Projects at the interface between research and scientific information infrastructure

The DFG defines “bridge projects” as projects which involve not only extensive research work as such but are also dedicated to the development and provision of scientific information and/or information infrastructures. The latter might be the digitisation and provision of a scientific collection (under the Digitisation and Indexing programme), for example, or the (further) development of methods and technologies (under the e-Research Technologies programme). The research component and the infrastructural component must be so closely interlinked that it is not possible to split them into two separate projects. If separate implementation is conceivable, applicants are advised to submit two project proposals – under the Research Grants Programme and under the relevant programme in the area of “Scientific Library Services and Information Systems” (LIS).

The funding option “Bridge Projects” is not an independent funding programme, but an offer for project proposals at the interface between research and scientific information infrastructure. As such, bridge project proposals can be submitted under both the Research Grants Programme and the relevant LIS programme. With regard to eligibility, type, scope, duration of funding and project requirements, the overall conditions and requirements of the Research Grants Programme and the respective LIS programme apply.

Proposal submission and procedure

Applicants are advised to seek advice on the suitability of their project to funding under the “Bridge Projects” option and the specifics of proposal submission by consulting both the contact persons responsible for research funding at the DFG Head Office and those responsible for the relevant LIS programme.

Project proposals are to be submitted via the elan portal under the programme for which the higher share of funding is requested; likewise, the “Project Description” and “Proposal Preparation Instructions” to be used are those applicable to the programme that accounts for the higher share of funding. In addition, the proposal must be marked as a bridge project proposal. The guidelines for both programmes apply to the conception of the project. In addition, any supplementary proposal documents required by either of the two programmes must be included (e.g. the data sheet on new and renewal proposals required under the Digitisation and Indexing programme).

Bridge project proposals are reviewed according to both subject-specific and infrastructural criteria. Both the relevant review board and the Committee on Scientific Library Services and Information Systems are involved in evaluating the proposal and formulating a recommendation for the final decision; in the event of approval, the proposal receives funding from both areas.

Project requirements

Bridge project proposals must fully comply with the eligibility requirements applicable to both research grants and the respective LIS programme, as set out in the relevant guidelines. This means that a research project of high scientific quality and originality must be submitted which also involves the development of a scientific information infrastructure that must be made available on a long-term basis and subject to free accessibility within nationwide reference systems in accordance with FAIR principles. In addition, the proposal documents must show a clear breakdown of the funds requested for each element of the project. With regard to the funds applied for under LIS, an applicant contribution must be made as defined under the specific programme.

Forms and guidelines