Individual funding offered by the DFG

What is available from the DFG?

The DFG offers suitable funding programmes for researchers with doctorates at all stages of their career. One aspect that is always important is to have an innovative project idea. You can apply for funding for your research project via theme-focused project funding, optionally including funds to cover a Temporary Position for Principal Investigators. The instruments of investigator-focused funding for the support of research careers are – in addition to funding your research project – particularly designed to advance your scientific career.

Who does the DFG fund?

The DFG funds doctorate-holding researchers of all nationalities whose proposal has successfully completed the review process. Funding can be claimed at a higher education institution or a non-university research institution in Germany, and also abroad under certain funding programmes. For some DFG programmes there are special requirements for submitting a proposal: these are to be found in the description of the individual programmes.

  • You can submit your DFG proposal as soon as you have handed in your doctoral thesis. In the event of approval, however, funding can only be claimed once the doctorate has been completed and proof of this has been submitted to the DFG.

  • You cannot submit a proposal of your own to the DFG before completing a doctorate, e.g. during your studies or for the purpose of obtaining a doctoral thesis. In these cases, only indirect funding is available, for instance via a position that is part of a funded project.

What does the DFG fund?

The DFG funds knowledge-driven research in all disciplines and does not usually specify topics. For most funding programmes, proposals can be submitted at any time. You are essentially free to decide what you want to investigate and the scope of your research as well as when, where and how you wish to pursue your project. However, a project will only receive funding if it can prevail over other projects in scientific competition. The basic principles and framework conditions of DFG funding apply to all funding formats. No funding is provided for research in an industrial context.

Did you know? In our GEPRIS database you can take a look at which people and projects are already being funded in your subject area or at your institution.

What is the DFG?

The DFG is the self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany. It serves all branches of science and the humanities. In organisational terms, the DFG is an association under private law. Its membership consists of German research universities, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the Academies of Science and the Humanities. The DFG receives the large majority of its funds from the federal government and the states.

If you want to learn more about the organization and the tasks of the DFG, please continue reading under "DFG in Profile".

How does the DFG arrive at its decisions?

The only criterion that counts towards funding decisions is that of scientific quality. Researchers determine the topics of their projects themselves. The path to arriving at a decision is a multi-stage process. Reviewers and review boards assess the scientific quality and originality of the projects, thereby providing the basis for a funding decision. These decisions are made by committees made up of scientists and politicians, though the former are in the majority.

Did you know? The DFG offers a wide range of funding programmes. For example, there are also opportunities to obtain funding for coordinated collaborative projects, new international collaborations, infrastructures and scientific events.

Further questions?