Project Proposals by Individuals

The DFG offers flexible funding opportunities for doctorate-holding researchers at research institutions in Germany (or German research institutions abroad) to carry out well-defined research projects.

  • Funding Focus: Investigators
    The category “Investigators” includes funding instruments that support the career development of doctorate-holding researchers. A researcher’s position may be funded directly (mid-level academic or professorial position or fellowship). Funding is offered for a set period of time and in connection with a specific research question, which is addressed within the funded project. When a proposal is evaluated, the main focus is on the applicant’s previous performance and future potential.
  • Funding Focus: Themes
    This category consists of funding instruments that centre on the primary theme of a research project as specified in a work programme that is clearly structured in terms of research content, duration and personnel. These projects may be proposed in different formats:
    - Individual research projects
    - Joint projects with multiple project leaders
    - Package proposals consisting of any number of individual or joint projects
    - Projects within thematically defined Priority Programmes
    - A group of thematically linked projects (Research Units)
    The funding request must be justified in the details of the proposed work programme. When proposals are evaluated, the main focus is on the research question, the anticipated knowledge gain and the project plan.
  • Funding Focus: Forum
    The category “Forum” brings together instruments that support collaborative research that follows a coherent research programme addressing an overall main topic over a set funding duration. To achieve this, these projects provide open platforms designed to facilitate scholarly discussion and dialogue, which enables them to be relatively open with regard to the work programme and proposed research methods. The proposal is not required to describe the structure of the proposed work in detail with respect to research content, duration or personnel. Evaluation of proposals focuses on the overall research idea, the anticipated knowledge gain and the applicants’ research and leadership expertise.
  • Funding Focus: Infrastructure
    This category includes funding opportunities for research infrastructures such as technical equipment and information systems. The focus is on infrastructures for specific research fields or disciplines that improve working conditions in these areas. Funding is also available for the research needed to develop such infrastructures. The evaluation of proposals is based on the contribution a project will make to improving the research and information infrastructure (both at the location in question and for researchers based elsewhere) and the technical, informational and organisational expertise of the applicants.