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Coronavirus Research

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

"Like all infectious diseases, the current coronavirus pandemic can be tackled all the more effectively the better we understand the pathogen and its effects on humans," said DFG President Katja Becker in a press release on 16 March. She continued: "This requires comprehensive long-term research, with the aim of understanding the genetic, biological, environmental, medical and socio-economic factors associated with an outbreak of this kind."

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.

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.

SGC’s Rapid Response Funding Call for Bilateral Collaborative Proposals Between China and Germany in COVID-19 Related Research

The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (SGC), as an international research funding organization jointly set up by NSFC and DFG to promote China-Germany scientific collaboration as its core mission, is issuing a rapid response funding call for bilateral collaborative proposals jointly submitted by Chinese and German applicants in COVID-19 related research. Deadline: 7 July, 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:

From DFG-funded research

Research on coronavirus in Africa

Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" at the University of Bremen is analysing the development dynamics of state social policy worldwide. In a recent podcast interview, Professor Dr. Klaus Schlichte describes how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting African countries and the measures taken by governments. He leads the project "Transnational welfare: Rise, disintegration, and renaissance of social policy in Africa".

Research for Enhanced Epidemic Modelling

Mathematical models help to predict the spread of epidemics and assess different options for containing them. A team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Ralf Engbert associated with the DFG-funded CRC 1294 "Data Assimilation - The Seamless Integration of Data and Models" has combined a stochastic SEIR model with data assimilation to estimate current contact rates. Understanding these rates and how they change over time is important to estimating factors such as the regional effects of limiting social contact. This is an example of how research is learning from the coronavirus pandemic, making it better equipped for the future.

DFG-Funded NGS Centres of Competence and Coronavirus Research

The DFG-funded centres of competence for next generation sequencing (NGS) are conducting research on SARS-CoV-2 as part of the COVID-19 Omics initiative. They are contributing their expertise in sequencing to efforts to better understand the virus. So far, 16 German institutions belong to the network. Other participants, including those in other European countries, are welcome to join.

Related projects

In March 2020 the DFG was funding approximately 20 research projects and larger-scale research groups on coronaviruses and the infectivity and genetic diversity of viruses, with a total of approximately €18 million per year. Here are some examples of funded research:

  • CRC/TRR 84 "Innate Immunity of the Lung: Mechanisms of Pathogen Attack and Host Defence in Pneumonia" in Berlin, Giessen and Marburg
  • CRC 1129 "Integrative Analysis of Pathogen Replication and Spread" in Heidelberg
  • CRC 1021 "RNA Viruses: RNA Metabolism, Host Response and Pathogenesis" in Marburg
  • Priority Programme (PP) 1596 (funded since 2013 and about to be concluded) "Ecology and Species Barriers in Emerging Viral Diseases" led by Berlin-based virologist Professor Dr. Christian Drosten
  • Clinical Research Unit (KFO) 309 "Virus-induced Lung Injury: Pathobiology and Novel Therapeutic Strategies" in Giessen

Other projects, for instance within the DFG Africa Initiative for Infectiology

Information portals

GEPRIS is a database of DFG-funded projects. If you are looking for suitable contacts or research partners, here you will find information on research being carried out in DFG projects, which you can filter by various criteria.

Externer Link- GEPRIS

GERiT provides an overview of more than 29,000 research institutes in Germany. Here you will find profile information, links to DFG-funded projects and much more.

Externer Link- GERiT

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.