Press Release No. 18 | June 5, 2023

Announcement and Date Notification: DFG Annual Meeting to be Held in Saarbrücken from 26 to 28 June 2023

Sustainability and other current issues to be addressed at committee meetings / President Dr. Katja Becker is running for a second term / Presentation of the Communicator Award and official function

Sustainability and other current issues to be addressed at committee meetings / President Dr. Katja Becker is running for a second term / Presentation of the Communicator Award and official function

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is due to hold its 2023 annual meeting from 26 to 28 June in Saarbrücken. This is in response to an invitation from Saarland University, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

All the DFG’s central statutory bodies will meet in the course of the three-day gathering, including the Executive Committee, the Senate, the Joint Committee and the General Assembly. The sessions will be held in hybrid format, with committee members being able to participate either on site or virtually. The annual meeting will include two public events: the presentation of the Communicator Award and the official function.

In addition to funding decisions, the committee meetings will be taken up with discussions and decisions on current issues relating to research and the research system. Among other things, this will involve the recommendations drawn up by the Presidential Commission on Sustainability, which seek to anchor the concept of sustainability in the DFG’s funding activities. Likewise, the latest recipients of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize will be selected: this is considered the most important award in Germany for researchers in the start-up phase of their career. For this round of awards, the prize has now been firmly incorporated into the DFG’s funding portfolio, having previously been awarded jointly by the DFG and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); the prize money has also been increased significantly, with each winner now receiving €200,000 as opposed to the previous amount of €20,000.

At the General Assembly on 28 June, DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker will run for a second four-year term of office. At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Becker and Secretary General Dr. Heide Ahrens will provide the representatives of the 97 member organisations with a review of the DFG’s funding activities since last year’s General Assembly in Freiburg im Breisgau at the end of June 2022. The “2022 Annual Report” issued by the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation for research in Germany will also be presented at the General Assembly, containing the main figures and data on funding work. Based on selected funding projects, this highlights the contribution that science and the humanities and in particular knowledge-driven research can make to overcoming global crises and challenges, both now and in the future. In addition to the presidential election, the agenda includes further elections to the Executive Committee and the Senate as well as decisions on the admission of additional member organisations.

The official function in connection with the annual meeting will take place on Tuesday, 27 June, from 7 p.m. in the Ore Shed of the World Cultural Heritage Site at Völklingen Ironworks. After a welcome by the DFG President and the Minister of Finance and Science of Saarland, Jakob von Weizsäcker, followed by a political keynote speech by Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Katja Becker will give her own keynote address on the “value of knowledge”. Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion dedicated to the question: “How can we promote knowledge-based decision-making?” The panel members will be Professor Dr. Ursula Rao, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale) and member of the DFG Senate and the Scientific Commission of the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR), the President of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Professor Dr. Walter Rosenthal, Minister Jakob von Weizsäcker, and Professor Dr. Timo de Wolff, mathematician at Technische Universität Braunschweig and member of Junge Akademie.

This year’s Communicator Award, conferred by the DFG and Stifterverband, will be presented at 7 p.m. on Monday, 26 June in the festive hall of Saarbrücker Schloss. Endowed with €50,000, the award goes to sociologist Professor Dr. Steffen Mau from Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. He receives it in recognition of his outstanding communication achievements on issues such as social inequality and injustice, and also the structural change of the middle class, in particular his ability to introduce expertise and orientational knowledge into public debate. The award will be presented by DFG President Dr. Becker and the former President of Stifterverband, Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Barner; the laudatory speech for Steffen Mau will be given by the chair of the Communicator Award jury, DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Julika Griem.

Further information

Media contact:

  • Marco Finetti
    Head of Press and Public Relations at the DFG
    Tel. +49 228 885-2109

Notes on media relations:

The DFG will provide information on funding decisions and other important resolutions adopted by the Senate, the Joint Committee and the General Assembly in a series of press releases to be issued on 27 June (starting at around 4:30 p.m.) and 28 June (starting at around 2 p.m.).

All press releases on the 2023 annual meeting are also to be found in a digital press kit at, which is supplemented on an ongoing basis.

Accompanying information is also available on the DFG website at and via social media at

The DFG 2022 Annual Report, subject to an embargo until 2 p.m. on 28 June 2023, can be requested from:

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend the two public events (the Communicator Award presentation ceremony in the festive hall of Saarbrücker Schloss at 7 p.m. on Monday 26 June, and the official function at the Ore Shed of the World Cultural Heritage Site at Völklingen Ironworks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday 27 June). If you wish to attend, please register in advance by contacting . The registration deadline is 12 noon on the day of the event.