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Information for Researchers No. 56 | 18 July 2019
German-African Cooperation Projects in Infectiology

Drafts Infectiology 2020

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) calls for proposals of joint research projects between scientists in Germany and Africa investigating infectious diseases including their social and behavioural aspects.

The scope of the call includes:

  • The investigation of neglected infectious diseases in humans and animals including their social and behavioural aspects.
  • The establishment or consolidation of mutually beneficial equal partnerships that allow African researchers to investigate topics of local significance and that open up research opportunities in Africa for German scientists in the long term.
  • An additional central goal is to provide support and funding for the academic and professional careers of young African researchers in their home countries in order to contribute to building research capacities in Africa.
  • It is furthermore desirable to strengthen research networks within Africa, therefore several African partners may participate in one project.

The DFG primarily seeks to encourage researchers in human and veterinary medicine to apply for funding of projects on the investigation of neglected tropical infectious diseases. Projects researching AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis will only be considered in the scope of the call if they study mechanisms of virulence or the immune response against them. Co-infections can also be topics of project outlines. Projects with a social science or humanities approach will be considered if they investigate consequences of neglected tropical infectious diseases.

The scope of the call excludes:

  • funding of research infrastructure (but necessary additions to the equipment can be applied for)
  • clinical studies
  • development of diagnostic procedures
  • search for novel pharmacological substances without primarily investigating their mechanisms of action
  • product development
  • epidemiological surveys without directly aiming at establishing virulence mechanisms
  • projects limited to collecting and/or sequencing of infectiological samples or isolates


The principal investigator submitting the proposal must be integrated into the German research system and is in charge of the project. Funding for the African partner/s has to be applied for within the full proposals later on. For grant eligibility on the German side, the usual DFG rules apply. For researchers at non-university institutions, the rules on mandatory cooperation apply as well.

More information can be found in the current version of Guidelines Research Grants Programme (DFG form 50.01 English version). Submissions exclusively by scientists not integrated into the German research system cannot be accepted for legal reasons. At least one partner must be a scientist working in Germany.

Salary supplements for African principle investigators cannot be applied for. Funding can only be allocated to project partners in Germany and Africa. Participation of scientists from other countries is possible, but must be funded from other sources.

Format of Drafts

Project proposals should initially be submitted as draft in the following format:

  • only up to 6 pages per proposal (not negotiable)
  • curricula vitae of all prospective applicants up to 2 pages & up to 10 publications per CV (to be uploaded in elan as single file per CV
  • Please note: applicants are those scientists who will apply for funds in case of an invitation to submit a full proposal; do not submit CVs of people not being named applicants.

Drafts have to include:

  • an overview of all prospective applicants including the institution where their project part will be conducted
  • the scientific description of the project
  • the cooperation scheme
  • a strategy for early-career researcher training at the African location
  • a brief description of the African project partner’s current infrastructure

Please note

  • A breakdown of expected costs is not required at this stage.
  • Draft proposals must be written in English and submitted by the German project partner/s.
  • African project partners cannot propose independently without German scientists.
  • German and African partners form a consortium and will each receive funding according to the project requirements, but the German partner(s) are responsible for channelling funds to Africa for legal reasons.
  • Proposals should initially be outlined for a project duration of three years, but should contain a longer-term perspective. It will be possible to submit renewal proposals according to the established DFG procedures.
  • Due to the goal of strengthening research capacities at the African sites, it is highly desirable to allocate the majority of funding to the African partners.


Draft proposals will be evaluated by an international review panel. After competitive assessment, the most convincing concept consortia will be invited to submit full proposals. The German principal investigator will be notified and will pass on the information.


Draft proposals must be submitted via DFG’s electronic submission system “elan” by
04 December 2019.

(First steps: After Log-In > Proposal Submission > Individual Grants Programme >
“Draft Proposal for a Research Grant”> Start online form). Please select under Call
“Draft proposals Infectiology 2020".

Please note that you have to be registered in the “elan” system before uploading an application/draft.

Further information

To ensure quick responses, queries should be submitted in writing to
Link auf E-Mailinfectiology@dfg.de exclusively. Enquiries directed to other addresses cannot be processed.

Please click here for the German, French and Portuguese version:

The electronic portal “elan” with proposal instructions and guidelines can be found at:

DFG form 50.01en “Guidelines Research Grants Programme” is available at:

Contact for scientific queries:

Contact for formal queries and elan:


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