Press Release No. 6 | March 26, 2021

Coronavirus Pandemic and Lockdown: DFG Extends Financial Aid for Funded Research Projects

Joint Committee approves numerous regulations for emergency aid, final funding, fellowships and academic events

Joint Committee approves numerous regulations for emergency aid, final funding, fellowships and academic events

The DFG is extending its financial support for research projects and researchers affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. On Friday, 26 March 2021, the Joint Committee of Germany’s largest research funding organisation and central self-governing body for research approved a package of measures proposed by the DFG Executive Committee. This extends the support measures for numerous DFG funding programmes that have been in place since May of last year, while at the same time prolonging or adding new funding for certain other programmes.

“The DFG organised financial assistance very early on to cushion the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on the work being done in numerous research projects so as to give the people we fund and their staff security for the continuation of their work. These support measures have shown themselves to be needs-based and efficient, not least due to the simplified and swift application procedure, so they’ve been very well received and with a sense of gratitude,” said DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker at the meeting of the Joint Committee, which was again held in entirely virtual form. “Nonetheless, the situation facing many projects remains very problematic and tense in view of the current development of the pandemic, as we know from a lot of the feedback we are getting. This is why a prolongation and expansion of the aid is required to enable funded projects to be continued and successfully completed in these difficult times.”

Among other things, the regulations passed by the Joint Committee stipulate that research projects funded up until 31 December 2021 can now apply for an additional three months of emergency aid amounting to 80 percent of the average funding otherwise approved for the same period. This was previously only possible for projects whose funding runs until 30 June. If further resources are needed, proposals can also be submitted for supplementary or extended funding in addition to the emergency aid. These regulations apply to all research grants and numerous other programmes which fall into the category of so-called project funding, so they apply to the majority of the more than 30,000 projects funded by the DFG.

In the case of the large-scale research networks, Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) whose last funding period ends at the end of 2021 or in mid-2022 can now receive additional funding of 80 percent for another six months; previously, additional aid for CRCs was available for three months. Additional final funding is now also available for Research Groups and Priority Programmes as well the DFG’s Emmy Noether and Heisenberg Programmes: this applies to all projects whose last funding period ends by mid-2022.

Research Training Groups (RTGs) can now likewise apply for additional personnel funding for doctoral researchers for up to six months rather than the previous three. In the area of fellowship funding that does not fall under CRCs or RTGs, fellowships will also be extended by another six months, and it will be possible to complete foreign fellowships in Germany even more flexibly or convert them into a domestic fellowship or a position in Germany.

Finally, there is now a longer extension period for those academic events that have already been approved but were postponed due to the pandemic: instead of having to be held by the end of September 2021, the deadline for such events is now mid-2022.

Further Information

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The DFG provides detailed information on the numerous individual regulations that have now been adopted in the Information for Researchers No. 25 at: