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Assessing Individual Circumstances

As stipulated in the statutes of the DFG, decisions relating to funding for research projects are based on the quality of the project, the anticipated results and the prospects of a successful project outcome. Applicants' previous research achievements are also taken into account in the overall assessment.

In order to appropriately assess an individual's research achievements, due consideration must be given to individual circumstances. In this context, equal opportunity means that appropriate allowance must be made for unavoidable delays in an individual's career development. Unavoidable delays in a research career (for example extended qualification phases, publication gaps, reduced number of periods abroad) may be caused by circumstances such as:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Childcare
  • Care of family members
  • Disability or chronic illness
  • Long period of serious illness
  • National service (military or civilian)

These circumstances can only be taken into account in the review process and assessment if they are disclosed. There is no obligation to disclose any of the above, essentially private, circumstances when submitting a proposal to the DFG. However, it may be helpful to disclose this information in order to explain what may otherwise appear to be unjustified gaps in a person's career development.

Gel electrophoresis at DFG Research Centre Würzburg

Gel electrophoresis at DFG Research Centre Würzburg

Applicants who wish to explain unavoidable delays in their career development must therefore explicitly state the relevant circumstances in the proposal, cover letter and curriculum vitae and if necessary (if the circumstance is not self-explanatory) attach a short explanation.

In addition, applicants should indicate in the curriculum vitae the dates of birth of children and periods of childcare (e.g. periods during which an individual temporarily gave up work for maternity or paternity leave).

If, due to the unavoidable delays mentioned above, formal programme criteria are not met (for example, a stipulated period after obtaining a doctorate has elapsed), please contact the persons listed under "Contact" for information about possible allowances.