Press Release No. 43 | October 23, 2023

Start of the 2023 DFG Review Board Election

Approximately 150,000 eligible voters have until 20 November at 2:00 p.m. to cast their online vote / A total of 1,631 candidates for 649 positions in statutory bodies that assess funding proposals

Today, 23 October 2023 at 2:00 p.m., the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) opens its review board election. Approximately 150,000 researchers in Germany have until 20 November at 2:00 p.m. to cast their online votes that elect representatives of the DFG review boards. These representatives play a key role in the system for self-organisation in science and the humanities and in the assessment of funding proposals. The election covers the period from 2024 to 2028 and relates to 49 review boards that represent 214 subject areas. There are 1,631 candidates standing for election to the total of 649 positions to be filled. Approximately 37 percent of the candidates identify as female. This once again equates to a rise in the female proportion of four percentage points compared to the 2019 election (around 33 percent) and that in 2015 (around 29 percent).

The DFG review boards are elected every four years. The voluntary members of these review boards play a key role in the triad of review, evaluation and decision that relates to proposals for the funding of research projects. They are responsible for the professional quality assurance of reviews. In the written review process, they evaluate the funding proposals based on reviews previously obtained from experts.
In the so-called DFG coordinated programmes, they are directly involved in the review as review panel members. Here too, they ensure that uniform standards are applied. They also advise on issues concerning the further development and refinement of DFG funding programmes.

DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker believes that: “No other statutory body embodies the DFG’s guiding principle of self-governance in science and the humanities as well as the review boards. The review board election involves the research community itself deciding the individuals who represent subject areas within the review boards. And even the process that results in the list of candidates is driven by the research community.”

The DFG is appealing to all eligible voters to exercise their right to vote. By casting their ballots, voters can actively participate in and codetermine the self-organisation of science and the humanities in a direct and subject-specific manner. Voter eligibility is regulated by § 2 of the “Election Regulations for the Election of the Members of the Review Boards of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)”. Those who are eligible to vote mainly include all researchers affiliated with a voting centre who have successfully passed their oral doctoral exam and are conducting scientific or academic research on, but not limited to, the first day of the voting period.

This year’s DFG review board election is once again to be an online-only election. An authorised representative of the DFG Senate oversees the entire election process to warrant election confidentiality and ensure security of the electoral system. Voting centres at 181 research institutions in Germany ensure that the election runs smoothly at a local level. They identify and register eligible voters and supply the election documents to them. The contact details for these voting centres are published on the election portal available via the DFG homepage. The DFG has also established a voting centre for individuals who have been granted the right to vote on an individual basis.

The subject classifications were assessed and determined, the list of candidates drawn up and the electoral system established – all prior to commencement of the election. Once the votes have been counted and approved by the Senate representative, the DFG will publish the provisional election results via the election portal. The DFG President will determine the final election results according to the corresponding procedural steps. The newly elected review boards will then be constituted and commence their work in the spring of 2024.

Further information

Further information and details regarding the review board election and, after 2:00 p.m. on 23 October 2023 also access to the election system, are available via the election portal at:

The link provides even more information on review board activities, including a film about these statutory bodies.

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