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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: Exploiting Spatial Data as a Basis for Decision-making as Part of Pandemic Control

Funding will be provided for the development and demonstration of innovative and creative approaches to data evaluation for a detailed spatio-temporal analysis of infection events. The aim should be, for example, to establish the basis for early detection of outbreaks (also on a local scale) or evaluate prevention and containment measures. Projects can either use innovative approaches to analyse pandemic events to date or set out to develop monitoring systems. Proposals and other proposal documents should be in English and should be submitted via the elan portal under “Fokus COVID-19: Erschließen räumlicher Daten” by 25 May 2021.

Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World

The Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP) is delighted to launch its third joint research call on “Recovery, Renewal and Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World” (RRR call).

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major crisis that touches on all aspects of health, social, economic, political, and cultural life. The T-AP research call aims to address key gaps in our understanding of the dynamic and complex interaction of medium and long-term societal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This understanding, in turn, should advance knowledge of how to mitigate the negative societal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and support recovery and renewal in a post-pandemic world. Applicants are required to submit novel interdisciplinary and significant research proposals in the social sciences and humanities.

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Education and Corona – The Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Educational Processes in the Life Course

The focus of the call is to conduct a secondary analytical investigation of educational processes in the life course and how these educational processes are organised. The aim is to analyse pandemic-related influences on education and look at the implications in terms of future developments (e.g. social inequality). Potential project focus areas include in-school and out-of-school educational processes, family interactions (e.g. home schooling) and processes within and relating to the organisation of early childhood education as well as continuing education in adulthood. Another possibility is to evaluate the changes that have come about in terms of digital innovation and new forms of organisation in teaching and learning. Proposals and other documents should be submitted via the elan portal by 23 March 2021.

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Aerosol Particles and their Distribution

Funding under this call is available for projects dedicated to answering open and pressing questions on the formation of aerosol particles during breathing, speaking, coughing, sneezing, as well as their evaporation kinetics and spreading dynamics in rooms. Furthermore, the call intends to address the efficient removal of aerosol particles from indoor air, the infectiosity of virus-transmitting aerosols and the inactivation of viruses in aerosols via multiphysics approaches (radiation, charging, temperature, etc.) as well as the transport and deposition of aerosol particles in the airways. Proposals and other proposal documents should be submitted via the elan portal by 2 March 2021.

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.