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FAQ: elan - Information for applicants

General Questions on Submitting Proposals

I’ve set up an elan account but am unable to view the processing status of my proposal. Why is this?

You may only track the processing status if

  • you are registered as the proposal’s applicant and
  • access to your data has been cleared by the DFG Head Office. If you have not yet been granted access, please consult the relevant DFG programme staff.

Please note that other persons involved with the proposal, such as cooperation partners, may not track the processing status.

Not all of my proposals are listed in the overview. Why is this?

Only projects in which you are the applicant and those which have not been declined, withdrawn or concluded are displayed.

For joint proposals please note that reference numbers are generated for each applicant; joint proposals will therefore have more than one reference number. The first alphabetical entry will be displayed in the overview.

A newly submitted proposal will not appear in the overview until the DFG has verified that the formal proposal requirements have been met.

If you have any further questions, please contact our programme staff.

I received an e-mail stating “The proposal form you have saved in the DFG’s elan system will be automatically deleted on …”.

This message informs you that you currently have drafts of online forms saved under Proposal Submission – Drafts. These drafts are automatically deleted after 100 days unless an extension has been requested. If you no longer need the draft, you can ignore this message. The draft will automatically be deleted. However, if you would like to extend the deadline by another 100 days, please go to Proposal Submission – Drafts to extend the deadline.

How do I submit a revised proposal?

A revised version of a previously rejected proposal should be entered as a new project.

Will I be informed that the DFG has received my proposal?

Yes. Upon proper submission, you will automatically receive a short e-mail message from us confirming that your proposal has been received. Your project and project reference number will also be displayed in an overview of your current projects, which you can access under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal. This page may also be accessed to view the status of your proposal, submit correspondence, etc.

Why can’t I select my research institution from the selection list?

If your institution is not included in the drop-down menu, save your entries by clicking Save and enter the institution via the My Profile tab under New Address. Please allow one working day before continuing your proposal.

How can I submit additional documents to my proposal once it has been submitted?

  • As soon as your proposal appears in the overview, you can use the Correspondence link to add additional documents.
  • In all other cases, please forward the document(s) by e-mail, using the transaction number provided in your confirmation, to the relevant DFG programme contact or, if unknown, to the following e-mail address: Link auf E-Mailpostmaster@dfg.de.

What will happen if my computer crashes while I’m entering data?

Entries that were not saved will be lost. To avoid losing data you should regularly save your entries by clicking the Save/ button. Data will be saved locally on your computer. Entries that have not been saved cannot be retrieved.

Why can’t I open my draft?

In this case, the browser pop-up blocker is active. Please see the following list of various browsers for instructions on how to deactivate your pop-up blocker.

I can’t open the templates. What can I do?

We offer the templates as RTF (Rich Text Format) files so that they can be used by various word processing programs from various operating systems. Many operating systems, such as Windows and MAC OS, use RTF.

If this does not apply to your operating system, please proceed as follows:

  • Right click to save your file to your PC.
  • Right click on the saved file and select “Open”, selecting from the word processing programs available to you.

Questions on Entering Data

When entering the title or summary, I always receive the error message “Your entry contains invalid characters”. However, I haven’t used any special characters in my text.

In order for your entries to be displayed correctly in other programs (such as GEPRIS, the DFG’s project database), the data are interpreted according to ISO 8859-1.

When copying text from a word processing program, sometimes an invalid code may be included. The following characters are examples in Microsoft Word:

“     ‘     _     ·

These characters must be deleted in the form and entered again.