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Questions about the Review Process

The scientific review of proposals submitted to the DFG is an integral part of the DFG's funding process. Each year, the DFG solicits assessments from approximately 10,000 reviewers from within Germany and abroad. They are selected by the Head Office on the basis of their expertise and volunteer to evaluate proposals according to scientific excellence, relevance and originality. After extensive examination, they make their recommendation, which later forms the basis for a decision in the respective decision-making body.

Who reviews proposals submitted to the DFG?

Suitable reviewers are selected by the DFG Head Office and asked to provide reviews of proposals. They are also asked to consider their own competence in the particular field and whether there are any conflicts of interest. Naturally, the proposals must be treated as confidential. Reviewers are entrusted personally with the review process which cannot be passed to anyone else.

What criteria must a proposal meet?

The reviewers judge proposals according to the

  • quality of the project

  • applicants' qualifications

  • opportunities for employment in a scientific environment

  • objectives and work programme and proposed research methods

Guidelines 10.20, "Guidelines for the Written Review" contains more details of the criteria.

How does the review process take account of the principles of good scientific practice?

The principles of good scientific practice also apply to the review process. For example, a breach of confidentiality on the part of a reviewer represents scientific misconduct.

What is the role of equal opportunities?

The DFG ensures that the review process does not take criteria with no scientific significance, such as age, gender or disability, into account. Please see the pages "Funding/Principles of DFG Funding/Diversity".

How many reviews are obtained?

As a rule, three independent reviews are obtained for each proposal. For the 'coordinated' process, the proposals are reviewed by panels.

What happens to the reviews?

The steps from submission of the proposal through the review process to a decision shows the following graph.

- Link auf PDF-DateiGraph
- Interner LinkQuo vadis, proposal?

Electronic Proposal Processing and Research Information Systems