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Funding Principles and Funding Opportunities with an International Component

Proposals for research projects with international partners can be submitted at any time within any programme in the DFG funding portfolio. The DFG also has agreements with specific countries and regions on special funding opportunities. In addition to project funding, there are funding opportunities designed to intensify international cooperation.

Open submission

Proposals with international partners may be submitted in all DFG programmes. For the international component of the project, it is important to be aware of the funding possibilities and proposal procedures of the funding organisation in the other country – for example, some partner organisations only accept project proposals at certain deadlines during the year. Applicants should therefore consult with their cooperation partners first so that the cooperation partners can find out about the proposal process used by the relevant funding organisation.

All DFG programmes are open to international collaborative projects.

Funding opportunities with specific countries and regions

In some countries, the DFG has agreements with partner organisations on the joint funding of research projects. The proposal arrangements are usually announced as calls. These usually relate to research grants and sometimes to coordinated programmes.

Funding opportunities to intensify international cooperation:

Applicants interested in establishing collaborative scientific relationships with partners abroad may apply for funding for trips abroad, guest visits or for exploratory workshops.

Initiation of international collaboration

Applicants who would like to establish cooperation on a research project with partners from another country can apply for funds for foreign travel, visits or bilateral workshops.

International Scientific Events

The DFG supports scientific events in Germany.

These include international symposiums, colloquia, workshops, international specialist conferences and annual meetings of German scientific and academic societies.

Mercator Fellows

This funding module enables researchers to pursue an intensive and long-term exchange with visiting researchers from Germany and abroad.

International Research Training Groups

International Research Training Groups (IRTGs) are a variant of the Research Training Group programme. They are joint structured doctoral programmes offered by German universities and universities or research institutions abroad, designed to encourage and intensify bilateral cooperation. Systematic research cooperation is complemented by a joint research and qualification programme, the international supervision of doctoral researchers and longer-term reciprocal visits by doctoral researchers to the partner institution.


List of Partner Organisations:

Contact for general information about international cooperation:

Contact for subject-specific information:

Contact for International Research Training Groups:


For the funding of research projects with international partners, please note the following:

The DFG funds the part of the project based in Germany. Complementary funding of the international part of the project can be provided by the partner organisation, another funding organisation, the relevant university or non-university research institution, or another source.

Unlike some funding organisations in other countries, the DFG does not make special funds available for the funding of international cooperation projects. Therefore, proposals for international collaborations must compete with all other proposals in the same DFG programme.