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FAQ on CVs

Do certain requirements apply to the CV and if so, why is the DFG introducing them?

Yes, there is a template for CVs:

From 1 March 2023 its use will be mandatory in connection with all DFG programmes. It will be subsequently adapted for Research Training Groups and Collaborative Research Centres. Sufficient advance information will be provided regarding the mandatory use of the template for these programmes.

The reason for the use of the DFG’s CV template is to enable an even more individual, qualitative assessment of the applicant and their respective academic achievements. For example, research outcomes published in various forms and non-publication-based research accomplishments are to be made more visible than before, with a shift away from metrics. It will also be possible to indicate private circumstances that are relevant to the assessment of research achievements, such as “career breaks” and/or additional burdens. In this way, despite unavoidable delays in the development of a career, only the previous, visible academic performance is to be assessed in the applicant’s favour.

What happens to my CV?

In the course of the proposal submission, review and decision-making process, the CV passes through the same stages as the proposal. See here for an overview of the process:

The CV is forwarded as submitted, i.e. including all information, to DFG reviewers and committee members as well as to the participating partner organisation(s) in the case of international programmes, and, where applicable, their reviewers and committee members, for the purpose of review and comparative evaluation.

Do I have to use the DFG CV template (DFG form 53.200) to present myself and my career?

Yes, the CV template will be mandatory for all applicants submitting proposals under all DFG programmes from 1 March 2023; it will be introduced for Research Training Groups and Collaborative Research Centres at a later date. In the case of international collaborative proposals under calls for proposals or permanent proposal opportunities with foreign research funding organisations (e.g. Weave), there may be exceptions to the use of the CV template if the procedural authority does not lie exclusively with the DFG. You can find out whether you are required to use the CV template in a call for proposals by consulting the respective call text (Information for Researchers) or the relevant DFG forms.

With its optional categories, the template does offer a certain degree of flexibility in filling out the content, and instructions for completion are included.

In case of any issues or feedback, please contact:

Do I have to stick to the page limit specified in the CV template?

Yes, the CV must not exceed four pages (incl. the “Consent” section, regardless of whether the checkbox is ticked or not). This is the only way to guarantee comparability between proposals without distorting competitiveness and equality of opportunity.

Please remove all grey and red text after filling in the CV and do not attach a photograph. The template formatting must be retained. In particular, the font should not be smaller than Arial 11 point, with line spacing of no less than 1.2.

What is the meaning of the “Supplementary career information” section included in the CV?

Generally speaking, any details of special personal circumstances are provided on a purely voluntary basis. However, the DFG advises that periods of academic inactivity or delays, as well as any special circumstances applicable to the development of a career (and any special experience or skills these may have given rise to, where applicable) should be disclosed and set out in the CV.

In order to adequately assess a person’s academic performance, an opportunity must be provided to consider their individual circumstances. Only then is it possible to take these circumstances appropriately into account when assessing their qualifications and evaluating the planned project. For this reason, any individual impact – in terms of time, for example – should be presented in a comprehensible way so that reviewers or review boards are able to put any individual circumstances into perspective.

What are “special categories of personal data”?

In the context of CVs, this includes such things as periods of maternity leave or details of a long-term illness or disability (also relating to third parties, e.g. children or relatives in need of care) (cf. Article 9 (1) General Data Protection Regulation). Provision of such information allows biographical peculiarities or unavoidable delays (of at least 2-3 months per year) in your academic career to be appropriately taken into account in your favour as part of the review and comparative assessment.

If you enter any details in the optional sections of the CV, you do so voluntarily. If you do complete these sections, please tick the checkbox at the end of the CV to give your consent to the processing of data during the review process and to its disclosure to reviewers, DFG committees and, under international programmes, to foreign partner organisations.

What does third party data mean? What types of such data are relevant to my academic CV?

Third-party data in the context of the CV includes such things as details of marriages or civil partnerships, dates of birth of children and information on the care of relatives.

Please do not name spouses or partners in your CV. What is more, do not mention the names of your children or relatives in need of care.

The month and year of birth of your children – without mentioning their names – may be relevant to the evaluation of your academic achievements, when checking your eligibility to apply for the Emmy Noether Programme or when assessing whether you belong to the target group of the Walter Benjamin Programme (early career phase after obtaining a doctorate).

Likewise, it is also possible to indicate delays or periods of academic inactivity due to the fact that you were caring for relatives. It is sufficient to indicate the period of time spent caring for relatives or the period of absence due to family commitments, for example (without specifying names, the family relationship or the other person’s state of health).

I was on maternity and/or parental leave: can I mention this in my CV?

Yes, you can include this in your CV (Interner LinkDFG form 53.200) under “Supplementary career information”. You can mention part-time work in your current position or at certain stages of your career, where applicable. Where periods of academic inactivity due to maternity leave and/or parental leave are taken into account in the assessment and evaluation, this is done exclusively in your favour.

If you do complete the section “Supplementary career information”, please be sure to tick the checkbox at the end of the CV to give your consent to the processing of data during the review process and to its disclosure to reviewers, DFG committees and, under international programmes, to foreign partner organisations.

I have children and this has delayed the development of my academic career. How can I show this in my CV?

You can describe this in your CV (Interner LinkDFG form 53.200) under “Supplementary Career Information”. Please state how many children you have, the months and years of their birth (e.g. two children, born 05/2017 and 12/2020) and the concrete delay in obtaining your doctorate or in your academic career in general, e.g. maternity leave, parental leave, part-time work, parental leave (from [date] – to [date]).

If you do complete the section “Supplementary Career Information”, please be sure to tick the checkbox at the end of the CV to give your consent to the processing of data during the review process and to its disclosure to reviewers, DFG committees and, under international programmes, to foreign partner organisations.

Can I state that I was ill for a prolonged period of time and that this caused a delay in the development of my academic career?

Yes, long-term illnesses of at least three months per year can be listed in your CV (Interner LinkDFG form 53.200) under “Supplementary Career Information”. If applicable, state the period of illness as well as periods of academic inactivity, part-time work or restricted work. The information you provide should show how your academic work was affected by the illness or any other restrictions. It is not necessary to provide details of the disease itself.

If you do complete the section “Supplementary Career Information”, please be sure to tick the checkbox at the end of the CV to give your consent to the processing of data during the review process and to its disclosure to reviewers, DFG committees and, under international programmes, to foreign partner organisations.

I do not want the reviewers to know about my illness. What do I have to do to prevent such information from being passed on?

Any inclusion of health data or other “special categories of personal data” in the CV is voluntary. Information that you do not wish to be disclosed should not be included in the CV (or in the proposal or covering letter).

If you would like to submit information about special personal circumstances to the DFG Head Office only and wish to request that only the periods of academic inactivity or restrictions be taken into account in the review and evaluation without details of the reasons being shared with DFG reviewers and committee members, please use Interner LinkDFG form 73.01 (Consent A). Please submit the completed form as part of the proposal submission via elan under “Other Attachments”; file name: 73.01_confidential_<last_name>). In such exceptional cases, the contact is as follows, also to arrange a telephone appointment if necessary:

Without a description of your personal circumstances (and the resulting impact on your academic career) in your CV, however, it is not always possible to give appropriate consideration to these circumstances in the review and comparative evaluation, or it is only possible to a limited extent. The DFG endeavours to make this happen nonetheless.

If your proposal and CV are uploaded by someone other than yourself, please submit the completed Interner LinkDFG form 73.01 separately via the elan portal as soon as you have received confirmation of receipt of the proposal including the reference number.

If you are a participant or project leader of a coordinated programme (RTG, CRC, EXC) and would like to provide the relevant information to the Head Office, please contact the spokesperson of your consortium and ask to be notified when the proposal submission has been completed and what the corresponding reference number is. Then complete and return Interner LinkDFG form 73.01 to the DFG Head Office by e-mail or post, quoting the reference number.

How many publications may be included in the list of publications?

In the academic CV, up to ten publications subject to scientific quality assurance can be listed, along with another ten additional publications or research outcomes that have been made publicly available.

It is obligatory to list publications with quality assurance; other publications and publicly available outcomes can be listed additionally.

Publications with quality assurance include articles in peer-reviewed journals, papers given at conferences and books. Other types of publication include such things as preprints, clinical trial protocols, data sets and patents.

What should I bear in mind with regard to the details I provide in the list of publications?

Please indicate the title of the publication and, as far as possible, all authors. Please provide unique identifiers (e.g. ISBN or DOI) or an access link, if available.

Why is there a checkbox in the CV?

Completion of the optional sections of the CV template is voluntary. Some of the information to be entered in the optional sections includes “special categories of personal data” which are subject to special protection under Article 9(1) GDPR. For this reason, the DFG requires your consent to processing of the data during the review process as well as for forwarding your CV to reviewers, DFG committees and, under international programmes, to foreign partner organisations. You can give your consent by ticking the checkbox in the CV.

Can I delete the consent section if I do not wish to provide optional information or “special categories of personal data”?

No, this must not be deleted. The text explaining the consent must remain in the CV for reasons of transparency, even if no optional information or “special categories of personal data” are included in the CV and the checkbox has not been ticked.

This ensures that roughly equal space is provided for the presentation of the applicant’s career, regardless of whether the consent section is used or not.

Why is there a consent section in the CV template and also in DFG form 73.01?

By ticking the checkbox under “Data protection and consent to the processing of optional data” in the CV template, you consent to the processing of the voluntary (optional) data, including “special categories of personal data”, as well as to the disclosure of this data to reviewers, committees and, under international programmes, to foreign partner organisations. This consent applies to data submitted in the CV.

If you wish to provide us with “special categories of personal data” in other contexts separately from the CV template, please use Interner LinkDFG form 73.01.

This could occur, for example, when providing sensitive data in connection with checking your eligibility for the Emmy Noether Programme, in a cover letter for your proposal, when submitting an informal request for a change of personnel or institution, in connection with a request for an extension of a project/deadline, or in the case of a hardship application. In these cases, Consent A to internal data processing by the Head Office as contained in Interner Linkform 73.01 is sufficient.

If special personal data is included in the proposal, supplementary proposal or final report, the DFG requires Consent B in Interner LinkDFG form 73.01 so that this can be forwarded to reviewers, committees and, if applicable, international partner organisations. If you do not wish this information to be shared, please remove it from the proposal, supplementary proposal or final report.

Contact persons

For proposal submissions under the DFG funding programme Research Training Groups:

For proposal submissions under the DFG funding programme Collaborative Research Centres:

For proposal submissions under the Excellence Cluster funding programme:

For proposal submissions under DFG funding programmes for which the LIS Group is responsible:

Further information and contact on data protection:

Further information on dealing with special personal circumstances and cases of hardship, advice on ongoing funding projects and contact: