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Information for Researchers No. 56 | 15 September 2016
DFG-RSF Cooperation: Possibility for Joint German-Russian Project Proposals in Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities

To facilitate the support of collaborative work between German and Russian research groups, the Life Sciences and Social and Humanities Divisions of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) have opened the possibility for joint German-Russian project proposals in the fields covered by these divisions. Collaborations of research teams from both countries are invited to submit joint proposals.

At the DFG these proposals are submitted in the funding scheme „Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants“ and will be reviewed in competition with all other proposals in this scheme. It is important to note that there are no separate funds available for these efforts, proposals must succeed on the strengths of their intellectual merit and teams in competition with all other proposals in the funding scheme “Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants”. At the RSF the proposals will be part of an open public competition for the activity “Basic Scientific Research and Exploratory Scientific Research, Conducted by International Research Teams”.

All proposals will be reviewed by both organisations separately. The results of the review process will be shared between the agencies. Support will be granted for those proposals where both DFG and RSF recommend funding.

Proposal preparation and submission:

The eligibility to submit a proposal follows the regulations for the programmes for “Basic Scientific Research and Exploratory Scientific Research, Conducted by International Research Teams” at RSF side and for the funding scheme „Sachbeihilfe/Research Grants“ at DFG side (DFG form 50.01). This includes the duty to cooperate (“Kooperationspflicht”) within Germany for members of non-university institutions with permanent positions.

Proposals must be submitted to both organisations in parallel in accordance with the proposal preparation requirements of each side, respectively. For German groups this means submission via DFG’s elan system according to the guidelines for the Research Grants Programme (form 50.01).

All German applicants are requested to use the “Joint Project Description Template” instead of form 53/01-05/16. For the RSF, the competition documentation for an open public competition to receive grants from the RSF should be consulted.

For submission via the elan system German partners should select under “Call for Proposals” “DFG-RSF 2016: Life Sciences” or “DFG-RSF 2016: Social Sciences and Humanities” respectively.

The proposal must include a description of the full proposed research programme and research team and describe the total resources for the joint project (that is, the funds requested for both the Russian and German groups). However, the budget forms submitted to the DFG should only indicate the amount requested from the DFG. For the project description please use the “Joint Project Description Template”. This document will be the basis for the review process at DFG as well as at RSF to ensure that both sides will judge the project on the same fundament.

Additional documents as CVs of the PIs from both sides must be uploaded following the rules of each organisation respectively. Please note that the reviewers on both sides will need the full information on the PIs from Germany as well as from Russia.

For German partners – please note, that if you are using the elan system for the first time, you need to register prior submitting your application with your complete personal and address details via http://elan.dfg.de by 5 December 2016 at the latest.

German applicants should notice, that the RSF expects a letter signed by the Russian and German institutions (preferably by the dean of the faculty or the director of the institute) where the project will be conducted, that the institutions agree with the realisation of the project in case of funding, that the project will be supported with the necessary infrastructure and that the partners agree on the property rights. The German groups will receive the template for the letter from their Russian partners.

In accordance with the full proposal target date of the RSF proposals to the DFG should be submitted not later than 12 December 2016.

Further information

“Joint Project Description Template”:

Guidelines for the DFG Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01):

DFG’s Electronic Proposal Processing System for Applicants – elan:

Contact persons at the DFG:

Social Sciences and Humanities:

Life Sciences:

Administrative inquiries:

International affairs:

DFG Moscow office: