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Priority Programmes

A particular feature of the Priority Programme is the nationwide collaboration between its participating researchers.

The DFG Senate may establish Priority Programmes when the coordinated support given to the area in question promises to produce particular scientific gain. The Senate convenes once a year to discuss initiatives to establish Priority Programmes proposed by researchers.

As a rule, Priority Programmes receive funding for a period of six years. If researchers are interested in collaborating on a Priority Programme, the DFG will invite them to submit the corresponding applications for research grants by a certain deadline.

Information about the Programme


The Priority Programmes aim to give clear impetus to the advancement of science and the humanities through coordinated multi-location funding for important new topics:

  • Funding for projects that are highly original and of high quality in terms of the topic and/or method (emerging fields)
  • Creating added value by collaborating with different disciplines (interdisciplinarity)
  • Creating added value by collaborating with different locations (networking)
  • Supporting early career researchers involved in the projects
  • Having equality measures tailored to the Priority Programme

Eligibility Requirements

As a basic principle, researchers from all disciplines who work at a research institution in Germany or at a German research institution abroad who have completed their doctorate training are eligible.

Proposal Requirements

  • The scientific questions are original in terms of the topic and/or the methods used
  • The scientific questions are narrowed down with due regard to the duration of a Priority Programme
  • The planned research activities are coherent
  • There are concepts in place for organising the interdisciplinary and multi-location collaboration/networkingThere are funding measures for early career researchers, funding for researchers, family-friendly opportunities
  • The planned research activities are networked in the international research system
  • A clear distinction is made between Priority Programmes and other ongoing programmes that directly relate to the topic, e.g. Collaborative Research Centres, Research Units, programmes run by other funding organisations
  • The coordinator is qualified with regard to managing a research group

Type and Extent of Funding

As a rule, funding is available for up to 30 individual projects. It can be applied for as a research grant after the DFG’s call for proposals

Funding Duration

A maximum of six years, basically split into two funding periods of three years each

Time to Decision

As a rule, Senate selection meetings are held in March of a given year. New programmes are established and project funding begins the year after this.

Forms and Guidelines

Interner LinkForms and Guidelines

Proposal Deadlines

Proposals to establish a Priority Programme must be submitted by 15 October of a given year


For additional information, please contact Department II: Scientific Affairs