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III. Quarter 2020

Alexandra Carpentier Wins the 2020 von Kaven Award

(07.09.20) Professor Dr. Alexandra Carpentier has been selected to receive this year’s von Kaven Award for her achievements at the interface between mathematics and computer science. The €10,000 DFG award will be presented on 14 September during the virtual annual conference of the German Mathematical Society (DMV) in Chemnitz. Interner Linkmore

DFG Emphasises Importance of Sex, Gender and Diversity to Research Projects

(04.09.20) In a statement, the senate of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) stressed the importance of taking sex, gender and diversity into account in research projects. In doing so, it is adopting a leading role in the German research system. A new website provides information and examples for all scientific disciplines. Interner Linkmore

COVID-19 Focus Funding: Immunity, Host Susceptibility and Pathomechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

(10.08.20) The purpose of this first Focus Funding COVID-19 call is to address urgent, unresolved questions on immune response, host susceptibility and the infection mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Projects must be hypothesis driven and evidence based. It must also be clear from the proposal how the newly acquired knowledge will contribute to a better understanding of the infection process and the concrete management of the current crisis. Projects must be submitted by 7 September 2020.

COVID-19 Focus Funding in the Research Grants Programme

(10.08.20) The coronavirus pandemic demonstrates that scientifically based knowledge is essential to the handling of the current pandemic. The DFG has therefore developed COVID-19 Focus Funding, a new funding opportunity designed to enable scientists to address especially urgent research questions requiring rapid answers. Between June 2020 and June 2021, the Commission for Pandemic Research will issue calls on different topics. Funding may also be used in conjunction with ongoing projects or to prepare subsequent larger-scale projects. Interner Linkmore

Equal Opportunity in Research During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Support from the DFG

(04.08.20) For many researchers, the current coronavirus pandemic and efforts to manage it are having an impact on their daily lives. Researchers with care responsibilities are facing the challenge of balancing their work with family obligations. The DFG is endeavouring to support them through a range of measures and uphold its efforts to promote equal opportunity. Interner Linkmore

Award Recognises Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments in Toxicology

(29.07.20) Thomas Hartung and Marcel Leist have been selected to receive the DFG’s Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize. The €80,000 prize, which is being presented for the eighth time, is awarded to researchers who improve animal welfare in research in line with the principles of the 3Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. Interner Linkmore

DFG President Katja Becker elected Vice Chair

(24.07.20) DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker was elected as one of two vice chairs on the GRC Governing Board on 23 July 2020. The new position has a significant role in shaping the activities of the international organisation. The DFG has long been active in the Global Research Council. For example, the adoption of the GRC bylaws at the 2013 annual meeting in Berlin with former DFG President Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider marked an important milestone for the organisation. 
Interner Linkmore

Stronger emphasis on education and research essential

(24.07.20) The DAAD, DFG and HRK are calling for improvements to the new EU budget with regard to a stronger emphasis on education and research. According to a joint press release, the Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ programmes should be given a better financial structure in order to secure and strengthen Europe as a research location in the long term. Link auf PDF-Dateimore

Inaugural Meetings of DFG Review Boards Held

(23.07.20) The review boards elected in fall 2019 have all held their inaugural meetings. In compliance with the contact restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the review boards were able to complete this process by 16 July 2020. They are now set to take up their important role in the DFG’s review and decision-making processes. Interner Linkmore

Extension of Rapid-Response Measures for Fellowship Recipients Affected by Corona Containment Measures

(17.07.20) To further support DFG fellowship recipients, the DFG is extending the measures implemented in March by three months.

Bernd Rendel Prize 2020

(09.07.20) The DFG is to award the Bernd Rendel Prize 2020 to Anja Allabar from the University of Tübingen and Milad Asgarimehr from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences/TU Berlin for the promising geoscientific research they have conducted at the start of their careers. They will each receive €2,000 from the Bernd Rendel Foundation, administered by the Stifterverband. The prize will not be awarded until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Interner Linkmore

Covid-19 Task Force of Consortium nfdi4health

(08.07.20) In the recently approved consortium nfdi4health within the framework of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), the DFG will also fund the Covid-19 Task Force from July 2020 onwards. The goal: to enable the research community to find relevant studies more easily and exchange data more effectively. This will help to tackle the pandemic more efficiently and prevent negative impacts on communities.

The DFG to Fund Eleven New Research Training Groups

(08.07.20) The DFG is establishing eleven new Research Training Groups (RTGs) to further support early career researchers. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee which had its meeting postponed from 8 May to 7 July and convened via video link due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new RTGs will receive a total of approximately €56 million worth of funding for an initial period of four and a half years starting from October 2020. Ten RTGs will also be extended for an additional funding period.

Peru Offers to Participate in Clinical Trials for Vaccine Research on SARS-COV-2

(07.07.20) The Peruvian government has shown a great amount of interest in Germany’s scientific approaches and progress in the current pandemic and has stated via the German Federal Foreign Office that it welcomes the participation of German researchers in clinical trials in the country to develop a vaccine for SARS-COV-2. Peru is an ideal environment as a multi-ethnic country with more than 300,000 infected people. The government stated that it could provide several research teams and the immunising antigens collected in Peru could be used for study findings.

Virtual Annual Meeting 2020

(01.07.20) At its 2020 Annual Meeting, the DFG has emphatically underlined the importance of research at German universities. This importance is especially apparent in a variety of ways against the background of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, said DFG President Dr. Katja Becker at the closing General Assembly, which, like all sessions at the Annual Meeting, was held by video conference. Interner Linkmore

DFG Secretary General Heide Ahrens

Heide Ahrens Appointed Secretary General of DFG

(01.07.20) The DFG has a new Secretary General. The General Assembly today confirmed the appointment of Dr. Heide Ahrens, who is currently Senate Director and head of the Higher Education and Research department in the office of the Senator for Science and Ports of Bremen. She is expected to take office on 1 October. Interner Linkmore

Two New Vice Presidents for the DFG

(01.07.20) The DFG has two new vice presidents. The General Assembly of the DFG has elected molecular biologist Professor Dr. Axel A. Brakhage and engineer Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans Hasse to the Executive Committee. English literature scholar Julika Griem and chemist Roland A. Fischer have also been elected as vice presidents for a further term in office. Interner Linkmore

DFG Funds Three New Research Units

(01.07.20) The DFG is establishing three new Research Units. This was decided by the DFG Joint Committee at its session during the 2020 Annual Meeting. The new Research Units will receive a total of approximately €8 million, which includes a 22% programme allowance for indirect project costs. In addition, the decision has been taken to extend two Research Units and one Clinical Research Unit for a second funding period. Interner Linkmore

Equal Opportunity in Research: Still Significant Need for Action

(01.07.20) The General Assembly of the DFG has addressed the question of recruitment procedures to attract women researchers and reducing their workload to enable them to participate on committees. It approved the publication of the "Summary and Recommendations 2020" on these two key topics relating to equal opportunity in research. The recommendations form part of the implementation of the DFG's Research-Oriented Standards on Gender Equality. Interner Linkmore


 

II. Quarter 2020

National Research Data Infrastructure: DFG Welcomes First-Round Funding Decisions on Consortia

(26.06.20) The DFG welcomes the decisions made by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) in the first round of the National Research Data Infrastructure Programme (NFDI). With this decision, the GWK underscored its commitment to establishing the NFDI in a research-driven process. The DFG is responsible for the selection, review and evaluation of NFDI consortium proposals and the GWK is responsible for financial decisions. Interner Linkmore

Corona-Warn-App Released

(17.06.20) The federal government has released the Corona-Warn-App. More detailed information about the app and its voluntary use is available at

DFG Establishes Interdisciplinary Commission for Pandemic Research

(10.06.20) Against the background of the current coronavirus pandemic, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is to establish an interdisciplinary commission for pandemic research. The commission, made up of 18 members representing all scientific disciplines and headed by President Katja Becker, is to strengthen the knowledge-driven research which is essential to pandemic and epidemic research and identify research needs. Its first meeting is scheduled for 15 June. Interner Linkmore

Relief for Staff with Family Obligations in CRCs During the Coronavirus Pandemic

(05.06.20) The coronavirus pandemic is causing significant challenges to many researchers with family obligations. The DFG has therefore decided that Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) may use equal opportunity funds to provide financial relief for these individuals. For affected, DFG-funded research staff in CRCs, employment contracts that end between 1 May and 31 December 2020 can, as an exception, be extended by up to three months using approved equal opportunity funds if these staff are currently experiencing unusual family difficulties. Equal opportunity funds can also be used in appropriate amounts for the short-term relief of individual difficulties faced by project managers and other research staff who are experiencing unusual family difficulties due to coronavirus.
Interner Linkmore

DFG to Fund Ten New Collaborative Research Centres

(29.05.20) The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is establishing ten new Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) to further support top-level research in German universities. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee which convened via video link due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new CRCs will receive a total of approximately €114 million in funding for an initial four-year period starting on 1 July 2020. This includes a 22 percent programme allowance for indirect project costs. Six of the nine networks set up are Transregio CRCs, spread across multiple applicant universities. Interner Linkmore

Joint Genome Research on the Coronavirus Pandemic

(27.05.20) Researchers are pooling their expertise and sequencing infrastructure under the umbrella of the recently established German Covid-19 OMICS initiative, with the aim of making a scientific contribution towards overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers from more than 22 institutions have participated so far, including quite a few from DFG-funded projects. The DFG-funded sequencing centre CCGA and the Cluster of Excellence Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation (PMI) are among those expected to help improve the understanding of why some people become seriously ill and others experience mild symptoms.

DFG Establishes 14 New Priority Programmes

(26.05.2020) The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is to establish 14 new Priority Programmes (PP) for 2021. This was decided by the DFG Senate in a written process. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the committee meetings originally scheduled for the end of March could not be held in the usual way, so the decisions were made using a staggered written process. The 14 new groups, which were selected from 49 submitted initiatives, will receive a total of approximately €85 million for an initial three-year period. Interner Linkmore

DFG Annual Meeting

(26.05.20) The coronavirus pandemic has significant implications for the annual meeting of the DFG. To protect all participants, and given the ongoing restrictions on public life, the meeting scheduled for 29 June - 1 July in Berlin cannot be held in the originally planned form. Instead, the meetings of the statutory bodies will be held virtually and public events have been postponed. Interner Linkmore

€175 Million Package - Extensive Financial Support in Response to Coronavirus Restrictions

(20.05.20) With immediate effect, the DFG is offering additional funding to support DFG-funded projects affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions on public life. The Joint Committee has approved a package of measures. These measures allow additional staff and project funding to be requested across a wide range of funding programmes, allowing research work that cannot be carried out as originally planned to be continued and completed. The support package amounts to at least €175 million. Interner Linkmore

CRC 902 "Molecular Principles of RNA-based Regulation" Analyses SARS-CoV-2 with NMR Spectroscopy

(19.05.20) Researchers in CRC 902 "Molecular Principles of RNA-based Regulation" are analysing the structures of the RNAs and proteins of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 30 teams from 11 countries are now involved in the research using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The DFG approved an additional proposal for this project in May 2020. The researchers are publishing the results of their research on a weekly basis.

Information on Dates and Times of Meetings

(15.05.20) The DFG and its various bodies are continuing to make funding decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic. To find out when new and extended Research Units, Priority Programmes, Collaborative Research Centres and Research Training Groups will be announced and how the procedures will be organised, please consult the

Video Statement by DFG President Katja Becker: Support During the Current Crisis

(13.05.20) The DFG is responding to the current crisis with flexibility and a minimum of bureaucracy, and as quickly as possible. It is supporting researchers such that they can continue their important basic research with the standard of quality they are accustomed to. Now more than ever, substantiated facts and scientific findings are crucial to public information and evidence-based advice to politicians.

International Calls With China and India

(13.05.20) India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the DFG are resuming their joint open funding programme in the life sciences. Among other things, the programme is suitable for Indian-German projects on epidemics and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Proposals can be submitted with immediate effect and up until 28 February 2021. The Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (CDZ), an international research funding organisation initiated by China's NSFC and the DFG, has also published a call for bilateral projects in COVID-19-related research.

Four Researchers Who Build Bridges Between Japan and Germany

(13.05.20) The DFG is to present this year's Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize to four researchers. They are to be honoured for their many years of successful and dedicated hard work, which has made an important contribution to academic exchange between Germany and Japan. The Seibold Prize will be awarded for the final time in 2020, since the fund established by Eugen and Ilse Seibold will be exhausted after this round of awards. Interner Linkmore

BMBF Forum “Research in Germany” goes virtual

(11.05.20) The DFG is a member of the BMBF initiative “Research in Germany”. This year’s International Research Marketing Forum, taking place from 18-20 May, enables experts from universities, non-university research institutions and associations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to exchange knowledge and experiences, network and advance their training. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the forum will be held in different virtual formats over the course of three mornings.

Science Organisations Welcome Amendment of Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act due to Coronavirus Pandemic

(07.05.20) The German Bundestag has amended the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (WissZeitVG) in order to protect researchers with temporary contracts from potential disadvantages caused by protective measures taken within the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Research institutions and universities are now able to extend employment contracts beyond the current maximum limit. The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany expressly welcomes this amendment.

Research on coronavirus in Africa

(04.05.20) Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy" at the University of Bremen is analysing the development dynamics of state social policy worldwide. In a recent podcast interview, Professor Dr. Klaus Schlichte describes how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting African countries and the measures taken by governments. He leads the project "Transnational welfare: Rise, disintegration, and renaissance of social policy in Africa".

DFG to Fund Three New Research Units and One New Clinical Research Unit

(29.04.20) The DFG is setting up three new Research Units and one new Clinical Research Unit. This decision was made by the DFG's Joint Committee at the recommendation of the Senate. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the committee meetings originally scheduled for the end of March could not be held in the usual way, so the decisions were made using a staggered written procedure. Eight Research Units were also extended for a second funding period. Interner Linkmore

DFG Supports MOSAiC Expedition in Arctic Ocean During Coronavirus Pandemic

(27.04.20) The DFG together with the BMBF is stepping in to support the MOSAiC expedition in the Arctic Ocean by sending the research vessels Sonne and Maria S. Merian to Spitzbergen. There they will rendezvous with the research icebreaker Polarstern and perform a complete changeover of approximately 100 personnel as well as exchanging cargo and supplies. Interner Linkmore

DFG Underlines Importance of Scientific Quality Standards in Publications

(24.04.20) Amid the global spread of SARS-CoV-2, a growing number of publications are being made available on preprint servers without having undergone peer review. In a statement for the Science Media Center, the DFG has commented on the opportunities and risks associated with this method of publishing scientific findings. Link auf PDF-DateiView statement

Copernicus Award 2020 for Outstanding German-Polish Collaboration in Cryptography

(21.04.20) Professor Dr. Sebastian Faust, TU Darmstadt, and Professor Dr. Stefan Dziembowski, University of Warsaw, have been chosen to receive the 2020 Copernicus Award from the DFG and the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) for their collaboration in theoretical cryptography and IT security. Since 2006, the €200,000 award has been presented every two years to two researchers, one from Germany and one from Poland. Interner Linkmore

DFG to Present 2020 Communicator Award to Robert Arlinghaus –Special One-Time Prize to Christian Drosten

(20.04.20) The Communicator Award, conferred by the DFG and the Stifterverband, will be presented this year to Professor Dr. Robert Arlinghaus, an expert in integrative fisheries management at HU Berlin and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. The DFG and the Stifterverband are also awarding a special one-time prize for outstanding science communication during the Covid-19 pandemic to virologist Professor Dr. Christian Drosten from the Charité. Interner Linkmore

Good Scientific Practice Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic – a European Matter

(16.04.20) The DFG is a member of the European Network of Research Integrity Offices (ENRIO). The network recently published a paper underlining the importance of continuing good scientific practice during the coronavirus pandemic. The DFG draws particular attention to appropriate quality assurance in the research process. In the network's opinion, scientific integrity is vital to the all-important trust of society in research.

Extended eligibility period for submitting proposals to the Emmy Noether Programme

(15.04.20) Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions on working conditions at universities and research institutions, the DFG is extending the individual eligibility period for proposal submission within the Emmy Noether Programme by three months for prospective applicants who would otherwise only be eligible to apply by the end of 2020. Note that the rules on calculating the eligibility period, as outlined in the programme’s frequently asked questions, remain unaffected. Interner Linkmore

Third statement by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

(13.04.20) The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina today released a third ad-hoc statement regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The statement addresses the psychological, social, legal, educational and economic aspects of the pandemic and strategies for a gradual return to normalcy. Externer LinkView third statement

Information on Reviews and Awards for Collaborative Research Centres

(09.04.20) Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the committee meetings for Collaborative Research Centres scheduled for 27 and 28 May cannot be held in the usual way. Decisions will be made in a written procedure or by video conference in compliance with data protection legislation. For proposals submitted up to 1 July 2020 which cannot be reviewed on site, a written procedure will also be initiated and the DFG will offer bridge funding to affected universities, as announced in a letter on 9 April 2020.

Global Research Council shows COVID-19 activities of its members

(09.04.20) The Global Research Council (GRC) represents the majority of publicly funded research and research funding organisations worldwide who are not directly supported by governments. The GRC website shows the COVID-19 activities of its members including the activities of the DFG. Externer LinkTo the website

DFG President Katja Becker: Utmost Support for the Continuation of Research Activities during the Corona Crisis

(08.04.20) DFG Professor Dr. Katja Becker released a statement today addressed to researchers involved in DFG-funded projects. Link auf PDF-DateiView statement

Second ad-hoc-statement by German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

(03.04.20) Today, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina presented a second ad-hoc-statement with further proposals on how to deal with the challenges and measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Externer LinkView statements


 

I. Quarter 2020

DFG is Sad to Announce the Death of Reinhard Grunwald

(30.03.20) The DFG is sad to announce the death of Prof. Dr. Reinhard Grunwald. The former Secretary General of Germany's largest research funding organisation and the central self-governing organisation of the country's research community died on 21 March 2020 at the age of 77, after a long, serious illness. Grunwald led the DFG Head Office between 1996 and 2007. Interner Linkmore

Extended deadline for DFG calls

(25.03.20) In view of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on research activities, the DFG has extended the submission deadline for several of its current calls for proposals and programmes. Further deadline extensions will be introduced if necessary. Researchers can find regular updates under the information on the relevant call and under the respective programmes. Interner Linkmore

Meetings of Senate and Joint Committee

(23.03.20) The meetings of the DFG's Senate and Joint Committee, originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday of this week in Bonn, cannot be held in the usual form; decisions will be taken using the written process and on a staggered basis. Information on new Priority Programmes, Research Units and other agenda items will be issued at correspondingly later dates. Interner Linkmore

Ad-hoc-statement by German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

(21.03.20) The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has convened an ad-hoc working group of researchers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This working group today issued a statement concerned primarily with the healthcare system challenges and intervention options. Externer LinkView statement

Letter to Fellowship Recipients and Fellows

(20.03.20) In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the DFG has published a letter on financial measures and arrangements for fellowship recipients and those employed as fellows in DFG programmes.
Link auf PDF-DateiView letter

Award Ceremony for the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes

(20.03.20) The award ceremony for the 2020 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes, originally scheduled for 5 May in Berlin, is to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Interner Linkmore

DFG Launches Call for Proposals on Epidemics and Pandemics

(19.03.20) The DFG has launched a call for multidisciplinary research into epidemics and pandemics. Funding will be available for research topics ranging from basic medical and biological aspects and psychological and social factors to economic impact. Proposals can be submitted up to 1 September. Interner Linkmore

Letter to Funding Recipients

(18.03.20) In a letter to funding recipients, the DFG has circulated some initial information on the continuation of project work and funding programmes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. DFG staff are also working hard to identify other options to absorb the additional time pressures and financial impacts on funded projects. The DFG will notify you as soon as these measures can be implemented. The letter can be viewed Link auf PDF-Dateihere.

DFG staff is now working from home

(18.03.20) As an additional precautionary measure in view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus, most members of staff at the DFG Head Office in Bonn, the Berlin office and international DFG offices will be working from home with immediate effect, at least until 19 April. The best way to contact them is by e-mail. All team members are working hard to keep funding activities functioning as normally as possible. However, should there be any delays, we would ask for your patience. Interner Linkmore

DFG Stresses Importance of Research and Cooperation

(16.03.20) In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the DFG has underlined the importance of long-term basic research and international cooperation. Only in this way can the virus and the consequences of its spread be understood. The DFG is currently funding approximately 20 research projects and groups on coronaviruses and viral infections with €18 million per year. A new multidisciplinary call is expected to be published before the end of March. Interner Linkmore

DFG Awards Eight Prizes

(09.03.20) The DFG has announced the winning proposals in the International Research Marketing ideas competition. Awards will go to eight institutions. The University of Freiburg will receive prize money of €100,000 and seven institutions will each be awarded €25,000 for pilot or smaller scale projects. The awards ceremony will be held during the BMBF Forum Research in Germany on 19 May 2020 in Berlin. Interner Linkmore

DFG Responds to Spread of Coronavirus

(04.03.20) In response to the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the DFG is implementing precautionary measures in connection with its review sessions and other meetings. In addition, the DFG is cancelling its attendance at larger scientific gatherings as well as its own public events. The awards ceremony for the Leibniz Prizes, which was to be held on 16 March in Berlin, has also been postponed. Interner Linkmore

Ten Researchers to Receive Germany's Most Important Award for Early Career Researchers

(02.03.20) This year ten researchers – four women and six men – have been selected to receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. Awarded by the DFG and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the prizes of €20,000 each will be presented on 5 May in Berlin. Interner Linkmore

New Year Begins with a Focus on DFG2020

(13.01.20) At the DFG's traditional New Year’s reception at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Dr. Katja Becker addressed approximately 400 guests from academia, industry and society, for the first time in her new role as President of the DFG. One topic that featured in her speech was the DFG2020 – Because Research Matters campaign, which she officially launched at a press conference.