Additional technology-specific information

The first section of this page relates to general issues around the funding, operation and use of scientific instrumentation. The second part on Specific Instrumentation Categories is available in German only.

Funding and Operation of Scientific Instrumentation

The reform of the federal system in 2006 resulted in the end of the “Hochschulbauförderungsgesetz (HBFG)” that supported investments both in buildings and instrumentation at universities since the higher education expansion in the 1970s. The resulting rearrangement of major instrumentation programmes for universities was based on Articles 91b and 143c of the Basic Law, which cover the joint responsibilities of federal and state governments and financial compensation. The later expired end of 2019. This report provides information about the development of the major instrumentation programmes from 2007 to 2017.

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is a joint discussion forum of European member countries, which is supported by the European Commission. Since 2006, ESFRI has been publishing the ESFRI roadmaps, which describe developments relating to research infrastructure at European level.

The DFG participates in the ESFRI discussions and also maintains contact with other European and international funding and research organisations, for example within the framework of Science Europe and the Global Science Forum of the OECD.

In 2010/2011, a series of recommendations were issued in cooperation with European partners.

For the life sciences, the recommendations particularly emphasise promoting the shared use of research infrastructure and adapting funding programmes to the needs of researchers and core facilities.

The "Basic Requirements" define general quality standards and requirements applicable to research infrastructures and users.

The DFG can cover in most of its funding programmes part of the costs incurred by use of major instrumentation and/or core facilities as part of scientific projects. However, the DFG may only fund a partial compensation that relates to some categories of project-specific costs (see the guidelines listed below). For very frequently used technologies there are hourly rates provided that define the upper limit to which usage costs can be funded by the DFG. More information on DFG funding of usage costs and the current list of available rates can be found here:

Notes on Specific Instrumentation Categories

The Committee on Scientific Instrumentation and Information Technology and its predecessor bodies have issued recommendations for some categories of broadly used instrumentation, such as mass spectrometers, electron microscopy, cytometry, NMR spectrometers and medical imaging. The recommendations address specific aspects of the operation (e.g. as stand-alone or core facility equipment) and highlight some expectations that reviewer and the committee might have towards instrumentation proposals in this technology section. We apologize that the documents are available in German only.