefore under less strict conditions. The renewal proposal may be submitted at the earliest after the third year together with the interim report and no later than six months before the end of the fifth year.

As of 1.8.2017, current funding recipients can apply informally to the DFG for the earmarked family allowance for the remainder of the funding period by using form 41.46. The same goes for applicants whose proposal is submitted before 1.10.2017, if the proposal is approved.

Key decisions on changes to the Heisenberg Programme

In future, the Heisenberg Programme will allow applicants to choose between a Heisenberg fellowship, a Heisenberg post, a Heisenberg rotation post and a Heisenberg professorship. Applicants will no longer apply directly for one of these four programme variations. Instead, the proposal will be for ‘funding in the Heisenberg Programme’.

Following approval, the applicant can choose between the four variations; it is also possible to change between them (multiple times) while participating in the programme.

  • A Heisenberg fellowship can be used in Germany or abroad.
  • A Heisenberg post is designed to be used in Germany, but also allows short- to medium-term visits abroad.
  • A Heisenberg rotation post is for researchers engaged in clinical practice. It allows them to be released from clinical duties for part of the time to devote themselves to research work.
  • A Heisenberg professorship at a German university requires an assurance of continued funding after the DFG funding comes to an end from the university leadership.

Rules for proposals submitted up until 31 December 2017

Proposals submitted up until 31 December 2017 will be subject to the current programme rules. If a Heisenberg fellowship is approved, as before, an informal request can be submitted to convert the fellowship into a Heisenberg professorship. Renewal proposals should be submitted approximately six months before the end of the first three-year funding phase.

Transitional rules

If a Heisenberg fellowship has been approved, an individual can apply to switch to a Heisenberg post or Heisenberg rotation post if there is still at least twelve months remaining of the total (60-month) funding period.

The option to convert a Heisenberg fellowship into a Heisenberg professorship remains open.

Further Information

Further information on the changes to the Emmy Noether Programme will be available in due course at:

DFG form 41.46 is available at:

DFG contact for the Emmy Noether Programme:

Further information on the changes to the Heisenberg Programme will be available by the given time at:

DFG contact for the Heisenberg Programme: