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Information for Researchers No. 42 | 10 June 2022
German-African Cooperation Projects in Infectiology

Drafts Infectiology 2023

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) calls for draft proposals of joint research projects between scientists in Germany and Africa.

The scope of the call includes:

  • The investigation of neglected tropical infectious diseases in humans and animals but also research on topics of their social and behavioural aspects.
  • ’Neglected' in this context means that little funding for basic research on these diseases is available.
  • 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 and behavioural approach will be considered if they investigate consequences or conditions 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 trials
  • 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 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 co-applicants 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. The 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 six pages per proposal (non-negotiable)
  • curricula vitae of all prospective applicants up to two pages & up to ten publications per CV (to be uploaded in elan as single file per CV).
  • only CVs of applicants should be submitted.
    Applicants are those scientists who will apply for funds in case of an invitation to submit a full proposal.

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
  • if project-specific publications are available, they may be listed in the six-page outline.
  • for all cited publications, only manuscripts that have been published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals may be listed.

Please note

  • The concepts of the project 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.
  • German and African partners form a consortium. Project funds will be allocated to the respective partners in the full proposals according to the project requirements.
  • Draft proposals must be written in English and submitted by the German project partner/s.
  • African project partners cannot propose independently without German scientists.
  • There is no template for draft proposals in elan.
  • Annexes submitted in addition to the above-mentioned application documents (draft plus CVs) will not be forwarded to the members of the review panel.
  • A detailed breakdown of expected costs is not required at this stage. Indicating an estimated overall amount is sufficient.
  • 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 investigators will be notified of the selection results usually in early summer of the following year and are requested to pass on this information to the African and German partners.


Draft proposals must be submitted via DFG’s electronic submission system “elan” by 26 October 2022.

First steps in elan: After Log-In > Proposal Submission > Individual Grants Programme > “Draft Proposal for a Research Grant”> Start online form). Please select the Call “Drafts Infectiology 2023”.

If the proposal is your first application to the DFG and you do NOT yet have a user account for the elan portal, you must register to submit the draft proposal in order to obtain a user account. Your elan registration request for a user account will be validated by the DFG and confirmation will usually be provided by the following business day.

At this stage the registration step is not required for the partners in Africa.

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:

Please note the DFG’s data protection notice on research funding, which can be viewed and downloaded at Interner Linkwww.dfg.de/privacy_policy. If necessary, please also forward this information to those individuals whose data will be processed by the DFG due to their involvement in your project.

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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Externer Linkwww.dfg.de/en/research_funding/announcements_proposals/2022/info_wissenschaft_22_42 
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