Information on the Submission of Proposals as well as the Review and Decision Process

Starting at an early stage of your planning a new Collaborative Research Centre, contact persons within our division “Collaborative Research Centres” are happy to provide you with information and answer any questions. In the event of questions related primarily to the discipline(s) involved, you are welcome to approach the relevant contact person(s) in our “Scientific Affairs” department. The Head Office can also offer an informal preliminary consultation on request.

Decisions regarding the establishment and funding of Collaborative Research Centres and Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio are made in a two-stage procedure:

Diagram: Information on proposals and the review and decision process

Information on proposals and the review and decision process

The first stage involves the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) conducting a consultation attended by external academic peers. The objective of this consultation is, firstly, to provide the initiative with an assessment for its further considerations as to whether its CRC draft proposal constitutes a suitable basis for a Collaborative Research Centre, and what revisions might be appropriate. Secondly, the result of the consultation serves as a basis for the Senate Committee on Collaborative Research Centres in its comparative discussion of all draft proposals which have recently undergone such a consultiaton. For each individual draft proposal, the Senate Committee gives a recommendation as to whether or not to submit a full proposal, limiting positive recommendations to the truly promising initiatives only.

The consultation is based on a draft proposal containing a maximum of 120 pages. The draft proposal should present the common objectives and joint work programme, the state of research, the institutional environment as well as the planned projects and their interactions.

The half-day consultation is attended by up to five representatives of the CRC initiative, around five researchers familiar with the field, one member of the DFG Senate Committee on the Collaborative Research Centres, and staff from the DFG Head Office.

Diagram: Information on proposals and the review and decision process

Information on proposals and the review and decision process

The second stage comprises the review session and decision regarding the full proposal submitted by the respective university. A CRC/Transregio generally involves up to three universities submitting a joint proposal.

After their initial four-year funding period, Collaborative Research Centres can submit continuation proposals for a second or third funding period without having to pass through another consultation stage.

The review session lasts for two days and follows a uniform pattern for all Collaborative Research Centres. The review group, which is specifically composed based on the (inter)disciplinary setup of each respective Collaborative Research Centre, consists of around ten reviewers. They are joined by two scientific members of the Senate and Grants Committees on Collaborative Research Centres (see “Decision-making bodies” below), who serve as expert and non-expert rapporteurs, respectively, to the Committees regarding the review process and outcome. Staff from the DFG Head Office also take part. This review group develops decision recommendations for the individual projects and for the Collaborative Research Centre as a whole. These recommendations are documented in a report by the DFG Head Office and submitted to the responsible Grants Committee for decision-making.

Decisions on the establishment and funding of Collaborative Research Centres are reached in the meeting of the Grants Committee on Collaborative Research Centres held twice a year (in May and November) (see “Decision-making bodies” below): Based on a written report of the review and the presentations of the two rapporteurs, the Grants Committee decides on the funding of proposals in comparative consideration.