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Funding during the Coronavirus Pandemic

An overview of specific calls for proposals and funded projects relating to the coronavirus pandemic

On this page you will find funding opportunities and overviews. The DFG encourages all researchers to engage with the topic of epidemics and pandemics, whether in direct connection with the topic or on a multidisciplinary or transdisciplinary basis.

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Global South: Health Systems and Society

In this call under COVID-19 Focus Funding, the DFG is inviting proposals on the topic “Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Global South”. With this subject the DFG is highlighting the countries and regions which have been particularly affected by the impacts of the pandemic due to major social dis-parities, a relatively weak economy, a high degree of informality, a lack of social security and overbur-dened health systems.

COVID-19 Focus Funding: SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing Projects

Funding under this call is available for projects in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection whose objectives can only be achieved with the use of sequencing technology. These virus and host-specific sequencings are intended to contribute towards a better understanding of infectiousness and the spread of the infec-tion process as well as the genetic determinants of the immune response and host susceptibility, taking defined clinical patterns and vulnerable groups into consideration.

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Measures to Prevent Infection in Social Settings and Population Groups

In this call under COVID-19 Focus Funding, the DFG is inviting proposals on measures to prevent infection in social settings and population groups. In the absence of widespread vaccination or effective medicines against COVID-19, protection against infection currently relies on implementing measures to change people’s behaviour and on changes to social norms. The acceptance, feasibility, implementation as well as the effectiveness of the measures vary among social settings and different group of populations. This means that in certain social settings, measures to prevent infection are only possible to a limited extent or are associated with high social and societal costs. The impact of these barriers against becoming infected in social settings is unclear. Likewise, the acceptance of behavioural recommendations among different population groups also varies.

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Immunity, Host Susceptibility and Pathomechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

The purpose of this first Focus Funding COVID-19 call is to address urgent, unresolved questions on immune response, host susceptibility and the infection mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Projects must be hypothesis driven and evidence based. It must also be clear from the proposal how the newly acquired knowledge will contribute to a better understanding of the infection process and the concrete management of the current crisis. Projects must be submitted by 7 September 2020.

COVID-19 Focus Funding in the Research Grants Programme

The coronavirus pandemic demonstrates that scientifically based knowledge is essential to the handling of the current pandemic. The DFG has therefore developed COVID-19 Focus Funding, a new funding opportunity designed to enable scientists to address especially urgent research questions requiring rapid answers. Between June 2020 and June 2021, the Commission for Pandemic Research will issue calls on different topics. Funding may also be used in conjunction with ongoing projects or to prepare subsequent larger-scale projects.

Call for multidisciplinary research into epidemics and pandemics

In the call published on 19 March 2020, the DFG invites proposals that can range from fundamental medical and biological aspects to psychological and social factors and economic impacts. Funding is available for projects dealing with the prevention, early detection, containment and investigation of the causes, impacts and management of epidemics and pandemics, taking the example of SARS-CoV-2 and other microorganisms and viruses that are pathogenic to humans.

Funding is available for individual or joint proposals in the form of individual research grants or proposal packages. Support is also available in other DFG programmes. Coordinated programmes already being funded by the DFG may submit supplemental or additional proposals. For international collaborations with Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland, the lead agency process will apply.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 1 September 2020.

Researchers invited to submit proposals

Proposals can continue to be submitted in all DFG programmes in the normal way. Find the right programme for your research approaches:

Further information and platforms

News from the German research landscape

The idw scientific information service publishes news and details of events from its 1,000 member organisations, including the DFG. It provides a searchable resource on current research on the coronavirus pandemic.

Overview of COVID-19 activities at "Kooperation international"

International activities relating to funding, networking, innovation competitions, use of research infrastructures and research data/publications (page in German with links to English content)


Funding programmes of Science Europe members

Overview of national and international funding programmes for research that aims to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes funding for research aimed directly at combating the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID-19 disease, but also for research into the societal and economic effects of the pandemic.

Horizon 2020 calls for proposals

The platform is a one-stop shop providing comprehensive information about funding opportunities in relation to Coronavirus at European Union and national level.

Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Swiss National Science Foundation

North America

Emerging Health Threats Research Fund of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

CIHR is supporting coronavirus research. The Linkage Tool database helps researchers to find cooperation partners.

Funding opportunities from the NIH

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) offer various funding programmes to enable researchers – including those based outside the US – to carry out coronavirus research. You can search for cooperation partners using the NIH RePORTER database.