Subject Area Structure and Interdisciplinarity

Information on discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research proposals

The DFG Statutes determine that it serves science and the humanities by providing funding for research in all its forms and disciplines. The basic topics and substantive nature of DFG programmes are designed to be open. Projects with any type of discipline-specific and/or interdisciplinary alignment are eligible to receive DFG funding. The basis upon which this can succeed is determined by a subject classification system and a differentiated subject area structure, which on the one hand ensure fair comparison among all proposals and at the same time enable flexible mapping of each individual research idea.

When submitting a proposal, those who are submitting it specify the subject area or areas to which their proposal should be allocated. This allocation relates to which review board will discuss and comparatively evaluate a proposal. Should a single allocation not be sufficient, the DFG review and evaluation process provides for other configurations, such as expert forums and sections or a review and evaluation conducted across multiple review boards.

The review boards play a key role in the DFG decision process. The range of subject areas is also reviewed and adapted prior to each review board election.

Discipline-specific and interdisciplinary proposals are treated with the utmost care at every step from subject area allocation to final decision.