Press Release No. 47 | November 14, 2023

DFG and the Israel Science Foundation Agree to Intensify Collaboration

Memorandum of understanding on the joint funding of bilateral research projects / “Scientific cooperation as a basis for stable international relations”

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and its Israeli partner organisation, the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), have agreed to pursue their cooperation in greater depth. The two funding organisations now concluded a memorandum of understanding to this effect. The agreement seeks to enable the joint funding of German-Israeli research projects and will form the basis for the development of a bilateral review process. It was signed by DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker and the Chair of the ISF Academic Board, Professor Daniel Zajfman.

The ISF is the most important institution dedicated to funding basic research in Israel. It is primarily funded by the Israeli Council for Higher Education (CHE) through the latter’s Planning and Budgeting Committee (PCB). Similar to the DFG, it funds research projects in all areas of science and the humanities. The ISF is also a close partner of the DFG within the Global Research Council (GRC), the worldwide association of research funding organisations.

“Our agreement aims to help further develop bilateral research relations between Israel and Germany at the highest level,” said DFG President Becker. “Israeli and German researchers already work closely together. For the first time, this agreement now gives us the opportunity to actually fund research projects jointly in future.”

The DFG President went on to say: “The memorandum of understanding was drawn up before the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel at the beginning of October. In view of the current situation in Israel and the region, the deepening of research ties now takes on an added significance, also as a sign of solidarity.”

Actual support measures for DFG funding recipients in Israel and the region

In view of the current situation, the DFG is also offering targeted support and relief measures to researchers working on funded projects in the affected region or whose work depends on cooperation with partners in the region.

Firstly, supplemental proposals can be submitted to the DFG to enable the research work to continue under different conditions with as little disruption as possible. Supplemental proposals of up to €20,000 can be submitted informally at short notice by the project leader with appropriate justification and are to be decided on promptly.

Secondly, funding that has already been approved can also be used to ensure the continuation of research work without any further effort. For example, project funds can be used to cover travel expenses so as to be able to conduct research in Germany on a temporary basis. These relief options can be implemented immediately, especially under the larger-scale coordinated programmes such as Collaborative Research Centres, Research Training Groups and Clusters of Excellence, as well as in connection with the German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP), but they are generally open to all DFG-funded projects.

With regard to the current situation in Israel and the region, the DFG President concluded: “We continue to be appalled by the unjustifiable violence, and our thoughts are with all the victims, their families and friends. What is more, we firmly believe that scientific cooperation is an essential basis for stable international relations.”

Further information

Media contact:

Contacts at the DFG Head Office

For details of current support and relief measures, see also a “DFG Information for Researchers” at

Together with the other members of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, the DFG has also issued a statement on the situation in Israel and the region:

For further information and materials, see the DFG website:

For detailed information on the DFG partner organisation Israel Science Foundation, see the ISF website: